Shining Light on Human Life

Research in the Barman laboratory is broadly directed towards determining transformations affecting human health. Specifically, we focus on development of new technologies for analysis of complex biological systems via advances in optics, nanomaterials and artificial intelligence.

The evolution of optical technologies in the context of diagnostic medical imaging has revolutionized the way we understand, detect and treat disease. Optical imaging has become an invaluable tool to study biological molecules, pathways and events in living cells, tissues and animals. Compared with other imaging techniques, such as electron microscopy, the main advantage of using light is its compatibility with live specimen, which allows dynamic and minimally invasive measurements.

We combine these salient features with the selectivity of vibrational spectroscopy to simultaneously interrogate molecular composition and corresponding spatial distributions in unperturbed samples. Together, these attributes qualify our tools as rapid analysis techniques par excellence, which can be leveraged to understand the complex interplay between morphologic, biophysical, and molecular domains at the cellular, tissue and organismal levels via spectral markers. Such differential markers allow objective diagnosis of pathology or dysfunction, and also provide mechanistic insight into disease progression.

Non-invasive, early disease detection and monitoring of treatment response and resistance

Our research focuses on the development of vibrational spectroscopy, specifically spontaneous Raman scattering, as a new route to uncovering functional and molecular changes that unfold in the tumor and its microenvironment…

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A new window into single cell analysis

Single cell analysis has become particularly important in the mechanistic elucidation of biological functions considering the emerging consensus of cellular heterogeneity even within an isogenic cell population…

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Poking, prodding and squishing cells

To perform their myriad functions, cells experience and modulate a broad range of entwined intra- and extracellular events.Many of the interactions are shaped by mechanical forces and fields at the micro and nanoscale, which are transduced….

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Imaging with nanostructures

The thought of visualizing dynamic events in live cells may have once seemed like science fiction, but recent advances in optical imaging and contrast agent development have revealed cellular features and processes with previously unimagined detail…

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