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Biomedical Optics & Medical Imaging

Tuan Vo-Dinh: Nano-plasmonics for medical diagnostics and therapy

A biosensing platform utilizing the plasmonic effect can be effective in early disease detection and personalized medicine.

12 June 2012, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201206.02

SPIE Fellow Tuan Vo-Dinh is R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, professor of chemistry, and director of The Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics at Duke University (USA).

His research has focused on the development of advanced technologies for the protection of the environment and the improvement of human health. His research activities involve nano-biophotonics, nanosensors, laser spectroscopy, molecular imaging, medical diagnostics, cancer detection, chemical sensors, biosensors, and biochips.

Holding more than 33 US patents, Vo-Dinh has invented numerous life-saving devices to detect and diagnose toxins, biological damage, and disease. These non-invasive devices rely on laser and fiberoptic scans rather than surgery or biopsy.

One of his earliest patents was for a dosimeter badge that could alert a worker to exposure to a toxic chemical to warn of potential danger. He has since developed similar detection devices to warn of genetic damage, cancer, and diabetes.

Vo-Dinh earned his PhD in biophysical chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in 1975 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1975. Before joining Duke University in 2006, Vo-Dinh was director of the Center for Advanced Biomedical Photonics, group leader of Advanced Biomedical Science and Technology Group, and a Corporate Fellow, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Vo-Dinh has won numerous awards during his distinguished career, including Scientist of the Year at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1989), Inventor of the Year Award, Tennessee Inventors Association (1996), and the Award on Spectrochemical Analysis, American Chemical Society (2011).