Coherent Optics Sensors for Medical Applications

COSMA is an EU Research  Project in the framework of FP7 - PEOPLE programme, International Research Staff Exchange Scheme. It was started on 2012 -04-01 and it will end on 2016 - 03 - 31.

The main objective of the project is to focus theoretical, experimental and clinical research of the participating groups on biomagnetism phenomena, with the specific aim to develop all-optical sensors dedicated to their detection and suitable for applications in clinical diagnostics.

A central role in the project is played by Optical Atomic Magnetometers (OAMs) that have the potential, in terms of sensitivity and budget, for a widespread use in hospitals. OAMs have the needed sensitivity and a very small sensor head, allowing for excellent spatial resolution and optimum coupling. We will develop OAMs specifically for clinical use. We will also adopt an original approach to magnetic shielding that consists of compensating rather than screening spurious magnetic fields. This eliminates the need for an expensive mu-metal isolated room, which would make a large scale use of OAMs in hospitals difficult.

The project sees the participation of 10 research groups from Italy, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Israel, Armenia, Russia, India, Poland, USA. Nine teams (UniSi, IEBAS, UCL, IAE, IPR, JU, UCB, UC) involved in the project have long-lasting collaboration activities. The groups have the needed competences covering physics as well as medical issues. This makes an efficient transfer of knowledge between the teams absolutely essential. We will establish links between groups, based on complementary competences. Knowledge transfer will be obtained with a reciprocal exchange of young and senior researchers. The obtained results will be transmitted to all involved groups.