Intra-cavity Photonic Crystal Dye Laser Monitoring of Protein Secretion

This project is funded as an individual postdoctoral grant by The Danish Council for Independent Research | Technology and Production Sciences

Grant recipient: Christoph Vannahme
Institution: Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
Amount: kr 3.035.520 + kr. 815.295 


Project summary

The aim of this project is using intra-cavity detection with polymer photonic crystal dye lasers for label-free monitoring of secreted proteins from cells in time and space. This will allow protein monitoring that is not possible with state-of-the-art fluorescent label based detection. The novel tool developed in this project will lead to deeper understanding of the construction of tissue and the pathways that exist in it. In order to realize this, a photonic crystal dye laser surface will be optimized for specific and label-free detection of proteins. Due to specific protein binding to a receptor, e.g. an antibody on the laser’s surface, it reacts with a specific local wavelength shift – the detection signal. A computer controlled optical setup will be installed for read-out. 

The project is a collaboration between

Recipient biography

Christoph Vannahme joined DTU Nanotech as a Hans Christian Ørsted Postdoctoral Scholarship holder in 2011 after he had obtained a Ph.D. degree in engineering (grade: summa cum laude) from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. He studied physics at the University of Paderborn, Germany and received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree with distinction in 2005 and 2007, respectively. Christoph has started his scientific career working on integrated optics in lithium niobate, in particular on integrated optical ring resonator gyroscopes. During his Ph.D. studies, he successfully integrated organic photonic crystal lasers, both solid state and optofluidic, into plastic lab-on-a-chip systems. At DTU Nanotech, Christoph is continuing his work on photonic crystal dye lasers with a focus on sensing. He has co-authored 29 peer reviewed journal articles and 4 patents and patent applications.

Christoph has received the elite research award for talented young researchers "Sapere Aude – Ung Eliteforsk" from the Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF) for an extension of this main project called "Sustainable biological lasers".