BME Professors Regine Choe (Principal Investigator) and Danielle Benoit (Co-Investigator) have been awarded an NSF Grant for their collaborative research project entitled, “Diffuse Optical and Correlation Tomography for Monitoring of Bone-Graft Headling.” The overall goal of this proposal is to develop new and safe imaging methods that use red and infrared light to monitor and image the re-growth of blood vessels in healing bones. These methods are based on diffuse optical tomography (DOT) and diffuse correlation tomography (DCT) as scientific research tools to provide non-invasive, deep-tissue longitudinal monitoring of vascularization of engineered tissues. Techniques that non-invasively monitor and longitudinally assess the vascularization process could significantly accelerate the tissue-engineering field, which will lead to new methods for healing damaged tissues. By providing efficient ways to assess vascularization, this methodology will impact the speed of clinical translation of new tissue-engineering technologies, saving time and reducing development costs.
The project will involve educational outreach to underrepresented high school student groups through interaction with the David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity in Arts, Sciences and Engineering at the University of Rochester, and an international collaboration with a biomedical optics group at the Institute of Photonic Sciences, Spain.