Medical Engineering Special Seminar

Thursday April 28, 2016 4:00 PM

Optical nanosensor: Pushing its limits for translational medicine

Speaker: Qimin Quan, PhD, Rowland Institute, Harvard University
Location: Annenberg 105

Abstract: Fluorescence imaging provides a powerful approach to study fundamental life processes and has become an integral part of the toolbox for biologists. In this talk, I will present optical nanosensors as a new tool; and how we push it to the limit for the applications of translational medicine. Two examples will be given to represent two distinct architectures to solve medical problems at single molecule and single cell level, respectively. The first example is a "lab-on-a-chip" device that can measure binding kinetics between two single molecules at microsecond resolution without fluorescent labeling. With this tool, we demonstrated that the widely used fluorescent reporters (e.g. FITC, GFP) will affect the dynamics between DNAs and proteins up to 20 times. The second example is a "lab-on-a-tip" device that monitors protein expressions in single living cells over time. With this tool, we were able to investigate the long-standing debate on Abeta/Tau hypothesis in Alzheimer's disease. These nanosensor approaches, complementary to fluorescent imaging, will broaden our understanding of basic life processes at molecular level and will provide new ways for drug discovery and disease diagnostics. I will conclude this talk with an outlook of upcoming nanosensors in terms of new architectures, materials and mechanisms.

Speaker Bio: Qimin Quan is a Rowland Junior Fellow at Rowland Institute at Harvard University. Qimin received his B.S. degree in Physics from Peking University (2007) and Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics from Harvard University (2012). He is the recipient of Kao Fellowship Award (2008) and Energy and Environment Fellowship Award (2009) from Harvard University. His Ph.D. research, supervised by Professor Marko Loncar, focused on developing nanophotonic devices to study light and matter interactions. After graduation, he joined Rowland Institute at Harvard as a Principle Investigator and has been focusing on integrating methods in nanotechnology, biochemistry and device physics to innovate new tools at nanoscale to address challenges posed by traditional approaches in biomedicine. His current research is supported by the Rowland Junior Fellowship Award and the NIH Research Grant Program (R01).

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Series Medical Engineering Seminar Series

Contact: Christine Garske