UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic receives $3.2 million NIBIB award to develop sinus imaging system

Drs. Zhongping Chen and Brian Wong of UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic were awarded a $3.2 million National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering grant to develop and validate an innovative sinus imaging system.

For over 20 years, Drs. Chen and Wong have collaborated, both contributing expertise in optical imaging, system and probe designs, as well as translating these benchtop technologies to clinical applications. Their study focuses on the design, construction and clinical evaluation of a phase-resolved spectrally encoded endoscopy (PR-SEE) integrated with optical coherence tomography (OCT).

According to the research team, over 50 million Americans suffer from chronic sinus issues every year with over 600,000 surgeries performed annually to treat sinusitis.  The economic impact accounts for over $35 billion annually in health care costs with over 3.5 million work and 2 million school days lost each year.

“Currently, there are no reliable methods to gauge sinusitis severity or response to therapy,” said Dr. Wong.  “Physicians must rely on the subjective feedback from patients or from physician-directed endoscopy, which interpretation may also be subjective.”

“Successful clinical translation will prepare the endoscopy for future investigations,” said Dr. Chen.  “We firmly believe that the results of the study will jumpstart developments in pharmacotherapy, devices and surgical intervention.”