Several research groups in the department are focused on the development and application of novel sensing and imaging methodologies for biomedical, environmental and defense related applications as well as for fundamental chemical and biochemical analyses. To aid in these research efforts, a large number of state-of-the-art and one-of-a-kind facilities are housed in the newly renovated building, including continuous wave (CW), pulsed and ultrafast laser sources for optical sensing and imaging and a Faraday room and electrochemical workstations for sensitive electrochemical analyses. Ongoing research projects and programs within the department in the areas of sensors and imaging cover a vast array of topics, ranging from the development of optical nanosensors for single cell analyses to the study of excited state chemical dynamics using ultrafast laser spectroscopy. In addition, active programs in the fabrication and characterization of novel fluorescent polymer based sensors for monitoring environmental conditions (e.g., temperature, pressure, O2, etc.) and electrochemical sensors for toxicological, forensic and pharmaceutical applications also exist. In the area of chemical imaging, current research projects include the development of minimally invasive optical imaging techniques for brain tumor imaging as well as the development of novel nano-imaging probes for the visualization of individual molecules and their dynamics.
Application of fluorescent live-cell imaging for human disease mechanisms
Coherent Back Scattered Spectroscopy
Development of optical nanosensors and nano-biosensors as well as chemical nano-imaging probes for cellular monitoring.
Synthesis of gadolinium-functionalized dendrons for use in MRI imaging. Use of gold nanoparticles as CT contrast agents
Metal-Enhanced Fluorescence (MEF): Metal-Fluorophore Interactions
Development of fluorescent polymers for thermal imaging in the visible spectral region.
Development and applications of microscopic techniques to visualize biological networks over time in vivo and in vitro. Development and applications of single molecule sensors to investigate cancer drug targets.
Explosives analysis in environmental and physiological samples.
Development of new fluorescence probes for in vivo cancer bioimaging.
Acousto-Optical Hyperspectral imagers and spectral sensors, Nano-APDs, nanowire based sensors, MWIR and LWIR Lasers
Development of nanoscale electrochemical sensors to monitor cell communication. Development of biocampatible copolymer sensing membranes for long-term in vivo sensing applications.