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From touch screens and telecommunications networks, to driving, reading, and enjoying theater, light-based optical information features in much of how we interact with the world. The research projects in SBO harness the power of optical information to develop and deploy novel diagnostic (imaging and sensing) tools that serve as integral complements to the toolkits of biologists and clinicians, as well as to use these technologies to study various phenomena relevant to disease. 

New Technologies that Break Performance Limits

Conventional approaches to improve performance target components as bottlenecks. In contrast, research at SBO  breaks new limits through implementation of system-level design changes that enable unprecedented performance gains and redefine bottlenecks, simultaneously solving existing problems and inspiring novel areas of research.

Selected Related works

  • Fast, automated volumetric mosaicking for featureless OCT datasets
  • Explorations of expanded design spaces for quantitative polarization-sensitive OCT
  • High-speed OCT imaging using Interleaved Optical Coherence Tomography (iOCT)
  • Extended OCT ranging depth enabled by cross-dispersing spectrometers
  • Imaging Nanoscale Displacements: Spectral Domain Phase Microscopy

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New Technologies that Promote Performance Standards

Extracting quantitative information from image data is an emerging research trend, and validating the accuracy  of this information is of key importance when considering such data in medical contexts. To this end, SBO proposes new theory, algorithms, calibration targets, and system configurations that aim to promote performance standards for our research community. This fundamental research permits the measurement and understanding of error, noise and performance that facilitates intelligent design decisions and trade-offs while inspiring confidence in measurement outcomes.

Selected related works

  • Analysis of various contributors to sources of phase noise in Fourier-domain OCT
  • Comprehensive calibration targets for measuring axial and lateral resolution
  • Novel disease-mimicking phantoms for OCT

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Deploying Solutions that Address Clinical Needs

SBO research aims to make an impact on the lives of people today. To that end, SBO maintains active collaborations with clinicians in various fields (including Dermatology, Urology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Otolaryngology). Our research couples enabling technologies with new applications that can lead to improved health outcomes. Current areas of interest include bladder disease, skin cancer, human development and hearing loss.

Selected related works

  • Disease-mimicking phantoms for bladder cancer
  • Fast, automated volumetric mosaicking for endoscopic, featureless OCT datasets
  • Automated detection of skin cancer using polarization-sensitive OCT
  • Portable devices for point-of-care medical diagnostics 

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Deploying Solutions that Aid Scientific Discovery

At SBO, we are interested in the degree to which light-based technologies can provide illuminating answers to unexplored and unanswered questions in science. These inquiries range from the purely physical to the highly biological / pre-clinical and often involve collaborations with researchers in other fields.  

Selected related works

  • Effect of vitrification on early-stage embryo development
  • Magnetic Leviation for analysis, self-assembly of component systems
  • Implications of droplet microfluidics in communication and hydrodynamics
  • Investigations of cochlear mechanics during sound processing




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