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Biocompatible lasers from natural materials

Grant number: 15/50382-2
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2016 - August 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry
Cooperation agreement: MIT
Principal Investigator:Sidney José Lima Ribeiro
Grantee:Sidney José Lima Ribeiro
Principal investigator abroad: Bradley Olsen
Institution abroad: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/23214-6 - Optical properties of colloidal suspensions and thin films based on natural polymers and lanthanides, AP.R

Abstract

Random lasers (RL) based on biopolymers (BP) and fluorescent proteins (FP) will be treated. RL are different from traditional lasers in the sense that the feedback amplification is provided by disorder-induced scattering. The absence of mirrors / and the multidirectional emission observed from samples in any form/size lead to a broad range of applications for RL materials. One of them considers Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). OCT is analogous to ultrasound imaging, except that it uses light instead of sound. OCT can provide cross-sectional images of tissue structure on the micron scale in situ and in real time. Advances in this technique are enabled by small, implantable laser light sources and a non-invasive imaging test. In this way, one of the aims of this project will be to develop new biolasers based on BP such as FP fusion block copolymers, bacterial cellulose (BC) and/or silk fibroin (SF) that could eventually find applications in OCT. The use of solid-state FPs can increase fluorescence signal levels in a laser while using a biocompatible material. Furthermore, nanostructured biopolymers as BC or SF, obtained from renewable sources, will be used as matrices for manufaduring biolasers, providing fully renewable and biocompatible source materials. Nanostructure form and alignment of FP fusion block copolymers onto BP matrices will be also investigated to improve laser performance. Therefore, this collaboration will allow exchange of experience between great research groups, Olsen Lab (MIT, USA) and Photonic Materials Lab (UNESP. Brazil), whose collaboration is fundamentally important for developing new biophotonic devices applying green chemistry. (AU)