2006 Center Highlights


  • Director of NSF Office of Integrative Activities, Dr. Nathaniel Pitts - joins Center for Biophotonics Science & Technology for celebration of grand opening of new space in the Oak Park Research Building, UC Davis Medical Center campus, Sacramento, California. Go to:http://www.dateline.ucdavis.edu/dl_detail.lasso?id=8620
  • CBST establishes its headquarters and central labs at the new Oak Park Research Facility, next to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, CA. The Center is rapidly building up a collection advanced biophotonic tools which is absolutely unique in the world. (More information on specific instruments available in the S&T section)
  • Center’s partnership with UC Davis Integrated Cancer Center helps secure “outstanding” evaluation from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • BiophotonicsWorld.org is online, growing and will be released publicly later this year– a central resource that compiles all of the educational materials created by all CBST members along with unique tools and information for researchers and industry. The CBST led joint effort is a partnership with CIPI, Canadian Institute for Photonics Innovation and other international biophotonics programs/centers/institutes around the globe.
  • Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D) requested and was given a special tour of CBST’s new facility space located at Oak Park Research Building, adjacent to the UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California. She strongly supports the Center’s efforts to expand opportunities for women, minorities, and under-represented groups. She also supports Center’s efforts in building the I-5 and Sacramento “business corridor” to attract new businesses to the greater Sacramento region.

Science & Technology

Key Publications

  • Mats Gustafsson publishes “Nonlinear structured-illumination microscopy: Wide-field fluorescence imaging with theoretically unlimited resolution” in the Sept 13, 2005 issue of PNAS, Vol 102(37), pp. 13081-13086– describing their method for achieving an unprecedented 50 nm spatial resolution in widefield fluorescence microscopy and show that spatial resolution is in principle only limited by signal and noise considerations.
  • Chad Talley, in collaboration with partners at Rice University and LLNL, publishes “Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering from Individual Au Nanoparticles and Nanoparticle Dimer Substrates” in Nanoletters, Vol 5(8), pp. 1569-74 - demonstrating that individual gold nanoshells coated with a single monolayer of organic molecules can produce sufficiently large field-enhancements for reliable Raman measurements. This paper was ranked by Nanoletters as the 12th most “downloaded” paper in the 3rd quarter of 2005.
  • J. Clark Lagarias’ group publishes “Multiple Roles of a Conserved GAF Domain Tyrosine Residue in Cyanobacterial and Plant Phytochromes” in Biochemistry, Vol 44 (46), pps. 15203-15215 demonstrating that a single amino acid substitution will dramatically change the photochemistry of cyanobacterial phytochrome and has the same pivotal effect in plant phytochromes. This finding provides a possible mechanism for  regulating plant growth in response to light, and could have a profound impact on agricultural development as well as leading to a new class of optical gene probes.
  • James Chan, John Rutledge, and Thomas Huser, publish “Raman spectroscopic analysis of biochemical changes in individual triglyceride-rich lipoproteins in the pre- and postprandial state” in Analytical Chemistry, Vol 77(18), pp. 5870-6 – demonstrating a novel use of laser tweezer Raman microspectroscopy to study the mechanisms leading to  atherosclerosis. This article was highlighted in the “Research Profiles” section of Analytical Chemistry (10/05) and Spectroscopy Now (11/05)
  • James Chan, Doug Taylor, Ted Zwerdling, Steve Lane, and Thomas Huser publish “Micro-Raman spectroscopy detects individual neoplastic and normal hematopoietic cells” in the January 2006 issue of Biophysical Journal, Vol 90 (2), pp.648-656 – demonstrating for the first time, the use of laser tweezers Raman spectroscopy of endogenous biochemicals to nondestructively sort individual pre-leukemic blood cells from normal, healthy ones.
  • Henry Chapman, Janos Hajdu, et al., First demonstration of ultrafast coherent X-ray diffraction imaging At the Vacuum Ultraviolet Free Electron Laser Facility in Hamburg, Germany the first demonstration that a diffraction pattern, having sufficient quality to allow high-fidelity reconstruction, can be obtained from a test object before the object is destroyed by the intense illumination pulse (1012 40 eV photons in 32 fs). This group also demonstrated for the first time time-delayed femtosecond holography. These results provide evidence that eventual goal of single-molecule diffraction imaging is achievable.

