Skip to main content
Institute of Dentistry - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Dr Lifong Zou, BSc, MSc, PhD


Clinical Senior Lecturer in Imaging

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7882 8624
Room Number: Office 4, Floor 4, Institute of Dentistry


Lifong graduated in the subject of Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) with a Bachelor Degree of Science from Beijing University. Early in her career, she used the first 3D CAD/CAM software programme - CATIA (Computer Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application, Dassault System) for the outline of aircrafts design and simulation of undercarriage. With this expertise she came to England working at British Aerospace (BAe) in Hatfield, UK. Lifong has always been interested in medicine and dentistry and started to apply CAD/CAM knowledge to computer aided metrology in dentistry in 1990 in the Institute of Dentistry. Her career, however diverse it may seem, has one thing in common – the application of the measurement of free-form surfaces.

Lifong has extensive knowledge in 2D and 3D dimensional metrology and the wealthy experience in 3D life surface image capturing, analysis and measurement; particularly related to clinical applications, such as human teeth, face, body and prosthesis of human body parts.  Lately her expertise was extended to the standardisation of life surface measurements with BSI (British Standard Institute) and ISO (International Standard Organisation). Lifong has always been motivated to find new application if it is beneficial to human health. She has developed and governed the 3D imaging unit over two decades, and kept the measurements delivery in a high standard. Being graduated in the University Aeronautics and Astronautics, Lifong has transferred her knowledge in engineering and physics to dentistry and medicine, in that, she found it is extremely interesting.   

Centre: Oral Bioengineering 


My teaching activities are mostly in the post graduate students as supervisor on the level of PhD, DClinDent, MClinDent and MSc. The subject of the teaching is 3D free form surface metrology, the measurement of science, and the teaching is fulfilled through research projects related mostly to clinical application in dentistry.

I am developing a self-guided learning program with colleagues to improve students’ hand skills of making the preparation for crown and bridge through 3-D imaging technique.


Research Interests:

My research interest is firmly rooted in clinic related 3D/4D surface and object based image analysis and measurement, particularly in developing reproducible quantitative assessment strategies to assess longitudinal differences that reflect the development of an abnormality, or the objective evidence of treatment effectiveness of a clinical intervention, etc.

Four aspects of research:

  1. 3D thermometric and geometric image analysis for free form surfaces;
  2. 3D and 4D life surface geometrical image analysis;
  3. 3D CT/CBCT/MRI image analysis
  4. Standardisation for 3D life surface measurement; 

As a Chief Investigator, I have managed ethics approval through IRAS for the clinical research project with the title of A descriptive and longitudinal clinic observational study of facial features using 3D image analysis in patients with sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia managed in the haematology department of Barts Health NHS Trust. 

I am responsible in 3D/4D imaging digitization, analysis and measurement to five clinical trials: 

  1. Treatment of periodontal bony lesions with minimally-invasive non-surgical treatment for prevention of tooth loss in period of 2018 – 2021;
  2. Facial wound healing optimization using non-invasive thermal and geometrical imaging in period of 2017 – 2019;
  3. Radiographic peri-implant alveolar bone changes in post-menopausal osteoporotic women in period of 2017 – 2018;
  4. The efficacy of different surgical modalities in the treatment of peritonitis – a randomised controlled trial from 2016 – 2018;
  5. Investigation of the Role of Microbiota in Arthritic Inflammation in DMARD-naïve Early Arthritis Patients (IRMA) from 2016 – 2019;

 Supervision of PhD students: 

  1. Xiaoli Cheng 2013 - 2016; A 3D approach in quantification of the alveolar bone changes after Dental implant placement based on CBCT images;
  2. Bahn Agha 2015 - 2018; The relationship between facio-cervical phenotyping and upper airway morphology in obstructive sleep apnoea-hypopnoea syndrome: A three dimensional approach;
  3. Asmaa Yousef El-Kaddar 2016 – 2022; An investigation of the efficacy in there periodontal surgical procedures using 3D imaging;

In vivo 3-D surface capturing,  3-D image analysis and measurements using coordinate metrology. The 3-D  surface measurement applications range  from facial scans to CBCT images.  Few samples show below demonstrate  changes after clinical interventions,  that can be objectively quantified in liner, area, volumechanges at specified locations of interests.

