Demetri Psaltis is the Dean of the School of Engineering and a Professor of Engineering and Life Sciences at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. He graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University with a BS in Electrical Engineering and Economics in 1974, a MS degree in 1975, and a PhD in Electrical Engineering in 1977. In 1980, he joined the Electrical Engineering faculty at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California and he served as Executive Officer for the Computation and Neural Systems department from 1992-1996. From 1996-1999 he was the Director of the National Science Foundation research center on Neuromorphic Systems Engineering at Caltech. From 2004-2008, he was the Director of the DARPA research center for Optofluidic Integration at Caltech. In 2007, he moved to the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.
The Optics laboratory focuses on optofluidics and biological imaging. With optofluidics, we are focusing on developing technologies for energy harvesting purposes by leveraging the advantages of microfluidic systems. Biological imaging deals with a variety of topics: phase conjugation through biological tissues, imaging through biological media and nonlinear optics for biological characterization.
Optofluidics : An interdisciplinary subject between optics and microfluidics, optofluidics has made substantial progress towards the integration of versatile optical functions into lab-on-a-chip systems. Integration and reconfigurability are its two major advantages. By combining optical elements into microfluidic devices, optofluidic chips hold promise in the portable devices for applications such as environment monitoring, medical diagnosis and point of care testing. Optically pumped microfluidic dye lasers are of particular interest since they exhibit the advantages of laser emission combined with cost-effective processing and wide choice of emission wavelength, which hold potential as a novel light source for on chip spectroscopy and imaging. To fulfill this goal, we have developed multiple novel cavity designs for microfluidic dye lasers. A pressure mediated tuning mechanism has also been invented enabling a broad spectrum of active tunable elastomeric optofluidic devices. Accompanying with the latest progress of optics, advanced micro/nano fabrication technology, new material and other subjects, jointly with microengineering and bioengineering, optofluidics is a field still in infancy and full of promise.
Biological imaging: Second harmonic generation (SHG) from nanoparticles is opening new types of imaging applications. These nanoparticles show promise as imaging probes by emitting stable SHG signal over a long time. We refer to these nanoparticles as "Second Harmonic Radiation IMaging Probes (SHRIMPs)". We use crystalline nanoparticles of noncentrosymmetric crystal structures as SHRIMPs due to their high SHG efficiency. In contrary to the conventional fluorescent imaging probes which rely on intensity detection, the coherent nature of SHG allows us to capture the complex SHG field information (amplitude and phase) radiated from the SHRIMPs. This coherent SHG signal facilitates many novel imaging applications, such as scan-free three-dimensional (3D) imaging, focusing and imaging through scattering media.