Workshops & Conferences

  • CBST partner Picoquant conducts, at the CBST laboratories, the 1st west-coast 2-day workshops focused on latest developments in single molecule spectroscopy and fluorescence lifetime imaging.
  • CBST co-sponsors the 2nd Biannual San Antonio Biophotonics Symposium hosted by CBST and partnering institution, University of Texas, San Antonio (UTSA) where researchers and students presented a wide range of Biophotonic research topics.
  • CBST hosts 1st International Workshop on Optical Probes for Molecular and Cellular Imaging - Beyond the Visible: Optical Probe Design and Applications for Living Cells: The conference, held in Sonoma, CA brought together leading authorities from the cellular and molecular probes and optical imaging communities to discuss their latest research results.

New Instrumentation

  • Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Microscope – This instrument is capable of two-color CARS imaging and spectroscopy that will be used to study biological systems and processes without the necessity of exogenous labels. Virtually all other CARS system are only able to excite a single vibrational transition, while this system is able to simultaneously excite a pair of transitions which will allow ratiometric measurements of cellular components. This system will be coupled to various other instruments to increase its functionality including a spinning disk confocal microscope, a microendoscope and an optical coherence tomography system. All of these features make this instrument one of a kind in the world.
  • Time Correlated Single Photon Counting Microscope – Time-correlated fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy enable the dynamic study of biological systems at the single molecule level by efficiently counting and time-resolving individual photons. This instrument is a custom designed instrument from Picoquant, the leading manufacture of time correlated spectroscopy tools.
  • Laser Tweezers, Raman Trap – The Raman trap microscope is a custom built instrument that making it one of only a few in the nation. This instrument has been used differentiate individual normal from cancerous T and B cells and will extended to the analysis of other types of cells including adult stem cells.
  • Bioscope II, Atomic Force Microscope – The Bioscope II is the latest in AFM instruments to become available to researchers and is specifically designed for biophysical measurements and is capable in special circumstances of spatial resolutions down to the single atom level. At the time of this report, this instrument is only available under beta test agreement and the Center’s instrument was the 3rd instrument deployed. All of the microscopes in the Center are designed with the option of using this AFM in conjunction with optical measurements. This dramatically enhances the Centers uniqueness in that we can correlate the optical signal to topographic or force information.
  • Education / Demonstration Microscope – The Center has custom designed a compact, research grade fluorescence robotic microscope for educational purposes. This instrument highlights the capabilities of the Center by being able to image single fluorescent molecules; perform wide-field and total-internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, laser tweezers cell or particle capture, and Raman / fluorescence spectroscopy. This instrument has already been used in the education and recruitment of students at the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientist (SACNAS) in Denver, CO and caused much excitement for the visitors to the CBST booth. While not in use as for education or recruitment, this instrument serves as a general research tool.

