Bioplasmonics Group


The vision of the Bioplasmonics Group is to develop precision technologies to improve human health. We develop new spatially and temporally resolved technologies for imaging and control within single cells beyond the diffraction limit. We envision that high resolution combined with high-throughput omics (genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics) will revolutionize precision medicine and health.

Precision Imaging

Super-resolution fluorescence imaging has recently pushed the spatial resolution limits of microscopy to nanoscopy in many areas of biological, chemical and physical research. In the coming decades, innovative methods with new temporal capabilities will be necessary. We are pushing the current limits of spatial and temporal resolution by implementing plasmonic approaches to image within single neurons beyond the diffraction limit. To this end, we have developed new high precision, optically active polarization elements to analyze individual polarization-sensitive nanostructures and spatially resolve distributions within a heterogeneous population beyond the diffraction limit.

Liu, Y. Wang, Y., Lee, S.E., “High spatial precision nano-imaging of polarization-sensitive plasmonic particles,” Proceedings of SPIE Photonics West, San Francisco, CA, January 27, 2018 – February 1, 2018.

Wang, Y., Liu, Y. Lee, S.E., “High-speed nano-polarimetry for real-time plasmonic bio-imaging,” SPIE Photonics West BiOS, San Francisco, CA, January 27 - February 1, 2018.

Lee, S.E., Chen, Q., Bhat, R., Petkiewicz, S., Smith, J.M., Ferry, V.E., Correia, A.L., Alivisatos, A.P., Bissell, M.J. “Reversible aptamer-gold plasmon rulers for secreted single molecules,” Nano Letters 2015, 15 (7), pp 4564–4570.

Precision Control

Precise spatial and temporal control has the potential to repair damage and regenerate neurites, dendrites and axons, as well as target cargo to specific diseased cells or groups of diseased cells while sparing healthy cells from exposure. We are developing plasmonic methods for remote control of nanoscale cargo beyond the diffraction limit. Toward this goal, we have shown that genes can be spatiotemporally modulated using electromagnetic fields beyond the diffraction limit. We envision high resolution delivery may lead to new precision therapies in the future.

Lee, S.E., Sasaki, D.Y., Park, Y., Xu, R., Brennan, J. Bissell, M.J. and Lee, L.P. “Photonic gene circuits by optically addressable siRNA-Au nanoantennas,” ACS Nano, 2012, 6(9), 7770-7780.

Lee, S.E., Liu, G.L., Kim, F. and Lee, L.P. “Remote optical switch for localized and selective control of gene interference,” Nano Letters, 2009, 9, 562-570.

Prospective Students & Postdoctoral Fellows

We welcome multi-disciplinary and motivated undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. We work at the interface between life science, chemistry, physics and engineering, drawing from a combination of bottom-up and top-down nanofabrication approaches, to develop new imaging and control technologies beyond the diffraction limit.