Portrait of Dr Adrian Bradu

Dr Adrian Bradu

Lecturer in Applied Optics


Dr Adrian Bradu is a Lecturer in Applied Optics in the School of Physical Sciences and a member of the Applied Optics Group, where he develops imaging techniques for applications in biosciences and medicine. In particular his research is focused on imaging techniques based on optical coherence tomography, elastography and photo-acoustics.

After graduating in 1997 with an BSc in Physics, Adrian obtained a MSc in Optics, Optoelectronics and Microwaves at École Nationale Supérieure d'Électronique et de Radioélectricité de Grenoble (ENSERG), France, with a viva in 1998 on “Spectrophotometry of turbid media using optical fibre probes”. Here, he had the opportunity to work in the “Functional and Metabolic Neuroimaging” Center Inserm/UJF 594 (Grenoble University Hospital), as a MSc and then as a PhD student. He completed his PhD in the group of Prof. Jacques Derouard at Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble, France in 2004 with a thesis entitled, Optical methods to investigate biological tissues. Cerebral tissue spectroscopy using small optical fibre probes and optical coherence tomography imaging.

After 2004, Adrian took up various positions as Postgraduate Research Associate in the Applied Optics Group, at the University of Kent. In 2017, in became a lecturer in the School of Physical Sciences where he is developing research programmes on optical coherence elastography and photo-acoustics tomography.

Research interests

The study of interaction of light with various materials (biological media in particular) has captured Adrian’s interest during his undergraduate studies. His Master studies, convinced him to pursue a career focused on Applied Optics whereas the PhD in Grenoble strengthened his beliefs that understanding light behaviour while propagating through various materials can lead to novel optical methods and instruments of vital utility in the modern society. After finishing his PhD thesis, Adrian’s research activity has been focused on high-resolution non-invasive optical imaging of superficial tissue based on Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). Currently he is interested:

  1. To develop medical imaging tools able to produce an images of what tissue ‘feels’ like by evaluating its elastic properties using optical coherence elastography
  2. To develop techniques that can offer not only structural but also functional information of biological tissues with excellent resolution and high contrast, by listening to the sound produced when a laser pulse interacts with the absorbing tissue (photo-acoustics tomography).

and also in:

  • Developing software platforms data acquisition, display and analysis of the images using cutting-edge techniques and methods for OCT systems and not only.
  • Non-invasive imaging of biological tissues: optical coherence tomography and confocal microscopy techniques for biological tissue imaging and adaptive optics techniques for retinal imaging.


Adrian is involved with the teaching of several subjects: Electric Circuits, Magnetostatics, Modern Optics and Special Relativity, Image Processing, Physics Research Projects and Biomedical Optics.  


Potential MSc and PhD candidates (for degrees in Physics) are encouraged to contact Adrian to discuss about self-funded positions or apply for external funding. Funded positions are advertised when available. Adrian can host in his lab, over the summer, several undergraduate students. Please contact him in advance for arrangements.

Example projects that may be undertaken by self-funded students (PhD or MSc) under Adrian’s supervision are listed below, but a range of other projects can be designed to match your skills and interests:

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