The Biophotonics and Bioimaging Lab combines diverse chemical and biological approaches to develop novel biomaterials and techniques to explore pathological processes. The lab investigates fundamental principles and develops new methods for the interaction of light with biological organisms, tissues, cells and molecules, an area that is regarded as key science for the next generation of clinical tools and biomedical research instruments. We develop novel organic linear and nonlinear optical probes and bioconjugates that can be used to detect subcellular events and for deep tissue in vivo imaging via fluorescence microscopy and light-activated drug delivery and photodynamic therapy. We collaborate with other scientists and clinicians to optimize and apply these technologies to solve problems in biological and biomedical research. Early disease detection and subsequent treatment, viewed as central to disease management, require technologies that combine sensing, targeting and treating. To achieve this goal, the lab develops fluorescent probes for two-photon based deep tissue tumor and angiogenesis imaging for cancer diagnosis and imaging-guided surgery as one example. Functional organic, polymer, inorganic and hybrid nanoparticles are at the core of our efforts. Another aim of our research is to fully understand the basic tenets for the design of materials that will undergo multiphoton absorption, including self-assembled supramolecular photonic materials such as polymer, carbon nanotube and liquid crystal templating, through advanced ultrafast photophysical characterization.
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