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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 Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) with a BSc from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Early in her career, she used the first 3D CAD/CAM software programme in the world - CATIA (Dassault System) for the outline of aircrafts design and undercarriage simulation. With this expertise she came to England as a visiting scholar, working at British Aerospace (BAe) in Hatfield. Lifong has always been interested in medicine from young age and took an opportunity to apply the knowledge to computer aided metrology in life science and consequently gained PhD in QMUL. Her career, however diverse it may seem, has one thing in common – the application of the measurement of free-form surfaces.

Lifong has extensive applied knowledge in 3D-spatial, 4D-spatial & dynamic, 5D-spatial & dynamic & thermal imaging, particularly related to clinical applications. More recently she has extended her skills with involvement in the standardisation at national (BSI) and international (ISO) level. Lifong has always been motivated to work on new applications if it is beneficial to human health. She has developed and run the Life Surface Imaging Unit at the Institute of Dentistry in QMUL over the past three decades and kept the measurement delivery to a high standard. Having graduated in the BUAA and state registered Clinical Scientist, Lifong has transferred her knowledge in engineering and physics to dentistry and medicine, in that, she found it is extremely interesting.

Centre: Oral Bioengineering 


The teaching activities Lifong is involved with are mostly the supervision to post graduate students at the level of PhD, DClinDent, MClinDent and MSc. Teaching subjects include 3D, 4D, and 5D life surface metrology. The teaching is fulfilled through research projects and thesis delivery that are related mostly to clinical applications in medicine and dentistry.

Lifong has developed a self-guided learning programme with colleagues to improve students’ hand skills in the preparation of dental crowns and bridges using a 3D imaging technique



Research Interests:

Lifong’s research interests are firmly rooted in clinically related 3D, 4D and 5D surface image capturing, analysis and measurement; particularly in developing quantitative assessment strategies for sequential spatial and thermal images that reflect the longitudinal soft tissue changes due to the progression of abnormality or the success of treatments.

As a Chief Investigator, Lifong has 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’ in collaboration with Haematology Department in Barts Health NHS Trust.

Lifong was responsible for the 3D, 4D and 5D imaging digitisation, analysis and measurement in the following five clinical trials: 

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

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, volume changes 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.



  1. L Zou, F Fortune, L. Nibali, N. Gkranias, N. Mardas, N. Donos (2021); 3D sequential spatial and thermal measurements; Proceedings of 3DBODY.TECH 2021 p1-7; DOI: 10.15221/21.47; 
  2.  Zou, L. and Holmes, S. (2020); Three-Dimensional Facial Imaging for the Diagnosis of Complex Soft Tissue Secondary to Craniofacial Trauma. In: Perry, M., Holmes, S.(eds) Atlas of Operative Maxillofacial Trauma Surgery. Springer, London; p101-105;;
  3. B Agha, L Zou and A Johal (2019); Surface craniofacial phenotype and prediction models for obstructive sleep apnoea: A 3-D evaluation; BMJ Open Resp Res: 10.1136/bmj/rep-2019-bssconf.19;;
  4.  Zou L., Adegun, O.K., Willis, A. and Fortune, F. (2013); Facial Biometrics of peri-oral changes in Crohn’s Disease; Lasers in Medical Science; Vol.29 (3), p869-74. doi: 10.1007/s10103-013-1286-5.
  5. A Robinson, M McCarthy, S Brown, A Evenden, L Zou (2012); Improving the quality of 
    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;

Peer reviewed papers: 


  1. Asmaa Yousef El-Kaddar (2016 – 2024) [PT]; An investigation of the efficacy in periodontal surgical procedures using 3D imaging;
  2. Pobploy Petehmedyai (2018 – 2021): Accuracy assessment of digital workflow based on ISO standard in complete-arch implant reconstruction;
  3. Bahn Agha (2015 – 2018); The relationship between facio-cervical phenotyping and upper airway morphology in obstructive sleep apnoea-hypopnoea syndrome: A three dimensional approach;
  4. Xiaoli Cheng (2013 – 2016); A 3D approach in quantification of the alveolar bone changes after Dental implant placement based on CBCT images;


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