An interdisciplinary team of UCLA engineers and medical professionals has won an award from the UCLA Innovation Fund for their work in advancing efforts to image structures of the eye using lasers. The endeavor is a collaboration between Kouros Nouri-Mahdavi, an assistant professor of ophthalmology in the glaucoma division of the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute, Chee Wei Wong, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, and Jinghui Yang and Yoon-Soo Jang, two research scientists in Wong’s lab.

Organized by the UCLA Technology Development Group, the UCLA Innovation Fund’s goal is to more quickly move technologies from idea to the market, bridging the gap between academia and industry / investor interest. Successful outcomes include, but are not limited to, a 1) license to an existing company; 2) license to a newly created company; 3) finding that a project no longer has technical or commercial potential.

The collaborative ophthalmology team’s project is on sub-micrometer precision high-rate laser medical imaging at the thermodynamical limits. The glaucoma advanced imaging laboratory at the Stein Eye Institute specializes in laser optical coherence tomography for glaucoma diagnostics. In parallel, UCLA electrical and computer engineering has developed precision measurements based on ultrafast mode-locked lasers. Combining their expertise, the Samueli-Stein Eye team is advancing efforts to image the retina and optic nerve head structures at sub-micrometer resolution.