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Eric Seibel

Eric Seibel - Research Professor

Eric Seibel

Contact Information


  • B.S. 1983 Mechanical Engineering, Cornell University
  • M.S. 1984 Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
  • Ph.D. 1996 Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle


Dr. Seibel received undergraduate and master degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and University of California, Berkeley, respectively. After working 4 years in the medical (ophthalmic) device industry, Eric designed and developed laser scanning microscopes for live tissue imaging for his doctorate from the University of Washington's Department of Bioengineering in 1996. As a Research Scientist at the Human Interface Technology Lab, UW, Eric invented the scanning fiber endoscope which has received funding from WTC, NIH (NCI & NIBIB), NSF, and PENTAX (HOYA Corporation). Since 2001 as research faculty at UW, Eric has co-developed an optical projection tomography microscope with VisionGate Inc. with funding from WTC and NCI. Currently, Dr. Seibel is a Research Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, adjunct in Bioengineering and Electrical Engineering, and Director of the Human Photonics Lab at UW.

Research Program

Multidisciplinary research program that develops novel instrumentation based on optical scanning for image acquisition and display. All research projects involve UW innovations with application in the biomedical device and instrumentation fields, with specific focus on the early detection and treatment of cancer and pre-cancer.

  1. Ultrathin and flexible scanning fiber endoscope (SFE) and bronchoscope for the early detection and treatment of cancers within the body. The goal is to advance minimally invasive medical imaging by using ultrathin flexible endoscopes that allow access to regions of the body that were previously inaccessible. Once at a region of interest, imaging, diagnosis, therapy, and monitoring can be performed from the SFE with the goal of earlier and less-invasive treatment of cancers in the more peripheral lung and pancreas. The main attributes of the SFE technology are:
    • High-resolution imaging within an ultrathin size (less than 2 mm in diameter)
    • Integrated optical diagnoses and laser therapies with full-color imaging
    • Low-cost components that may lead to a disposable distal (in vivo) end
    • Highly flexible & durable shaft that imparts less pressure on tissues
    • Efficient laser scanning imaging that allows 3D imaging for future surgeries
    • Computer-tracked guidance system for complex branching systems like the lung

    Selected publications with several US Patents issued:

    Seibel, E.J. and Smithwick, Q. Y. L (2002). Unique features of optical scanning, single fiber endoscopy. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 30(3), 177-183.

    Smithwick, Q.Y.J., Reinhall, P.G., Vagners, J., Seibel, E.J. (2004) A nonlinear state space model of the resonating single fiber scanner for tracking control: theory and experiment. ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, 126, 88-101. Won 2004 BEST PAPER AWARD for the Journal, determined by ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Honors Committee in November 2004.

    Brown, C.M., Reinhall, P.G., Karasawa, S., and Seibel, E.J. (2006) Optomechanical design and fabrication of resonant microscanners for a scanning fiber endoscope, Optical Engineering, 45, 043001.

    Seibel, E.J., Johnston, R.S., and Melville, C.D. (2006) A full-color scanning fiber endoscope, Optical Fibers and Sensors for Medical Diagnostics and Treatment Applications VI, edited by I. Gannot, Proc. of SPIE, vol. 6083, 608303.

    Yoon, W.J., Reinhall, P.G., and Seibel, E.J. (2007) Analysis of electro active polymer bending: a component in a low cost ultrathin scanning endoscope. Sensors and Actuators A 133: 506-517.

    Seibel, E.J., Carroll, R.E., Dominitz, J.A., Johnston, R.S., Melville, C.D., Lee, C.M., Seitz, S.M., and Kimmey, M.B. (2008) Tethered-Capsule Endoscopy, a low-cost and high-performance alternative technology for the screening of esophageal cancer and Barrett's esophagus. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 55, No. 3, March 2008.

