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The Washington Research Foundation Fellowship
Kenny Chou, Bioengineering and Electrical Engineering, 2011-12 WRFF
Medical imaging and minimally invasive modalities had always been an interest of mine. Thinking Iíd eventually go into medical school, I started my undergraduate career in Bioengineering. After exposure to the biomedical instrumentation and other technology-orientated classes I realized that Iím more interested in the technology aspect of medicine and decided to pursue a second major in Electrical Engineering. I joined the Human Photonics Lab (HPL) in the summer of 2010 for the CRANE Aerospace sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). My first project was to code an image processing operation in a parallel-computing language called the Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA), and it introduced me to computational-based research, which I really enjoy doing. My current project is also image processing oriented, and involves processing and registration of 3D Optical Projection Tomography (OPTM) images for tissue biopsy inspection. My project aims to open a new field in biopsy and provide new ways to improve pre-cancer screening, especially for the brain, thyroid, and pancreas. After graduation, I plan to pursue a PhD in Bioengineering with a focus on medical imaging before working in that same industry. I am extremely grateful for the generous support from Washington Research Foundation as it allows me to focus on my research and further motivates me to pursue a career in biomedical imaging.
Mentor: Eric Seibel, Mechanical Engineering
Project Title: Optical Projection Tomography Microscopy for Large Specimen Sizes
Abstract: Many diagnoses are made by observing and analyzing cell and tissue samples under the microscope. Although cell samples can show the presence of a disease, such as cancer, it is more difficult to determine the location, which implies progression, of tumor within a tissue. Since biological architecture is preserved in tissue samples, the location and extent of a disease, which are often the basis for a patientís treatment, can also be determined. For this project, Thin Needle Core Biopsy (TNCB) will be used to obtain small cylindrical tissue samples 250Ķm in diameter and up to 2cm in length. The tissue sample will be imaged with Optical Projection Tomography Microscopy (OPTM), which is currently used to generate high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) images of individual cells . Due to limited field of view, large specimen, such as tissue samples, cannot be imaged in their entirety. A series of images will be obtained and stitched together to form a complete reconstruction of the TNCB tissue sample. This project focuses on reconstructing and stitching a series of OPTM images to create a single continuous 3D image of all cells within the entire biopsy. Image processing techniques, such as digital filtering and phase correlation, will also be applied to reduce noise and accurately align images during this process. The ultimate aim of the project is to obtain, construct, and present 3D TNCB tissue images to clinicians in a manner that allows them to make accurate diagnoses and assess cancer invasiveness using this micro-biopsy specimen.