Current Funded Projects
The frequency region between microwave and infrared part of the spectrum, called terahertz (THz), encompasses electromagnetic waves oscillating at frequencies, loosely defined, in the range 0.1 to 30 THz. Generating or detecting radiation in this range has proved quite challenging, owing mainly to the presence of background sources of incoherent light. Nevertheless, this radiation has unique properties that makes it particularly attractive for applications ranging from bio-medical imaging, national security and packaged goods inspection to remote sensing and spectroscopy. Moreover, with an energy between 0.4 and 124 meV it is non-ionizing and, therefore, not harmful to the living world.
The investigation of this electromagnetic region can be dated to the end of the 19th century, shortly after Heinrich Rudolf Hertz's pioneering work on electromagnetic waves. Today, the most accessible technique for recording or measuring data in this spectral range, except time-domain spectroscopy/imaging, is the single-pixel imaging (SPI). In this view, a given THz scene may be achieved either by using raster scanning (RS) or multiplexing (MS) techniques.
With this proposal we intend to use RS or/and MS in order to improve the resolution of imaging at submillimeter radiation, and demonstrate its application to Fourier transform spectroscopy (FTS) and phase shifting interferometry (PSI) at these wavelengths range. This is because both FTS and PSI are readily applicable to SPI and interferometry is a reliable and non-invasive testing tool.
Cancer is responsible for one out of every six fatalities worldwide and is set to become the leading cause of mortality by 2020. Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and a combination of the three are the most common breast cancer therapies. The quality of life in cancer treatment is diminished due to significant side effects and chemotherapy-related toxicities. Multiple drug-resistant breast cancers necessitate the development of novel, more effective, and faster-acting treatments with fewer adverse effects. Genetic profiling of malignant tumours may assist in the creation of individualized therapies. Cancer research requires specific treatment procedures as well as data mining. This project will be a step forward toward narrowing the cancer research gap in the computer-assisted identification of molecules with anticancer characteristics that are generated as photoproducts by the laser irradiation of medicine.
Using in silico techniques and laser radiation, this research will offer a novel approach for repositioning phenothiazines. In this project, we will (i) use molecular docking to anticipate the biological activity of phenothiazines with cancer-targeted receptors; (ii) describe physicochemically the phenothiazine derivative cocktails before and after laser irradiation at various times; and (iii) evaluate the non-irradiated and laser-irradiated phenothiazines in vitro.
Chlorpromazine loading and irradiation into hydrogels by UV laser radiation, as alternative to bacterial infected wound treatment
The number of drug-resistant bacteria is currently growing up, and the possibilities for successful treatment are narrow due to the lack of solutions in eradicating them. To overcome the emergence of multiple drug-resistant bacteria it is necessary to identify new approaches in using the existing drugs and to find ‘smart’ drug delivery systems. The discovery of compounds with direct antimicrobial effects obtained by laser irradiation of a drug is a further step in filling the gap created in antimicrobial research and represents a new approach in chemistry, biology, and pharmacology. In this respect, irradiated chlorpromazine (CPZ) proved to be an antimicrobial agent against resistant bacteria. More, conventional drug delivery methods are overwhelmed by repeated dosage of drugs and their systemic toxicity. An alternative is hydrogels that offer optimized therapeutic action of the drug and minimize the disadvantages of classical delivery method.
This proposal is addressing the use of UV laser radiation for exposure of a mixture of polymer-CPZ to form hydrogels with already irradiated CPZ in it, thus eliminating the process of CPZ separate irradiation and loading. This kind of hydrogels may be applied in wound dressing for patients that show infected wounds with various bacterial pathogens resistant to antibiotics. The project has an interdisciplinary nature, combining antimicrobial and laser spectroscopy research. It aims to provide new data on physics, chemistry, and biology of hydrogel formation and loading with drug solutions. The project’s results may have an important impact in future extensive use of laser modified compounds in medicine, pharmacology and patient care.
The project main objective is to develop and test a demonstration experimental system for water decontamination based on the action of micro and nano bubbles (micro-nanobubbles) containing reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen. The micro-nanobubbles include singlet oxygen and are generated by a photoactivated porous membrane containing photosensitizers functionalised carbon nanotubes and TiO2 nanoparticles.
One major side effect of nowadays abundance of plastic products is microplastic pollution, where small size polymer particles of diverse origins enter the environment, only part of them being removed by the wastewater treatment plants. This project proposal aims at developing a new laser-based device for detection of microplastics in water. The combination of the enhanced sensitivity of the Raman scattering technique obtained using very small samples (microdroplets) with the latest developments in the topics of microfluidics and optical spectroscopy may constitute an advance in the field of online monitoring of water pollutants.
The project main objective is to develop and test a chaotic technology for experimenting the methods / techniques and platforms used in encryption systems based on two synchronized ECSL chaotic laser generators, demonstration experimental system realized as an integrated, computer-controlled device (Experimental chaotic device). Within the project we start from two existing external-cavity semiconductor lasers (ECSL) systems, one with control of the chaotic emission dynamics through the injection current modulation and the other through the electro-optic phase modulation, coupled optically and with their chaotic dynamics synchronized; we will develop a hardware and software platform for an automated computer control of all sub-assemblies. So, we will able for input/output data control, so that the entire assembly becomes a device for testing the chaotic encoded techniques, as well as software platforms. The presented chaotic device aims to test and better understand basic concepts of cryptographic systems based on nonlinear chaotic dynamic of laser emission.