Professor of Physicsnolte@purdue.edu
Office: Physics 54
Telephone: (765) 494-3013
Fax: (765) 494-0706
Ph.D., 1988 Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley
B.A., 1981 Department of Physics, Cornell University
The adaptive optics and biophotonics group, directed by Professor Nolte, studies a broad spectrum of problems that range from BioCDs (Biological Compact Disks) that rely on diffraction of lasers from spinning discs supporting antibodies, to real-time video flythroughs of rat bone-cancer tumors using holographic imaging, and microfabrication of microfluidic systems using two-photon polymerization. The BioCD uses high-speed spinning-disc interferometry (SDI) to measure average changes in protein heights with sensitivities down to a picometer. These silicon discs are protein microarrays that have the ability to screen for hundreds of types of molecules across hundreds of samples. Holographic optical coherence imaging (HOCI) has high sensitivity to motion inside of tissues and cells. Using digital holography, we are studying the effects of anti-cancer drugs on the cytoskeleton. Laser machining using two-photon polymerization is a direct-write process that fabricates complex microfluidic systems. These projects use laser interferometry, nonlinear optics, coherent optics, and Fourier optics to study aspects of biological systems from the nanoscale molecular level to the macroscale tissue level.
Antibody molecule attached to a BioCD for selective detection of antigen and blood proteins. The BioCD has the potential for high-speed, multi-analyte, high-sensitivity sensing for immunoassays and proteomics.
Prof. Nolte is a technical founder of Quadraspec, Inc. of West Lafayette, IN, a company of 50 employees that is commercializing the immuno-diagnostic potential of the BioCD (http://www.quadraspec.com/).
"Semi-insulating semiconductor heterostructures: Optoelectronic properties and applications", J. Appl. Phys. 85, 6259 (1999)
D. Nolte is the author of the trade Non-fiction book "Mind at Light Speed" on the physics and future of photonic technology (Amazon.com).