Biophotonics, Nanoprobes and Nanomedicine: New Interfaces to meet the Healthcare Challenges of 21st Century

Our integrated Biophotonics program involves multimodal and multispectral imaging using many nonlinear optical phenomena such as two-photon absorption, CARS, second harmonic and sum frequency generation1. They allow chemically selective imaging and probing of local macromolecular contents, and their spatial distribution in biological specimens to provide a molecular understanding of cellular processes and diseases1, as well as to advance drug discovery. We are developing nanoprobes to manipulate optical interactions, light propagation and energy flow for applications in imaging and sensing 1,2.

Nanomedicine is a new frontier utilizing nanostructured material to advance medicine3. Multifunctional nanomaterials, developed by us for nanomedicine applications are polymeric nanoparticles, quantum dots, up-converting RE nanoemitters, magnetic nanoparticles and metallic nanostructures. Coupled with a therapeutic payload, these nanoplatforms will facilitate treatment (drug or light based) of a disease and monitor its efficacy. We are developing nanoparticle-based gene/siRNA delivery nanoplatforms for application in other major health care issues such as flu, HIV, Malaria, neurological diseases, genetic disorders, drug addiction, chronic pain, depression and obesity.

This talk will conclude with a discussion of new opportunities in these new frontiers.

1. P.N. Prasad “Introduction to Biophotonics”, John Wiley & Sons, New York (2003)
2. P. N. Prasad “Nanophotonics”, John Wiley & Sons, New York (2004)
3. P. N. Prasad “Nanomedicine: A Nanotechnology Revolution for Healthcare”, John Wiley & Sons (in preparation)