Knowledge Transfer/Public Affairs & Outreach Programs

  • Strong support from Lauren Hammond, Councilwoman for Oak Park; Mayor Heather Fargo, City of Sacramento; and the Stockton Blvd. Partnership for the Center’s continued efforts in expanding opportunities for women, minorities, and under-represented groups. This also supports the Center’s efforts in building the I-5 and Sacramento “business corridor” that will help attract new businesses to the greater Sacramento region.
  • CBST Knowledge Transfer Officer invited to address the Science Foundation – Ireland, showcasing the Center’s “model” Industry Partnership program as a way to engage the fast emerging biophotonics segment and business sector on commercialization opportunities and methods. Forecasted new opportunities – internationally – for biophotonics-related and Center-related efforts in science and technology and education with the NSF (National Science Foundation) USA equivalent in Ireland.
  • CBST Sponsors and conducts 1st Entrepreneurial workshop at the National Black and Hispanic Physicist Society Meeting, a joint effort of Education and Knowledge Transfer to reach out to under represented groups and educate the groups in biophotonics applications and potential careers in the biophotonics industry. Panel members from industry and National Laboratories discussed what it takes to form a new business in the biophotonics sector.
  • Center assists the University of California, Davis (health system) in receiving national recognition from the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) for commitment to community service and educational excellence. James Boggan, M.D., Co-Director addresses AAMC group on the Center’s commitment to diversity through biophotonics education programs and activities.
  • Through strong CBST letter of support, KT supports Industry Partner, Technology Vocational Institute (TVI) in securing new competitive funding from NASA regarding improving education training in the field of photonics and biophotonics. TVI’s external advisory committee commends TVI’s collaboration partnership with the Center and views CBST internships for TVI students as “important … and a value add to their education.”
  • Launched four (4) new start-up companies in this reporting year, making a total of seven (7) companies (to date).
  • Secured official ORP (Organized Research Planning) status that will allow the Center to be approved as an ORU (Organized Research Unit). This will provide the Center an opportunity to retain a larger percentage of new funding. This Enterprise Plan will also serve as a foundation to secure the Center’s future, beyond the 10-year “life” as a formal STC with NSF.

Education & Human Resource Development

  • New inner city high school, East Oakland Community High School, has joined and conducted a full test of the biophotonics high school research academy in an in-school setting as a course for credit, all participants underrepresented. Undergraduate interns and faculty from our partner MSI institution, Mills College, have acted as program mentors.
  • Two teams of students from the Center High Biophotonics Research Academy (6 total) won 1st and 2nd place in the Team Science division of the Sacramento Regional Science and Engineering Fair; the first place winners will be competing in the California Science Fair in May.
  • Two levels of high school teacher professional development workshops were provided to middle school through community college instructors and an expanded offering will take place summer 2006.
  • One of our undergraduate summer interns has received a special merit award from CAMP (California Alliance for Minority Participation) for his CBST-based research presentation. Another undergraduate has been nominated for outstanding female undergraduate researcher at UC Davis (final results pending).
  • The 2005 summer internship program for undergraduates had 24 students of which 40% were from underrepresented groups. The 2006 program saw a 50% increase in applications. 20 Students have been accepted with 9 from underrepresented groups (final number of interns potentially higher).
  • Two new graduate level Biophotonics courses have been created at UC Davis including “Special Topics in Biophotonics” as well as a seminar series in biophotonics. The Special Topics course was co-taught via televideo with two of our MSI partners, Fisk University and Alabama A&M. Students from all three institutions received lectures from biophotonics researchers at UCD, LLNL, UTSA, FISK, and AAMU.
  • Lecture materials from this course and others will be made available to the public on the biophotonicsworld.org web portal.
  • A full 2 course sequence has been put into place at TVI, Technical Vocational Institute, to create photonics technicians with a biophotonics specialization.
  • An entirely new educational laboratory classroom with state of the art equipment and resources has been created at the Oak Park Research Facility. This classroom is used for programs from middle school through graduate short courses and teacher training.
  • Over 1500 members of the public and K- graduate students have been engaged in biophotonics activities ranging from community days, under-represented conferences, museums, all the way to graduate level courses.
  • The grade 3-5 after-school biophotonics curriculum has been created and tested.
  • Final test and revisions by end of 2006.
  • CBST Education is a major partner in two proposals submitted to the NSF and two to the NIH.
  • In September 2005 we conducted the first ever Hands-On Future Tech workshop for over 105 primarily undergraduate participants featuring four participating STC’s (over 64% underrepresented participants).
  • Planning for a second event is underway.
  • Our NSF funded program involving nine projects focused on enhancing URG-STC interaction was successfully completed with favorable evaluation results to be disseminated amongst all STC’s by Fall 2006.
  • Education, S&T, and KT have collaborated on three conferences for URGs with extensive demos and science/education/commercialization sessions (SACNAS, NSBP, AISES).