Funding Awards

2010: Awarded £18,518 as principle investigator from GSK Aquafresh for the project of validation of the LAVA COS digital impression system.

2017: Bart’s Charity Big Grant 2016-2018 as Co-applicant.



Peer reviewed papers:

  1.  CR Sánchez-Bretaño, L Zou, SK Sidhu and BS Chong (2017); Surface damage of engine-driven NiTi endodontic files assessed using 3-D coordinate metrology; ENDO (Lond Engl), 10 (4):195-201
  2. B Grewal, R T Lee, L Zou and A Johal (2016); Royal London space analysis: plaster versus digital model assessment; The European Journal of Orthodontics; p1-6, 2016; doi:10.1093/ejo/cjw052
  3. A Johal, N Sharma, K McLaughlin and L Zou (2015); The reliability of thermoform of retainers: a laboratory-based comparative study; European Journal of Orthodontics; Vol.37 (5), p503-7. DOI 1093/ejo/cju075
  4. K Almukhra, J Fearne and L Zou (2015); 3-D measurements of facial growth in children with Thalassaemia; International association of paediatric dentistry 2015; 25th Congress Glasgow
  5. L Zou, P Hao and M McCarthy (2014); Establishment of Reference frame for sequential biometrics, 5 th International conference on 3-D body scanning technologies, Lugano, Switzerland, 21-22 October 2014, p40-5
  6. A Mahmood, M Mneimne, L Zou, Robert Hill and David Gillam (2014); Abrasive wear of enamel by bioactive glass-based toothpastes; American Journal of Dentistry, Vol.27 No.5, p263–7.
  7. Y Adegun, L Zou, A Willis, F Fortune (2013); Facial Biometrics: A Novel technique forevaluation of morphological changes in oral changes in Crohn’s Disease; BMJ Case Reports 013; doi:10.1136/bcr-2013-010460.
  8. L Zou, Y Adegun, A Willis, F Fortune (2013); Facial Biometrics of peri-oral changes in A Robinson, M McCarthy, S Brown, A Evenden, L Zou (2012); Improving the quality of Crohn’s Disease; Lasers in Medical Science, Vol.29 (3), p869-74.  DOI 10.1007/s10103-013, 1286-95.
  9. Measurements through the implementation of customised standards; 3rd International Conference and Exhibition on 3D Body Scanning Technologies, Switzerland, 2012. ISBN 978-3-033-03651-2; p235- 46.
  10. Rafeek R, Seymour K, Zou L (2012); Chapter - Dimensional Measurement for Dentistry; Book Modern Metrology Concerns, ISBN 978-953-51-0584-8, P: 447-58.
  11. BO Morris, L Zou, M Royle, C Shelton (2011); Wear Assessment of Met M al-on-Metal Acetabular Cups Using a Coordinate Measuring Machine; Accepted by Wear.
  12. LHH Cheng, L Zou, R Bhandari, N Ali, J Collier, and B Lee (2011); Management decision based on quantitative facial laser scanning of patients with facial dysmorphophobia and hypertrophic muscles of mastication; Abstracts of BAOMS annual scientific meeting; Nice, France, 22-24th June 2011; Vol49, p-s41.
  13. A Theocharopoulos, L Zou, R Hill, M Cattell (2010); Wear quantification of human enamel and dental glass-ceramics using white light profilometry; Wear 269:930-6.
  14. RN Rafeek, WA Smith, KG Seymour, LF Zou, DYD Samarawickrama (2010); Taper of full veneer crown preparations by dental students in the University of the West Indies; Journal of Prosthodontics; 19:580-5.
  15. L Zou, G Cherukara, P Hao, Seymour K and Samarawickrama D Y D (2009), Geometrics of tooth wear; Wear Vol.266, p205-8.
  16. Seymour KG, Cherukara GP, Samarawickrama DYD, L Zou (2008); Consistency of labial finish-line preparation for metal ceramic crowns: an investigation of a new bur. J Prosthodont;17:14-9 (Epub 2007 Oct 30).
  17. Rafeek R N, Marchan S M, Seymour K, Zou L and Samarawickrama D Y D (2006); Abutment taper of full cast crown preparations by dental students in the UWI school of dentistry; Eur. J. Orosthodont. Rest. Dent.,Vol.14 (2):63-66.
