March 5 - Amy Oldenburg
Associate Professor Physics, University of North Carolina
Title: A Tale of Two Biopolymers: Imaging the Nanoporosity of Mucus and Collagen with Diffusion-Sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography
Abstract: From the mucus that lines our airways, to the collagen that comprises our soft tissues, much of the human body can be thought of as a biopolymeric mesh filled with water. Remodeling of the mesh structure occurs in many, if not most, disease processes. This talk will discuss the development and application of a new method, diffusion-sensitive optical coherence tomography (DS-OCT), which employs plasmonic nanoparticles capable of penetrating the biological pore structure and reporting the local nanopore size based upon changes in their stochastic diffusion. Interestingly, DS-OCT enables the inference of nano-scale information about biological samples using an imaging modality (OCT) of much coarser (micro-scale) resolution, with high speed and only minimal invasiveness. Applications in lung disease and breast cancer will be presented.