News

4th "Photonics Meets Biology" Summer School

Prof. Edik Rafailov jointly with Dr. Pablo Loza-Alvarez (ICFO, Spain) and Prof. Maria Farsari (IESL-FORTH, Greece) are organising the 4th "Photonics Meets Biology" Summer School in Tarragona, Spain, on September 19 - 22, 2017. This event will bring together experts from world-leading academic centres in order to educate students and young researchers in the two cutting-edge fields.

Enhancement of terahertz photoconductive antenna operation by optical nanoantennae

A paper co-authored by Prof. Edik Rafailov, highlighting the novel approach for the enhancement of THz photoconductive antenna operation by using optical nanoantennae, was featured on the front cover of the high impact Laser & Photonics Reviews Journal (No 11(1)/2017).

In this paper, the main results on hybrid THz antennas, comparison of the approaches to their implementation, and  further perspectives of their development, including an application of all-dielectric nanoantennas instead of plasmonic ones, have been summarised.


Quantum Dots Offer New Platform for Fingertip Terahertz Devices

Our group developed an antenna that can aid in reducing sources of terahertz radiation down to the size of a fingertip. The antenna is a "sandwich" of semiconductor layers combined with quantum dots. The scientists demonstrated that such antennas can lay foundation for a new type of universal systems that are capable of both transmitting and receiving terahertz radiation. Compact devices, operating at terahertz range, can find applications in medicine and biology for tumor visualization and in aerospace industry for high-speed communication systems. The study was published in Laser & Photonics Reviews.

http://www.opli.net/opli_magazine/eo/2016/quantum-dots-offer-new-platform-for-fingertip-terahertz-devices-nov-news/

InnovateUK funded a feasibility project with CSTG Ltd.

Professor Edik Rafailov is part of a successful InnovateUK funded feasibility project "CoolBlue" worth almost £295k led by Compound Semiconductor Technologies Global Ltd. This is a highly innovative project that aims to develop next generation laser technology feasibility for use in the emerging field of quantum sensing.

H2020 EC RISE Scheme: VISGEN project

Professor Edik Rafailov is a partner in a successful consortium led by the University of Birmingham. The team has won an award from the H2020 EC RISE Scheme. The Proposal, VISGEN, attracting €1.26 million, with €126k going to the Aston team. 
VISGEN is a multidisciplinary, international and intersectoral collaborative effort that focuses on the personnel exchange between partners located in the EU and Asia. It is designed to develop and disseminate the key enabling photonics technologies to visualise nuclear processes at single gene and single cell levels in intact brains. The delivery of significant advances in the technology of this field necessitates intensive interaction between the academic and commercial sectors to enable researchers to pinpoint gene transcription in living cells. Although this research and knowledge transfer program focuses on the brain, with an interest in nuclear processes in neurons, the technology can be used in any living cells and will be of broad interest to the community.

H2020 Future and Emerging Technology prestigious award "MESO-BRAIN"

Professor Edik Rafailov has won an enormously prestigious award from the EC Future and Emerging Technology (FET) Scheme. The scheme published success rate is below 2%, making it amongst the toughest in the H2020 suite of schemes. The Proposal, MESO-BRAIN, scored a perfect 15/15, attracting €3.3 million, with €840k going to the Aston team of Prof. Edik Rafailov, Dr. Sergei Sokolovski, Dr. Rhein Parri, Dr. David Nagel and Dr. Eric Hill. The project will develop 3D nano-printing technology for functional three-dimensional human stem cell derived neural networks of defined and reproducible architecture, based on that of a brain cortical module that will display in vivo connectivity and activity. Cellular neuroscience research and pharmaceutical drug discovery will be transformed. It is envisaged that within 15 years the stem cell derived neural networks from individual patients will be re-implanted to treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia and trauma.

https://www.theengineer.co.uk/3d-nanoprinting-project-aims-to-replicate-neural-networks

http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news/newsid=45333.php

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20161208/New-stem-cell-research-project-to-replicate-brains-neural-networks-using-3D-nanoprinting.aspx

3rd "Photonics Meets Biology" Summer School

Prof. Edik Rafailov jointly with Dr. Maria Farsari (FORTH, Greece) organised the 3rd "Photonics Meets Biology" Summer School in Crete, Greece, in September 2015 - an event bringing together experts from world-leading academic centres in order to educate students and young researchers in this cutting-edge field. The role of diode lasers in biomedical applications was extensively discussed. A summary of the event has appeared in the recent issue of Nature Photonics (http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/v9/n12/full/nphoton.2015.237.html).