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Two University of Southern California Innovators Recognized by Technology Review's Prestigious TR35 Listing of the World's Top Young Innovators for 2009
Date:8/18/2009

ni's research interests are developing novel optical devices and integrated platforms for studying biological and chemical systems. While the importance of recording events at the single molecule level is well-established, there are very few methods which are able to perform these difficult experiments without using high-sensitivity cameras.

Previous research efforts by Armani led to the development of an ultra-sensitive biosensor capable of detecting single molecules. In addition to its application to improving our understanding of biological processes and the monitoring of chemical pollutants, the sensor platform may also present an ultra-sensitive technology for security monitoring.

Currently, the Armani lab is pursuing research for the development of two new optical devices with performance characteristics optimized for biological environments, i.e. water or buffered solutions. Using these devices, multiple single molecule measurements can be performed simultaneously, which will allow the interaction strength between protein pairs, such as antibody-antigen or an enzyme-substrate pair, to be studied at the single molecule level. They can also be applied to investigations into cell dynamics and regulation. This type of data will contribute to improvements in biological imaging and methods for drug discovery and delivery.

In recognition of the significance of her research, Prof. Armani regularly gives seminars at international scientific conferences and government agencies, both in the United States and in Europe. She is the recipient of the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award to develop an interferometric optical biosensor for water monitoring using CMOS compatible methods. Recently, she also received an instrumentation development grant from the National Science Foundation to design and build a biodetection platform. Armani is the co-author of two awarded patents and three pending patents.


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