Chao Zhou, PhD a Washington University in St. Louis engineer who develops novel optical imaging technologies for biomedical applications, has been awarded a Stein Innovation Award from Research to Prevent Blindness to pursue development of novel imaging methods for diagnostic uses.
The three-year, $300,000 award provides flexible funds to scientists engaged in research working to understand the visual system and the diseases that compromise its function, focusing on new technologies and cutting-edge research. Zhou, an associate professor of biomedical engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering, is one of 39 researchers who have received the award since it was established in 2014.
With this funding, Zhou and his team plan to develop an ultrahigh-speed parallel imaging optical coherence tomography (OCT) system for motion-free imaging in children. They plan to implement this state-of-the-art technology in a compact, hand-held format to achieve 1.6 million A-scans per second imaging speed using 16 parallel imaging channels. This is more than 50 times faster than the commercial hand-held OCT system used for pediatric imaging and will allow acquisition of a high-definition wide-field 3D retinal OCT scan in a fraction of a second.