    Seibel, E.J., Brown, C.M., Dominitz, J.A. and Kimmey, M.B. (2008) Scanning Single Fiber Endoscopy: A new platform technology for integrated laser imaging, diagnosis, and future therapies. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Clinics of North America, 18: 467-478.<

    Yoon, W.J., Park, S., Reinhall, P.G., and Seibel, E.J. (2009) Development of an automated steering mechanism for bladder urothelium surveillance, ASME Journal of Medical Devices, 3, 011004-1-9.

    Seibel, E.J., Brentnall, T.A. and Dominitz, J.A. (2009) New endoscopic and cytologic tools for cancer surveillance in the digestive tract, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Clinics of North America, 19: 299-307.

    Soper, T.D., Haynor, D.R., Glenny, R.W., Seibel, E.J. (2010) In Vivo validation of a hybrid tracking system for navigation of an ultrathin bronchoscope within peripheral airways, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 75(3): 736-745.

    Lee, C.M., Engelbrecht, C., Soper, T.D., Helmchen, F. C., and Seibel, E.J. (2010), Scanning fiber endoscopy with highly flexible, 1-mm catheterscopes for wide-field, full-color imaging, J. Biophotonics 3(5-6): 385-407.

    Saar, B.G., Johnston, R.S., Freudiger, C.W., Xie, S., and Seibel, E.J. (2011) Coherent Raman scanning fiber endoscopy, Optics Letters 36(13):2396-8.

    Kundrat, M.J., Reinhall, P.G., Lee, C.M., and Seibel, E.J. (2011) High performance open loop control of scanning with a small cylindrical cantilever beam. Journal of Sound and Vibration 330(8):1762-1771.

    Soper, T.D., Porter, M.P., and Seibel, E.J. (2012) Surface mosaics of the bladder reconstructed from endoscopic video for automated surveillance, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering 59(6):1670-80.

    Zhang, L., Nelson, L.Y., Berg, J., Seibel, E.J. (2012) Spectrally enhanced image resolution of occlusal dental surfaces, Journal of Biomedical Optics. Vol. 17, no. 7, paper # 076019.

    Yang C., Hou, V., Nelson, L.Y., and Seibel, E.J., (2013) Mitigating fluorescence spectral overlap in wide-field endoscopic imaging, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 18(8): 086012-1-13.

    Zhang, L., Ridge, J.S., Kim, A.S., Nelson, L.Y., Berg, J.H., and Seibel, E.J. (2013) Tri-modal detection of early childhood caries using laser light scanning and fluorescence spectroscopy – clinical prototype, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 18(11): 111412-1-8.

  2. Volumetric (3D) optical imaging of individual cells and nuclei for the earliest detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions, infectious diseases, and effect of drug therapies. In most pathological and cytological analyses, tissue biopsies and cells are imaged in vitro (outside the body) using standard optical microscopes and absorption-based stains. Although cells and nuclei are three-dimensional, this standard imaging technique is only two-dimensional with only one viewing perspective. The development of the Optical Projection Tomography Microscope (OPTM) has allowed 180-degree viewing of individual cells and nuclei at submicron spatial resolution that is isometric. Three-dimensional features are more easily recognized and quantitatively measured using the OPTM, such as the volume, 3D-shape, surface area, surface texture, and 3D features of nuclear invaginations can be used as more sensitive classifiers for earlier conditions of cancer and pre-cancer. This collaborative work with VisionGate Inc. was started by funding from the Washington Technology Center and subsequently the National Cancer Institute.

    Selected publications:

    Fauver, M., Seibel, E.J., Rahn, J.R., Meyer, M.G., Patten, F.W., Neumann, T., and Nelson, A.C. (2005) Three-dimensional imaging of single isolated cell nuclei using optical projection tomography. OSA Optics Express, 13(11), 4210-4223. Note, the cover figure for the May 30, 2005 issue of this peer-reviewed multimedia web journal is from the article.

    Meyer, M.G., Fauver, M., Rahn, J.R., Neumann, T., Patten, F.W., Seibel, E.J., and Nelson, A.C. (2009) Automated cell analysis in 2D and 3D: A comparative study, Pattern Recognition, 42(1):141-146.