  18. Nair P, Zou L and Cavallaro A (2005); Facial scan change detection, Proc. of 2nd European Workshop on the Integration of Knowledge, Semantic and Digital Media Technologies (EWIMT); London, UK; 30 Nov.-1 Dec. (Winner of the QM Electronic Engineering Showcase Event).
  19. Forrester-Baker L, Seymour KG, Samarawickrama D Y D, Zou L, Cherukara G, Patel M (2005); A comparison of dimensional accuracy between three different addition cured silicone impression materials. Eur J Prosthodont Rest Dent; 13:69-74.
  20. Cherukara G P, Davis GR, Seymour K G, Zou L and Samarawickrama D Y D (2005); Dentin exposure in tooth preparations for porcelain veneers: A pilot study; Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, Vol.94(5):414-20.
  21. L Zou, Samarawickrama D Y D, Seymour K and Stout K (2003), Free form surface measurement using non-contact measurement methodology; XVII IMECO World Congress, Metrology in the 3rd millennium, 22-27, June 2003, Dubrovnik, Croatia; TC14, pp1882-1885.
  22. Cherukara G P, Seymour K G, Zou L and Samarawickrama D Y D (2003); Geographic distribution of porcelain veneer preparation depth with various clinical techniques; Journal of prosthetic dentistry; Vol.89, pp544-550.
  23. Cherukara G P, Seymour K G, Samarawickrama D Y D and Zou L (2002); A study into the variations in the labial reduction of teeth prepared to receive porcelain veneers - a comparison of three clinical techniques; British Dental Journal, Vol.192, No.7, pp401-404.
  24. Zou L, Samarawickrama DYD, Shelton JC, Jovanowski V (2001); Measurements of sequential impressions of acetabula cups from a total hip joint replacement using a non-contact measurement system. Int J Machine Tools & Manufacture 2001; 41:2023-2030.
  25. Kabban M, Fearne J, Jovanovski V, Zou L (2001); Tooth size and morphology in twins. Int J Paediatr Dent 2001; 11:333-9.
  26. Seymour KG, Zou L, Cherukara GP, Samarawickrama DYD (2001); Stresses within porcelain veneers and the composite lute using different preparation designs. J Prosthodont 2001; 10:16-21.
  27. Seymour K, Samarawickrama D Y D, Zou L and Lynch E (1999); European Journal of Prosthodontology Restoration Dentistry; Vol.7 (4), pp125-9.
  28. Yeganeh S, Lynch E, Jovanovski V and Zou L (1999); Quantification of Root Surface Plaque using a New 3D Laser Scanning Method.Journal of Clinical Periodontology, Vol.26, pp692-7.
  29. Jovanovski V, Zou L, Tay W M and Lynch E (1997), Assessment of three dimensional structures in clinical dentistry, The proceedings of Advanced Mathematical Tools in Metrology III, pp263-265
  30. Seymour K, Zou L, Samarawichrama D Y D and Lynch E (1996), Assessment of shoulder dimensions and angles of porcelain bonded to metal crown preparations using a co-ordinate measuring machine. Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, Vol. 75, pp406-411.
  31. Jovanovski V, Tay W M, Zou L, Anderson I J, Cox M G, Forbes A B, Allred H, Morganstein S I and Lynch E(1996), Objective Assessment of Three-dimensional Structures in Clinical Dentistry Using Methods of Co-ordinate Metrology, Nanobiology, Vol. 04, pp55-61.
  32. Zou L, Yang Q P, Jovanovski V, Tay W M and Lynch E (1996), Measurement of tooth morphology using a laser probe fitted on a Co-ordinate Measuring Machine, Proceedings of 4th International IMEKO Symposium on Laser Metrology for Precision Measurement and Inspection in Industry, IMEKO TC No.14, pp11-20.


Current PhD students:

Bahn Ghanim Mohammed Agha 2015-2018, study the relationship of facio-cervical phenotyping and upper airway morphology in sleep apnoea patients with a 3-D approach;

Asmaa Yousef El-Kaddar 2017-2021, study the efficacy of three periodontal surgical procedures using 3-D facial imaging techniques;

PhD students 2013-2016:

XiaoLi Chen study in the measurement of alveolar bone changes in relation to the  implant treatments.



Back to top