Cell, is the basic structural and functional unit of live organisms. It is a highly dynamic and heterogeneous system undergoing continuous matter and energy exchange with the environment, which results in a great difference in life activities of cells both in time and space. Changes in the conformation, distribution and interactions of biomolecules such as protein, DNA and RNA constitute the basic life process of cells. Monitoring the conformation of those molecules and the microenvironment in a live cell with high spatial (up to nanometer)and temporal resolution (up to millisecond) is important to a better understand of the cell processes , the mechanisms for various diseases, and nanomedicine.  Raman Spectroscopy can readily provide molecular fingerprint information of biological system and has found increasing application in biology.

We are dedicated to developing methodologies, with improved sensitivity and spatial and temporal resolution, to useNormal Raman Spectroscopy(NRS) and Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) for studying live cells or related biomedical research. Our research interests mainly include the following aspects.

  1. In-vivo detection of the conformational and spatial distribution  of bioactive molecules in live cells, including cancer cells and stem cells by normal Raman and SERS methods. Developing methods to discriminate the normal cell, cancer cells and cells in different life cycles by their molecular signatures, for rapid, reliable and early diagnosis of cancer.
  2. SERS detection of bioactive molecules of cells with an improved sensitivity to obtain reliable spectra of individual biomolecules in vitro, and constructing the database for cell analysis.
  3. Developing reliable SERS substrates to study the interaction of cells with nanomaterials and how the interfacial properties of nanomaterials will influence the cell differentiation.
  4. Development of hyphenated optical techniques by integrating Raman spectroscopy with fluorescence spectroscopy, dark field microscopy and flow cytometry, et c. Developing methods to synthesize multimodal nanoparticles to enable high-throughput and specific  detection and imaging in live cells.