I will discuss the potential of optofluidic resonators for developing better biosensors when their unique properties are combined with fluorescence-based or label-free sensing strategies. Thanks to the sensitivity of stimulated emission to small perturbations in the laser cavity and gain medium, an optofluidic laser can enhance the sensitivity of a conventional, FRET-based biosensor by more than a factor of 20. On the other hand optofluidic resonators possess an important advantage for label-free sensing. They can maximize the interaction between the optical modes and analytes by enabling them to reside in the same volume within the fluidic cavity. The specific optofluidic resonators I will concentrate on will be the droplet resonator and the optofluidic ring resonator. I will also discuss various experimental techniques that we have used in the study of these optofluidic resonators, i.e. optical and hydrodynamic manipulation, tapered fiber waveguide spectroscopy, droplet size tuning and stabilization, and microfluidic integration.
Alper Kiraz received his B.S. degree in electrical-electronics engineering from Bilkent University, Turkey, in 1998, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, in 2000 and 2002, respectively. Between 2002 and 2004 he worked as a post-doctoral associate at the Institute for Physical Chemistry in the Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, and received Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship. He joined Koç University in 2004 and became a full professor in 2014. Between 2014 and 2015 he was a visiting professor at the Biomedical Engineering of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor as a Fulbright Fellow. His current research interests include optofluidics, single molecule spectroscopy/microscopy, optical manipulation, and biomedical instrumentation. His research team pursues various research projects targeting the development of novel micro-optical devices, optofluidic lab-on-a-chip devices, molecular and gas sensors, optofluidic-based renewable energy solutions, and confocal microscope device concepts.