Research

The HBO Lab research is geared towards translation of current state-of-the-art in optics-based imaging technologies to clinically viable devices as well as invention of new hybrid imaging/sensing technologies.

Translational Research:

Dr. Tabatabaei's past research laid the foundation of a novel thermo-photonic methodology for non-destructive evaluation of materials, specifically diagnostic imaging of hard dental and bone tissues. The motivation behind the idea is to combine the deep inspection capability of the thermal (heat) waves with the intrinsic diagnostic response of tissues to optical excitation and achieve a very sensitive diagnostic imaging device. The developed technology detects extremely small changes in physical properties and therefore diagnoses hard tissue lesions at very early stages (i.e., early mineral loss). Early diagnosis not only improves the effectiveness of the treatment and promotes prevention rather than medical intervention, but also significantly reduces the cost of care in the long run. The HBO Lab research in this area aims to design, prototype, and commercialize the first thermo-photonic early dental caries detection imaging handpiece. Miniaturization of the thermo-photonic system into a handpiece device is challenging because conventional micro-optics and optical fibers have sub-optimal performance in the mid-infrared/thermal region.

early caries detection

 

Fundamental Research:

HBO lab fundamental research aims to develop new hybrid optical imaging platforms for selective imaging of malignancies at early stages of development. The source of contrast in common optical imaging platforms is the backscattered light from structural inhomogeneity. Our research in this field intends to form diagnostic images based on light absorption. Here the endogenous molecular contrast from malignancy hallmarks, such as demineralization in early dental caries and osteoporosis as well as angiogenesis in cancer is used to form diagnostic images.

 

Funding

HBO Lab research is funded by