    Miao, Q., Rahn, J.R., Tourovskaia, A., Meyer, M.G., Neumann, T., Nelson, A.C., and Seibel, E.J., (2009) Dual-modal three-dimensional imaging of single cells with isometric high resolution using an optical projection tomography microscope, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 14(6), 064035, (Nov/Dec 2009)

    Miao, Q., Hayenga, J., Meyer, M.G., Neumann, T., Nelson, A.C., and Seibel, E.J. (2010) Resolution improvement in optical projection tomography by the focal scanning method, Optics Letters, 35(20): 3363-3365.

    Miao, Q., Reeves, A. P., Patten, F.W., and Seibel, E.J. (2012) Multimodal 3D imaging of cells and tissue, bridging the gap between clinical and research optical microscopy, Annals of Biomed Engr. 40(2): 263-276.

    Coe, R.L. and Seibel, E.J. (2012) Computational modeling of optical projection tomographic microscopy using finite difference time domain method. J. Optical Society of America A, 29(12): 2696-2707.

  3. New displays are a fiber scanned microdisplay and a true 3D display that mimics the natural conditions of depth perception by adding both accommodative cues as well as stereographic cues. All electronic 3D displays rely on the strong stereoscopic cue of retinal disparity using left and right-eye views. However, standard 3D displays have two display screens at a fixed focal depth, so when the eyes converge to fuse the left and right images together the eyes naturally shift focus making the image out-of-focus or the conflicting cues can cause viewer fatigue. In contrast, the UW True 3D Display allows for the full range of accommodation even for young children. The 1st generation true 3D display was fabricated and tested using a 3-year gift from the Intel Corporation. These new display prototypes are being developed under a grant from the National Science Foundation and University of Washington Technology Gap Innovation Fund.

    Selected publications:

    Schowengerdt, B.T. and Seibel, E.J., (2006) True 3D scanned voxel displays using single and multiple light sources. Journal of the Society for Information Display, 14(2), 135-143.

    Schowengert, B.T., Lee, C.M., Johnston, R.S., Melville, C.D., and Seibel, E.J. (2009) 1-mm diameter, full-color scanning fiber pico projector. Society of Information Display, 2009 Intl. Symp. Digest of Technical Papers, vol. 40, 522-525, (paper 37.1).

    Schowengerdt, B.T., Johnston, R.S., Lee, C.M., Melville, C.D., and Seibel, E.J. (2010, invited) 1 mm x 7 mm Full-Color Pico Projector using Scanning Optical Fiber, The 17th International Display Workshops, (IDW’10), Fukuoka, Japan, paper #PRJ3-1. Won the IDW’10 Best Paper Award.

  4. Assistive technologies based on retinal light scanning, past and present.
    1. An interactive virtual retinal display combines a laser-scanned display with high-accuracy head or object tracking using scanned infrared light, see Chinthammit, W., Seibel, E.J., Furness, T.A. (2002) Unique shared-aperture display with head or target tracking. IEEE Virtual Reality VR2002 (winning one of the best paper awards for the conference), 247-254.
    2. A wearable low vision aid using a fiber scanning display with machine vision hazard detection system, see Bryant, R.C., Seibel, E.J., Lee, C.M., Schroder, K.E. (2004) Low-cost wearable low vision aid using a handmade retinal light scanning microdisplay, Journal of the SID (Society for Information Display), 12(4), 397-404.
    3. Hoffman, HG, Chambers, GT, Meyer, WJ III, Aracereaux, LL, Russell, WJ, Seibel, EJ, Richards, TL, Sharar, SR, Patterson, DR. (published online 25 January 2011) Virtual reality as an adjunctive non-pharmacologic analgesic for acute burn pain during medical procedures, Special Issue Annuals of Behavioral Medicine.
  5. Translational research and engineering.
    1. An essay on the true-life experience of trying to translate a new medical device into industry and clinical practice: Seibel, E.J. (2010) Side-stepping the Valley of Death in New York City, IEEE Potentials, 29(1): 14-18, Jan/Feb 2010.