Patrick Koelsch, Research Assistant Professor
My group is developing and applying new characterization and imaging schemes based on non-linear optics to study biomolecules in situ and in vitro with molecular-level resolution. Rapid developments in optics and laser technologies over the past century allows us today to follow molecular motions of charged peptides in response to an electric field, to study kinetics of DNA hybridization, to determine orientations of biomolecules on the surface of nanoparticles, or to visualize how cells deposit fibrils on substrates in vitro and in real time. My lab is utilizing ultrashort, high-energy, and tunable light pulses in non-linear optical applications including sum-frequency-generation and second-harmonic-generation spectroscopy and imaging. Surface analytics are largely focused on biomolecules at flat and curved (nanoparticulate) interfaces, while imaging techniques are primarily applied to visualize ordered structures within the physical microenvironment of cells, either in between adherent cells and substrates or within tissue slices.