Dr. Matjaž Humar: Live lasers and biocompatible optical waveguides
Source: Monday physics colloquium
Live lasers and biocompatible optical waveguides
Dr. Matjaž Humar
Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana
We have for the first time demonstrated a laser completely embedded within a live human cell. This achievement was featured on the cover of Nature Photonics, as well it triggered a huge scientific and media interest. These cellular lasers have been used for tagging of a large number of cells and for very sensitive real time intracellular sensing, including real time force measurements. Entirely biological optical cavities and bioluminescence optical pumping has also been demonstrated. Further, implantable biodegradable optical waveguides have been engineered for medical diagnosis and treatments. Based on biocompatible materials these devices solve the limitations of conventional fibers made of glass or plastics for delivering light into tissues.