Characterize the optical properties of the mouse skull bones

Project type: MSc thesis

To improve the quality of optical neuroimaging studies on the mouse brain, the optical properties of the mouse skull need to be investigated with regard to tissue ageing. The mouse skull's optical properties will be measured with a spectrophotometer and high resolution micro-computed tomography. This project is very hands-on and diversified as it contains sample preparation and measurement in different modalities as well as adapted signal analysis.


Keywords: near infrared spectroscopy, spectral analysis, CT, bone, absorption, scattering, tissue ageing.

Date: Spring semester 2019

We at BORL work with near-infrared imaging technologies, amongst other topics. We are interested in neuroimaging studies performed on mice non-invasively. These studies allow to probe regulation and function of the brain, enabling to investigate brain diseases. Knowledge of the properties of the tissue surrounding the brain such as the skull bone is required to understand how they affect measurements targeted at the brain and can be used to improve image reconstruction and the depth-resolved quantitation of the signal. This is important as the properties change during development and ageing.

Goal: Thus, the aims of the current master project are to: 1) measure the optical properties and 2) the thickness and density of the murine skull bone at different ages. Experiments include the use of a spectrophotometer and high resolution micro-computed tomography. The project consist of 50% experiment, 30% analysis, 10% reading and 10% report/thesis writing.


  • Data processing and basic statistics (Matlab, Python, R are very welcome)
  • Interest in experimental work and optics

Helene Isler, E-Mail:, Tel: 044 255 93 27.
Alexander Kalyanov, E-Mail:, Tel.: 043 253 30 31.

Prof. Martin Wolf
E-Mail: Tel: 044 255 53 46
Biomedical Optics Research Laboratory, Neonatologie, UniversitätsSpital Zürich, 8091 Zürich

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