Logo: University of Southern California

Bio/Chem Detection

Sens 1

Our research in biological and chemical detection leverages our work in materials and in integrated devices.  Frequently, advances in materials or in devices directly translate to novel strategies for bio/chem detection.  Additionally, we often collaborate with other research groups in this area, sharing our expertise.
Surface Chemistry/Growth
We have several projects investigating routes to efficiently and controllably attach smart materials to the surface of integrated optical devices, either through grafting strategies (for polymers) or controlled growth methods (for semiconductor structures).
We are actively building several new biodetection and biocharacterization instruments for applications in low resource settings (e.g. malaria detection) and early cancer detection.
Environmental Monitoring
Leveraging several of our recently invented smart materials, we are creating flexible, wearable sensors for UV monitoring and environmental monitoring.
Lipid Bilayers and Cell Membrane Dynamics
We have a significant effort studying how the cell membrane is disrupted (porated) in response to a variety of inputs (electrical, mechanical).  This work includes using model systems (lipid bilayers) and cells (cancer and neurons).  We perform both label-free experiments and imaging methods, and the work is complemented with molecular dynamics modeling.
We are performing FEM modeling of several of the parameters of our sensor systems, such as binding kinetics at the sensor surface and mass transport to the sensing device.


Different parts of these research efforts are performed as collaborations with the following research groups:
Recent papers in this area:
S. E. McBirney, K. Trinh, A. Wong-Beringer, A. M. Armani, "Wavelength-normalized spectroscopic analysis of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa growth rates", Biomedical Optics Express 7 (10), 4034-4042 (2016).
E. K. Moen, B. L. Ibey, H. T. Beier, A. M. Armani, "Investigating membrane nanoporation induced by bipolar pulsed electric fields via second harmonic generation", Applied Physics Letters 109 (11), 113701 (2016).
E. K. Moen, B. L. Ibey, H. T. Beier, A. M. Armani, "Quantifying pulsed electric field-induced membrane nanoporation in single cells", BBA-Biomembranes 1858 (11), 2795-2803 (2016).
M. Harrison, A. M. Armani, "Portable polarimetric fiber stress sensor system for visco-elastic and biomimetic material analysis", Applied Physics Letters 106 (20), 191105 (2015).
V. Sun, A. M. Armani, "Real-time detection of lipid bilayer assembly and detergent-initiated solubilization", Applied Physics Letters 106 (7), 071103 (2015).
M. V. Chistiakova, C. Shi, A. M. Armani, "Label-free, single molecule resonant cavity detection: A double-blind experimental study", Sensors 15 (3), 6324-6341 (2015).
R. Hawk, A. M. Armani, "Label-free detection of 5'hydroxymethylcytosine within CpG islands using optical sensors", Biosensors and Bioelectronics 65, 198-203 (2015).
M. V. Chistiakova, A. M. Armani, "Photoelastic ultrasound detection using ultra-high-Q silica optical resonators", Optics Express 22 (23), 28169-28179 (2014).
M. V. Chistiakova, A. M. Armani, "Optical detection of CO and CO2 temperature dependent desorption from carbon nanotube clusters", Nanotechnology 25 (39), 395201 (2014).
M. I. Cheema, C. Shi, A. M. Armani, A. G. Kirk, "Optimizing the signal to noise ratio of microcavity sensors", IEEE Photonics Technology Letters 26 (20), 2023-2026 (2014).
M. Harrison, A. M. Armani, “Spatiotemporal fluorescent detection measurements using embedded waveguide sensors”, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics 20 (2), 7000207 (2014).
H. K. Hunt, A. M. Armani, "Bioconjugation strategies for label-free optical microcavity sensors" , IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics 20 (2), 6900213 (2014).
S. Mehrabani, A. J. Maker, A. M. Armani, "Hybrid integrated label-free chemical and biological sensors", Sensors 14 (4), 5890-5928 (2014).
X. Zhou, L. Zhang, A. M. Armani, D. Zhang, X. Duan, J. Liu, H. Zhang, W. Pang, "On-chip biological and chemical detection with reversed Fano lineshape enabled by embedded microring resonators", IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics 20 (3), 5200110 (2014).
R. M. Hawk, M. V. Chistiakova, A. M. Armani, "Monitoring DNA hybridization using optical microcavities", Optics Letters 38 (22), 4690-4693 (2013).
X. Zhang, A. M. Armani, "Silica microtoroid resonator sensor with monolithically integrated waveguides", Optics Express 21 (20), 23592-23603 (2013).
A. J. Maker, A. M. Armani, "Heterodyned toroidal microlaser sensor", Applied Physics Letters 103 (12), 123302 (2013).
M. I. Cheema, U. A. Khan, A. M. Armani, A. G. Kirk, "Towards more accurate microcavity sensors: maximum likelihood estimation applied to a combination of quality factor and wavelength shifts", Optics Express 21 (19), 22817-22828 (2013).
A. Harker, S. Mehrabani, A. M. Armani, "Ultra-violet light detection using an optical microcavity", Optics Letters 38 (17), 3422-3425 (2013).
S. Mehrabani, P. Kwong, M. Gupta, A. M. Armani, “Hybrid microcavity humidity sensor”, Applied Physics Letters 102, 241101 (2013).
C. R. Murthy,  A. M. Armani, “Mass transport effects in suspended waveguide biosensors integrated in microfluidic channels”, Sensors 12 (11), 14327-14343 (2012).
M. I. Cheema, S. Mehrabani, Y.-A. Peter, A. M. Armani, A. G. Kirk, “Simultaneous measurement of quality factor and wavelength shift by phase shift microcavity ring down spectroscopy”, Optics Express 20 (8), 9090-9098 (2012).
C. Shi, S. Mehrabani, A. M. Armani, “Leveraging bimodal kinetics to improve detection specificity”, Optics Letters 37 (10), 1643-1645 (2012).
L. M. Freeman, A. M. Armani, “Photobleaching of Cy5 conjugated lipid bilayers determined with optical microresonators”, Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics 19 (3), 1160-1165 (2012).
B. Biggs, H. K. Hunt, A. M. Armani, “Selective patterning of Si-based biosensor surfaces using isotropic silicon etchants”, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 369 (1), 477-481 (2012).
H. -S. Choi*, D. Neiroukh*, H. K. Hunt, A. M. Armani, “Thermo-optic coefficient of polyisobutylene ultrathin films measured with integrated photonic devices”,Langmuir 28 (1), 849-854 (2012). *authors contributed equally
C. E. Soteropulos, H. K. Hunt, A. M. Armani, “Determination of binding kinetics using whispering gallery mode microcavities”, Applied Physics Letters, 99 (10), 103703 (2011).
H. -S. Choi, S. Ismail, A. M. Armani, “Studying polymer thin films with hybrid optical microcavities”, Optics Letters 36 (11), 2152-2154 (2011).
L. M. Freeman, S. Li, Y. Dayani, H.-S. Choi, N. Malmstadt, A. M. Armani, “Excitation of Cy5 in self-assembled lipid bilayers using optical microresonators”, Applied Physics Letters 98 (15), 143703 (2011).
H. K. Hunt, A. M. Armani, “Recycling microcavity optical biosensors”, Optics Letters 36 (7), 1092-1094 (2011).
H. K. Hunt, C. Soteropulos, A. M. Armani, “Bioconjugation strategies for microtoroidal optical resonators,” Sensors 10 (10), 9317 (2010).  (Special Issue on Optical Resonant Microsensors)
H. K. Hunt, A. M. Armani, “Label-free biological and chemical sensors,” Nanoscale 2, 1544-1559 (2010).