Department of Physics

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Physics Colloquium: Friday Sept 24, 2010: Light Transport through a Single Biological Cell

Sep 20, 2010

Mesoscopic light transport properties of a single biological cell: Early detection of cancer

Speaker: Dr. Prabhakar Pradhan
Date: September 24, 2010 (Friday)
Time: 4 PM
Room: 205 Currens Hall


We have developed a mesoscopic partial wave spectroscopy (PWS) technique to measure the nanoscopic light transport properties of weakly disordered mesoscopic photonic systems such as biological cells. Using mesoscopic approach, we have statistically quantified the light reflection coefficient and its correlation due to nanoscale refractive index fluctuations within a biological cell, and the results are consistent with the prediction of mesoscopic/nanoscopic light transport theory. Finally, using these parameters, we have imaged and quantified the nanoscale optical disorder strength within the biological cell. Results of precancerous cell studies and cancer detection by the technique will be discussed.

About the speaker:
Dr. Prabhakar Pradhan is a Research Assistant Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering in the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. Dr. Pradhan did his Ph.D. at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, in Condensed Matter Physics. Before joining Northwestern, he was a post-doctoral researcher at University of California - Los Angeles, CA and a visiting researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. His current research focuses mainly in the area of experimental biophotonics/nano-biophotonics.