The Biophysics Group establishes the optical measurement science, modeling, and simulation tools to enable the characterization and control of biological molecules themselves and their interactions with nanomaterials. The ability to measure and quantify the assembly, aggregation, and transformations of biomolecules and of nanomaterials is critical to realizing many applications in medicine, energy, and the environment.
The group's research effort focuses on the development of the following:
• Optical methods using spectroscopy and microscopy for studying biological complexes and their interactions with other small molecules and nanoparticles;
• Tools for the characterization of nanoparticle-biomolecule complexes to enable new applications and to assist with assessing the environmental, health, and safety risk associated with these applications;
• Computational tools to investigate the structure, properties, and interactions of biomolecules and nanomaterials; and
• New biosensors and bioassays based on nanomaterials such as quantum dots and carbon nanotubes.