Funded Projects

Rainbow Trapping Imager for Cancer Diagnosis

Funded September 2021
Submitted by Yun Wu
Project Team
portrait of Wu
Yun Wu
Biomedical Engineering
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portrait of Gan
Qiaoqiang Gan
Electrical Engineering
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portrait of Jornet
Josep Jornet
Electrical Engineering
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portrait of Ying
Leslie Ying
Biomedical Engineering
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Description
There has been a surge of interest in ultraslow waves on the nanoscale due to its unique potential for boosted light-matter interaction in nanoplasmonic structures. In particular, trapped ‘rainbow’ storage of light in metamaterials and plasmonic graded structures have opened up a new and attractive approach to manipulate light on a chip. This Buffalo Blue Sky project will develop a powerful miniaturized imager system and reveal its potential in super-resolution identification of spatial pattern shift for surface biosensing. Building on earlier efforts the PIs have made in rainbow trapping and optical biosensing, we will explore sensing of biomolecular binding on graded plasmonic surfaces based on wavelength and spatial pattern shift and develop machine learning algorithms for its biomedical applications. Importantly, our preliminary data shows that this type of ‘rainbow’ trapping surface structure can resolve a spatial pattern shift down to ~16 nm (corresponding to a peak wavelength-shift of 0.054 nm) under a low-setting 4× microscope (with a pixel size of ~ 1.6 µm), indicating the potential to realize an inexpensive but high performance strategy for on-chip optical sensing applications. It will create new regimes of light-matter interaction within subwavelength dimensions, and impact a broad range of technologies from spectroscopic analysis, optical imaging and sensing with enormous long-term impact on our nation’s healthcare and security needs. Realization of these low-cost, miniaturized optical systems using smartphones is expected to yield important technological breakthroughs in biosensing and biomedical investigations, especially for accurate personalized biomedical diagnosis. In this project, we will evaluate its clinical utility in detecting exosomal biomarkers for cancer early detection and monitoring responses to immunotherapy. We will also explore the medical data sharing strategy based on smartphone networks.

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33 Funded Projects

2021

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