The aim of this application is to construct and test the performance of a new generation of light-controlling materials called photonic hypercrystals (PHC). This project builds upon the initial success of the investigators toward developing a new generation of fluorescence sensors with a detection limit and high dynamic range that have not been demonstrated in the past. They demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed application as evidenced by the outstanding performance of the proposed optical hybrid materials for the detection of a fluorescence signal with a very high degree of sensitivity. This project will potentially lead to a new class of highly novel sensors that can significantly improve the limit of detection of biomarkers of diseases. This can lead to the availability of highly sensitive, compact and low-cost fluorescence sensors for low-cost integrated diagnostic tools for biomedical and clinical applications.

Successful development of the proposed detection technique could have a significant impact on the development of highly sensitive detectors and instrumentation that could be used to develop novel biosensors and improve the performance an reduce the cost of existing bio-imaging and sensing platforms that detect and quantify fluorescence signals from biomolecules. The investigating team has outstanding records for teaching and training of students and research fellows in the fields of engineering, chemistry, biophotonics, biosensors, and nanotechnology.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
United States
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