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Biological interfaced standard and entirely biological optical fibers

Grant number: 12/05164-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2012
Effective date (End): November 30, 2012
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - General Physics
Principal Investigator:Cristiano Monteiro de Barros Cordeiro
Grantee:Jonas Henrique Osório
Supervisor: Fiorenzo G. Omenetto
Host Institution: Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin (IFGW). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Tufts University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:10/13149-4 - New optical waveguides for biological sensing, BP.MS


This research project has, as its goal, the study, from an experimental stance, of a new class of material that has emerged as a promising technology concerning the development of optical elements - silk. The main motivation for this project is centered in the increasing need to develop biocompatible biophotonic devices and optical elements which could offer characteristics as controlled biodegradability and the possibility to be doped with biological entities and biochemical compounds (in a manner that these bio or chemical materials could maintain their properties and functionalities), dyes or nanoparticles. As silk can provide these mentioned desired properties, also offering a great variety of properties which makes it a lot interesting for acting as a biophotonic platform - transparency in the optical visible range; processing in mild conditions in air or water what further expands materials options for functionalization and utility; high mechanical toughness; excellent adhesion on glass; possibility to obtain nanopatterned silk films with nanostructures whose size can reach few tens of nanometers -, the study of setups which could make use of this new technological material is very profitable. Silk can be used as a platform to the development of a new class of biomedical photonic devices that can be seamlessly integrated in the human body. Here we propose the realization of two sorts of experiments: measurements employing conventional optical fibers associated to silk films and characterization experiments on silk optical fibers. In the case of standard optical fibers setups, the experiment will be performed by measuring the reflected light from fiber end tip. We therefore propose to study the setup response when the fiber end tip surface is interfaced with air and when it is coated with doped and undoped silk films. In the case of silk optical fibers experiments, we aim to characterize these fibers optical properties - such as losses and transmittance - by launching laser or broadband light into the fiber and then measuring it in optical detectors and optical spectrum analyzers. (AU)

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