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Biomedical Optics & Medical Imaging

Robert McLaughlin: Microscope-in-a-needle helps breast cancer surgeons identify tumor edges

Revolutionary OCT probe took the top prize in the 2014 SPIE Startup Challenge.

1 April 2014, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201404.01

Robert McLaughlin and the University of Western Australia were the 2014 winners of the SPIE Startup Challenge, a pitch competition showcasing optics or photonics technologies or applications presented as the basis for viable new businesses. The university's product, a microscope-in-a-needle, is a miniaturized optical coherence tomography (OCT) probe capable of 3D imaging that aims to reduce the number of repeat surgeries for breast cancer.

McLaughlin earned his bachelor of engineering and PhD in electronic engineering from the University of Western Australia in 1992 and 1999, respectively. After a post-doctoral research position at the University of Oxford, he worked for several years in the medical imaging industry in the UK, including as a product manager for Siemens Medical Systems. He is currently research associate professor in the Optical + Biomedical Engineering Laboratory at the University of Western Australia, where he leads research into new technologies for cancer imaging.

The Optical + Biomedical Engineering Laboratory at the University of Western Australia specializes in biomedical optics, biophotonics, and optical microscopy.

McLaughlin has contributed dozens of papers to SPIE conferences and proceedings, and has served on program committees and as session chair at the BiOS conference at SPIE Photonics West.