Time-resolvedluminescence biosensing and super-resolution imaging powered by lanthanide nanocrystals
Dr Yiqing Lu obtained his Bachelor degree in Electronic Engineering at Tsinghua University, followed by a joint PhD between Tsinghua and Macquarie University on advanced optoelectronic biodetection. He then focused his research in the cross-disciplinary area of nano-bio-photonics, with particular interest in smart sensing and imaging based on novel photoluminescence nanomaterials. He is an Australian Research Council (ARC) DECRA Fellow and Associate Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP). He has published over 30 refereed journal articles and conference proceedings, including first-/corresponding-author papers in Nature, Nature Photonics, Nature Nanotechnology and Nature Communications, with total citations over 1400. He is a regular reviewer for a number ofscientific journals including Nature Communications, Nanoscale, Advances in Colloid and Interface Science, Frontiers in Chemistry,Optics Letters and Science Bulletin.
The photoluminescence of trivalent lanthanide ions features slow decay after pulsed excitation, with lifetimes in the microsecond-to-millisecond region. This enables time-gated luminescence detection to minimise interference from biological autofluorescence and excitation scattering, allowing rapid identification and accurate quantification for cells of interest at ultrahigh sensitivity. Our group has been developing new generations of lanthanide nanocrystals and time-gated luminescence techniques, offeringenhanced sensitivity, throughput, resolution and tissue penetration over conventional fluorescence techniques to enable early diagnosis of diseases and detection of pathogen contamination. I will introduce the major breakthroughs we have achieved in the last few years in methodology, nanomaterials and instrumentation, alongside applications ranging from multiplexed pathogen detection to in vivo identification of tumour subtypes. I will also discuss the outlook for our techniques to be implemented in optical nanoscopy, medical imaging, nanomedicine and theranostics, which are potentially transformational for biomedical research and clinical practice.