Overcoming Fundamental Limitations of In Vitro Diagnostics Using NanoPlasmonic BioNEMS and Optofluidic Metasurfaces with Ali Yanik at ASL on Decebmer 11th

Ali Yanik, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Jack Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz, will present a seminar, “NanoPlasmonic BioNEMS and Optofluidic Metasurfaces​”, at the ASL on Thursday, December 11th. The event will be held in Building N239, Room #B39 from 1:00-2:00pm.


Dr. Yanik’s brief bio and an abstract of his talk follow below. Questions about this event can be directed to the POC, Peter Minogue.


In this talk, I will introduce a number of new technologies based on nanoscale control of light and fluidics on a chip. I will show how to overcome some of the fundamental limitations of the state of art techniques used in vitro diagnostics, which makes up a $10B global market.

First, an ultrasensitive detection technology with detection limits surpassing the gold standard surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensors will be introduced. Practical applications of this technology allowing million fold enhanced multiplexing capabilities with minute sample volumes will be shown. Using a bottom-up approach, I will merge nanofluidic and nanophotonic technologies at sub-wavelength dimensions to break the diffusion barrier. For point-of-care applications, a novel sensing scheme enabling label-free detection of biomarker proteins “with the naked eye” will be introduced. Real world applications of these optofluidic-plasmonic sensors for rapid and reliable detection of whole viruses from biological media will be demonstrated. I will extend this nanofluidic approach to a micro-nano cross flow scheme for isolation of rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) for cancer diagnostics and prognosis. Potential implications of this technique for the analysis of single tumor cells and their metastatic potential will be discussed. For conformational analysis of proteins at few molecule levels, I will introduce an ultrasensitive infrared (IR) nanospectroscopy technique allowing 100000 fold signal enhancements in vibrational signatures of proteins. Using collective excitation of these plasmonic nanoantenna arrays, unprecedented near field enhancements and record low zepto-mole detection limits will be demonstrated. I will discuss potential applications of this technology for pharmaceutical applications such as small drug molecule-protein interactions. This nanospectroscopic technique will be integrated onto optical fiber surfaces to achieve real-time cancer biopsy in the human body. Finally, I will introduce a novel absorption spectroscopy technique based on asymmetric Fano resonances in meta-materials for complete and simultaneous analysis of protein-protein interactions and their folding states.

About the Speaker:

Ahmet Ali Yanik is an Assistant Prof. in the Baskin School of Engineering at University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). His current research focuses on isolation and single cell analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) from human blood using optofluidic-nanoplasmonic platforms. His research interests include nanoplasmonic and metamaterial devices for ultrasensitive infrared spectroscopy of biomolecules/chemicals as well as high-throughput, cost effective, BioNEMS technologies for life sciences, point-of-care diagnostics and global health. His expertise is in high-end nanolithography and bio-patterning as well as theory and engineering of nanophotonic devices. He received his Ph.D. degree in applied theoretical physics from Purdue University, under the supervision of Prof. Supriyo Datta. During his PhD, he studied spin dependent electron transport in low dimensional molecular/nano-electronic devices and introduced one of the most advanced quantum transport models (spin-NEGF) that exists today. Before joining to UCSC, he was a senior research associate at BioMEMS Resource Center at Harvard University Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. He was also instrumental in the establishment of The Laboratory of Integrated Nanophotonics and Biosensing Systems at The Boston University Photonics Center, as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate. He has published more than 80 peer reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings. His scientific contributions have been featured in numerous magazines and by scientific organizations, including National Academy of Science, National Science Foundation, Institute of Physics, Nature Materials, Physics World, US News, International Business Times, INTERPOL News, IBM Think Project, SPIE News, Biophotonics International and Biomarkers & Diagnostic Breakthroughs. Awarded the Bronze Medal in the 25th International Physics Olympiads at the age of 15, he has been actively involved in science and engineering education since his high school years.

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