The molecular biophotonics lab develops custom microscopes and imaging devices, along with labeling/clearing protocols and image-processing algorithms, for diagnosing diseases and for guiding therapy. For example, we are developing miniature dual-axis confocal (DAC) microscopes and bench-top open-top light-sheet (OTLS) microscopes to enable high-resolution slide-free optical-sectioning of tissues for early disease detection, improved diagnosis/grading of malignancies, and for surgical guidance. We have also developed spectral-imaging endoscopes, in conjunction with nanoparticle contrast agents, for multiplexed molecular imaging of disease biomarkers. These projects leverage our multidisciplinary expertise in optical design, spectroscopy, molecular imaging, mechanical and electrical instrumentation, image processing, machine learning, and preclinical/clinical translation.
The lab is directed by Dr. Jonathan Liu, associate professor of mechanical engineering (adjunct in laboratory medicine & pathology, and bioengineering) at the University of Washington.