For more information about Yu Chen, see his faculty page in BME
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is an established medical imaging technology which is analogous to ultrasound but has significantly higher resolution (~10 mm) to enable 3D imaging of tissue microstructures in situ and in real-time with a penetration depth of ~1-2 mm. OCT can be extended to functional imaging modalities such as Doppler OCT (DOCT) for blood flow detection, polarization-sensitive OCT (PS-OCT) for detection of tissue birefringence, and Optical Coherence Elastography (OCE) for characterization of tissue biomechanics. We have developed a forwarding-imaging needle-type OCT probe for avoiding the hemorrhage and guiding neurosurgical interventions. The needle probe has a thin diameter of 0.7 mm. The feasibility of vessel detection and neurosurgical guidance were demonstrated on sheep brain in vivo and human brain ex vivo. We further combine high-resolution OCT with large-field-of-view magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to provide multi-scale imaging. We have translated OCT to clinics for imaging of transplant kidney viability, and identified tulubar diameter as a biomarker for prediction of post-transplant renal function.
In addition, we have developed a novel mesoscopic 3D optical molecular imaging technique – Fluorescence Laminar Optical Tomography (FLOT), which can achieve ~100 µm resolution and 2-3 mm penetration depth. Biomedical applications of FLOT include tissue engineering, neuroscience, and oncology. For functional mapping of brain activities, we applied FLOT to record 3D neural activities evoked in the whisker system of mice by deflection of a single whisker in vivo. We utilized FLOT to investigate cell viability, migration, and bone mineralization within bone tissue engineering scaffolds in situ, which allows depth-resolved molecular characterization of engineered tissues in 3D. Moreover, we investigated the feasibility of combining OCT and FLOT for multi-modal imaging system to monitor the drug distribution and therapeutic effects during and after photo-immunotherapy (PIT) in situ and in vivo, which can be used to optimize PIT regimen and elucidate PIT mechanism.
Dr. Yu Chen received his BS in Physics from Peking University in 1997 and his PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. From 2003-2007, he pursued his postdoctoral training at Department of Electrical Engineering at MIT. He became an Assistant Professor of the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland in College Park in 2007 and became an Associate Professor in 2014. He joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UMass Amherst in 2019. He received the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award in 2012. Dr. Chen has published 1 book, 16 book chapters, and >100 peer-reviewed journal publications. He has been an editorial board member of Scientific Reports, and an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. He has been a Fellow of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS), and a senior member of the Optical Society of America (OSA). He has served as conference program co-chair and general co-chair for OSA Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO): Applications and Technologies.