BA Physics, UC Berkeley, 2013
BS Business Administration, UC Berkeley 2013
Lanthanide upconversion offers many biologically compatible features not found in current optical force sensors.
The long-lived f-f transitions of lanthanide ions allow for absorption of near infrared (NIR) photons and emission in the visible.
This is advantageous because biological tissues and organs do not absorb and luminesce under NIR.
Additionally, upconverting nanoparticles exhibit sharp anti-Stokes emissions, do not photobleach or blink,
and are less toxic and invasive than options like quantum dots.
My goal is to create stress-sensitive upconverting nanoparticles to image important mechanical processes in biology. Specifically, I have developed d-metal & lanthanide-doped nanomaterials that change emission color in response to an external force. This platform promises in vivo imaging of muscle contractions, disease detection, and more. Currently, I am using these upconverting force sensors, in combination with electrophysiology, to elucidate the neuromuscular pump action in C. elegans. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this research, we collaborate with groups in Molecular and Cellular Physiology (Miriam Goodman), Mechanical Engineering (John Dabiri), and Plant Biology (Jose Dinneny).
Outside of the lab, I love to paint, draw, and create personalized cards. Check out some of my artwork here
A. Lay, D. Wang, M. Wisser, R. Mehlenbacher, Y. Lin, M. Goodman, W. Mao, and J. Dionne. “Upconverting nanoparticles as optical sensors of nano- to micro-Newton forces,” Nano Letters 17, 4172 (2017).
Y. Zhao, A. Saleh, M.-A. van de Haar, B. Baum, J. Briggs, A. Lay, O. Reyes-Becerra, J. Dionne. "Nanoscopic control and quantification of enantioselective optical forces," Nature Nanotechnology 12, 1055-1059 (2017).
R. Mehlenbacher, R. Kolbl, A. Lay, and J. Dionne. “Nanomaterials for in vivo imaging of mechanical forces and electrical fields,” Nature Reviews Materials 3, 17080 (2017).