Institute of Dentistry

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Dr Lifong Zou, BSc, MSc, PhD


Clinical Scientist

Telephone: +44 20 7882 8624 / 8622
Room Number: Institute of Dentistry


Lifong became a Clinical Scientist registered by HPC after being awarded her PhD on the optical measurement of free form surfaces and becoming involved with the facial laser scanning of patients. Working in an interdisciplinary environment at the Clinical Dental Biometrics Laboratory (CDBL), together with clinicians and postgraduate students, she has conducted numerous clinically-related research projects with many of them resulting in published work. As a result of this success in research, the CDBL has expanded its activities and equipment. To date, it comprises six sets of 3-D free-form surface measurement systems, mostly company-funded.  These include contact (stylus) and non-contact (laser) data-capturing devices, that can directly scan living human parts, such as faces, as well as components of human prostheses, such as acetabular cups and femur heads for hip replacements, denture copies, dental study models and dental impressions.

Lifong graduated in the subject of Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) with a Bachelor Degree of Science from Beijing University. In the mid-1980s, early in her career, she used one of the first 3-D CAD/CAM software programmes called CATIA (Computer Aided Three-dimensional  Interactive Application, Dassault System) for designing the outline of aircrafts and simulating undercarriage tests. With this expertise she came to England, to be employed by the 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 Biometrics Lab of the Institute of Denistry. Her career, however diverse it may seem, has one thing in common – the application of the measurement of free-form surfaces. The following three pictures are samples that demonstrate few aspects in life surface measurements and image analysis.


Research Interests:

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:

CR Sánchez-Bretaño, L Zou, SK Sidhu and BS Chong (2016); Surface damage of engine-driven NiTi endodontic files assessed using 3D coordinate metrology; ENDO (Lond Engl) 2016; 10(4):195-201

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; 1-6, 2016; doi:10.1093/ejo/cjw052

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, UK

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 10.1093/ejo/cju075

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

A Mahmood, M Mneimne, L Zou, RG Hill and DG Gillam (2014); Abrasive wear of enamel by bioactive glass-based toothpastes; American Journal of Dentistry, Vol.27 No.5, P263–7. DOI 10.1007/s10103-013, 1286-95

Y Adegun, L Zou, A Willis, F Fortune (2013); Facial Biometrics: A Novel technique for evaluation of morphological changes in oral changes in Crohn’s Disease; BMJ Case Reports. DOI 10.1007/s10103-013, 1286-95

L Zou, Y Adegun, A Willis, F Fortune (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, 1286-95.

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.

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.

BO Morris, L Zou, M Royle, C Shelton (2011); Wear Assessment of Met M al-on-Metal Acetabular Cups Using a Coordinate Measuring Machine; Wear V:271, p1086-92.

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.

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.

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.

J. Collier and L Zou (2009); Quantitative measurement of the response of masseteric hypertrophy to treatment with Botulinum Toxin Type-A; British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 47:e1-e34.

L Zou, G Cherukara, P Hao, Seymour K and Samarawickrama D Y D (2009), Geometrics of tooth wear; Wear Vol.266, p205-8.

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).

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kabban M, Fearne J, Jovanovski V, Zou L (2001); Tooth size and morphology in twins. Int J Paediatr Dent 2001; 11:333-9.

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.

Seymour K, Samarawickrama D Y D, Zou L and Lynch E (1999); European Journal of Prosthodontology Restoration Dentistry; Vol.7 (4), pp125-9.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Book chapters:

Rafeek R, Seymour K, Zou L (2012); Dimensional Measurement for Dentistry. In: Modern Metrology Concerns, ISBN 978-953-51-0584-8, edited by Luigi Cocco. P: 447-458.

Invited lectures

2009: Free form surface measurements in medicine and dentistry;  at the Mational Free Form Centre Launch, National Physical Laboratory ( NPL), UK.

2003: An invited lecture  on  Free-Form Surface measurement using an optical system at the Dimensional Measurement Awareness Club (DMAC) organised by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), UK.

PhD Supervision

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.



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