ORC Seminar Series

"Light for Life - Laser Based techniques for the Biological and Medical Sciences."

Speaker: Dr Tom Brown, St Andrews University

Date: 28 July 2010

Time: 2pm

Venue: Mountbatten Seminar Room


There have been a range of exciting developments recently in the development of advanced photonics techniques for applications in Biology and Medicine. These have stretched from revolutionary sub-diffraction imaging techniques to new ways of diagnosing and treating disease in situ. In this talk I will discuss recent progress in the development of fs-based optical injection and transfection of cellular materials. I will show that in addition to the delivery of materials in solutions, such techniques can be extended to optically injecting a range of different particles potentially allowing the deployment of nanosensors to targeted regions of individual cells. Careful choice of light beams also allows fully automated systems to be developed that achieve 'point and click' functionality for end users. I will also show how advanced photonics techniques show great promise to assist pathologists in analysing wax-embedded tissue samples. Should time permit I will also discuss a range of developments in diode pumped waveguide lasers and a range of new materials that generate fs pulses directly around 2um.


Tom Brown studied Physics at Imperial College before working for the Defence Research Agency on the development of advanced radar systems. He then completed a PhD in the ORC under the supervision of Anne Tropper on the development of crystal waveguide lasers. Following a brief stint in the City of London, Tom returned to academic work in the University of St Andrews where he began work on non-linear optics in semiconductor waveguides. For 5 years, Tom acted as the Assistant Director of the Ultrafast Photonics Collaboration, an EPSRC IRC that examined the underlying technologies for high-speed data communications before moving on to a lectureship in Biophotonics sponsored by the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance. Tom is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews where his research interests include the development of ultrafast lasers and the use of photonics in biology and medicine.



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