research projects

Our group is focused on optical MEMS and nanoplasmonic techniques for biomedical imaging and sensing applications. Here are some selected examples for our on-going projects.

Ultrathin Array Camera (UAC) for Multifunctional Biomedical Imaging (NRF 2016~2023)

For more than one decade, our group have actively worked on biologically inspired photonic cameras or illumination devices (K. H. Jeong et al. Science 2006, J. J. Kim et al. PNAS 2012 & Nano Letters 2016, D. Keum et al. Light: Science & Applications 2018 etc.). Recently, we have successfully demonstrated parasite (Xenos peckii)-eye inspired ultrathin cameras for high resolution and high contrast imaging, which has been published in journal Light: Science & Applications 2020. In this project, we are developing assorted functional imaging via ultrathin arrayed camera for biomedical applications

Digital Coded Raman Spectroscopy for Liquid Biopsy (KMDF 2020~2022)

For the past decade, our group (biophotonics lab at KAIST) have actively developed plasmonic SERS for small molecule assays for neurotransmitters (SMALL 2011 and 2015, Advanced Materials 2012, ACS Nano 2017), which have been very well-known for low Raman active molecules. The current limit-of-detection of primary neurotransmitters such as dopamine, GABA, and serotonin still remain at nano-molar level, even if all the state-of-the-art engineering techniques such as nanoplasmonics or nanofluidics are incorporated. Recently, our group have demonstrated digital coded Raman spectroscopic techniques (Nature Communications 2021). Our results have successfully achieved exceptionally high SNR (>103x) as well as attomole detection of rarely Raman active neurotransmitters. We are currently working on commercializing and miniaturizing digital coded RS system

Point-of-Care Ultrafast Plasmonic PCR (KAIST COVID19x NEWDEAL Project 2020~2021)

Conventional benchtop qPCR system based on the Peltier effect has a long turnaround time of PCR for more than one hour, and their false negative results remarkably extend the diagnostic waiting time for multiple tests. Recently, photothermal PCR can serve as an outstanding candidate for reducing the amplification time due to rapid and noncontact light-to-heat conversion. Recently, our group have demonstrated nanoplasmonic PCR using nanoplasmonic pillar arrays with white LED (ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2020, ACS Nano 2021). Our PF-PCR chip provides high capabilities for ultrafast (~5 min for 40 cycles), portable (14 mm x 26 mm x 4 mm) and real-time PCR system with low LED source power (~2 W) and high amplification efficiency (>90%), which fully satisfies clinical POC diagnostics. We are currently working on commercializing ultrafast PCR for point-of-applications