Advisory Board

Professor Aydogan Ozcan

The MIT Technology Review article Counting Cells in Seconds: A lensless imaging system finds and recognizes the shadows of T cells and bacteria said

The imager can find small numbers of cells in a large, unprocessed sample. A water or blood sample is loaded onto a glass slide above a light-sensing chip identical to those used in consumer digital cameras; then it’s illuminated from above. “What we record is not an image but a diffraction signature,” says Aydogan Ozcan, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at UCLA who’s developing the cell counter.
Unlike conventional microscopes, which take detailed pictures of very small samples, Ozcan’s diffraction technique is rapid and inexpensive. The blurred, pixelated images created by his cell counter are of such low quality that Ozcan doesn’t call the system a microscope. But these images contain just enough information to identify and count cells, which is all that’s needed for many clinical diagnostic applications.

Aydogan Ozcan, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where he leads the Bio- and Nano-Photonics Laboratory. He is a member of IEEE, LEOS, OSA, SPIE and BMES.
Aydogan earned his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2005. After a short post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford, he was appointed as a Faculty Member at the rank of Instructor at Harvard Medical School. He joined UCLA in the summer of 2007.
His research interests include photonics and its applications to nano- and bio-technology, including but not limited to (a) imaging the nano-world, especially in bio-compatible settings; (b) providing powerful solutions to global health related problems such as measurement of the cell count of HIV patients in resource limited settings; (c) rapid and parallel detection of hundreds of thousands of molecular level binding events targeting microarray based proteomics and genomics; and (d) monitoring of the biological state of 3D engineered tissues.
Aydogan holds 10 licensed and 9 pending US patents for his inventions in nanoscopy, wide-field imaging, nonlinear optics, fiber optics, and optical coherence tomography. He is also the coauthor of more than 60 peer reviewed research articles in major scientific journals and conferences.
He coauthored Mirror tunnel microscope, Characterization of Fiber Bragg Gratings Using Spectral Interferometry Based on Minimum-Phase Functions, Speckle reduction in optical coherence tomography images using digital filtering, Detailed analysis of inverse Fourier transform techniques to uniquely infer second-order nonlinearity profile of thin films, Observation of mode coupling in bitapered air-core photonic bandgap fibers, Polarization-independent mechanically induced long-period fiber gratings, and Minimum-phase-function-based processing in frequency-domain optical coherence tomography systems.
Aydogan’s patents include Method of measuring a physical function using a composite function which includes the physical function and an arbitrary reference function, Method for determining the optical nonlinearity profile of a material, Method of characterizing fiber Bragg gratings using iterative processing, Method of measuring a physical function using a symmetric composite function, Method of retrieving phase and magnitude of weak ultra-short optical pulses using a stronger unknown pulse, and Femtosecond spectroscopy using minimum phase functions.
In addition to his Ph.D., he earned his B.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey in 2000 and he earned his M.S. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University in 2002.
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