David Cuccia is the CEO and CTO of Modulated Imaging, a start-up based in Irvine, CA that uses spatial frequency domain imaging (SFDI), an alternate method of viewing tissue, to make medical diagnoses.
As an undergraduate at UCI, Mr. Cuccia developed spatial frequency domain imaging, and decided to make this new technology the subject of his doctoral dissertation, which he published in 2006. He chose to pursue his graduate studies at UCI because of what he had begun researching at the Beckman Laser Institute.
He credits UCI for much of the success of Modulated Imaging; through UCI’s Small Business Innovative Research Program, Mr. Cuccia applied for and merited grants totalling over $7 million that helped fund his research. “UCI has been instrumental in helping us receive seed funding for the company’s corporate development and assisted with its conversion into a real medical device company.” Mr. Cuccia said.
Post-graduation, Mr. Cuccia started Modulated Imaging and developed his technology into a machine called the Ox-Imager, which can be found in numerous research, medical, and academic institutions around the country. Using off-the-shelf, consumer-grade components, the Ox-Imager uses light to look beneath the surface of the skin and make diagnostics regarding the health of tissue. He specifically hopes to use the technology for breakthroughs in studying diabetes, by looking into the blood flow of patients’ legs and tissue health of their feet. His ultimate goal is preventing the ulcers and amputations that often occur in diabetes patients.
Modulated Imaging has worked with UCI through the research grants to validate technology and to make it available in clinical settings. As a student at UCI, Mr. Cuccia was able to build the first model of the Ox-Imager at the incubator, and then wheel it next door to the Beckman Laser Institute to test it.
Although the Cove was not in existence at the time Mr. Cuccia was a student, the various resources he used to develop the foundations of Modulated Imaging are now all housed at the Cove under UCI Applied Innovation. He sees the Cove’s inception as an incredible opportunity for current students and researchers to take advantage of all the resources UCI offers students under one roof, particularly the Invention Transfer Group and entrepreneurship training. “As a small company, when we were getting started, it was very difficult to find the different resources.” Mr. Cuccia said. “The fact that this is now under one roof is a really fantastic for startups.”
As for Orange County’s growth as an innovation district, Mr. Cuccia is very excited. “There’s a really unique combination of medical device companies, technological innovation and university resources,” he said. “It’s really fantastic place to be and I can only see it growing from here.
To learn more about David Cuccia and Modulated Imaging, visit the website at: http://modulatedimaging.com/