Optical Tweezers

Optical Tweezer at crosshairs moving microsphere in alginate gel. The softer the gel, the more the microsphere moves

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Ultrafast Optical Lithography in Azosilk

Ultrafast beam in nonlinear optical microscope used to write patterns in azobenzene modified silk

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Deep Eutectic Solvent Polyol-Citric Acid Lightguides

Novel material combining advantages of deep eutectic solvent systems and polyol-citric acid polycondensates. Here used as a light guide.

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My research is based on the interactions of light and matter, and its use for biomedical applications. These interactions range from the use of light to pattern biomaterials to optical tweezers, in which the electric fields of tightly focussed laser light can apply appreciable forces to microscopic materials: cells in culture or microspheres used as probes of the stiffness and viscoelastic response of extracellular matrix. This enable us to non-invasively probe the effects of mechanical stimuli.

I’m back from research leave at the Optics Laboratory, EPFL Lausanne where I researched the use of deep learning to image through bio-friendly fibers such as gelatin supported deep eutectic solvents (DES) and silk. The main outcome was the development of DES assisted, bio-friendly polyesters based on polyols such as 1,8-octanediol and citric acid. There’s lots to do back here at Tufts to improve these materials.