Abstract / Summary
Optical imaging of single cells continues to unfold as a powerful way to study the behavior of individual cells without being obscured by ensemble averaging. For example, fluorescent reporters revealed that isogenic bacterial populations are surprisingly heterogeneous, which underscores the importance of being able to resolve gene expression and signaling dynamics with single cell resolution. However, for bacteria powerful optical interrogation assays such FRET are still largely confined to population averages studies. In this project we develop a new generation of circuit-level single photon detectors for single emitter imaging at multiple wavelengths simultaneously. Taking advantage of nanophotonic circuit design and the scalability of integrated waveguide detectors, a high-resolution single-photon spectrometer is designed for spectrally resolved single cell imaging, fiber coupled to interface with conventional biological imaging systems. The prototype system will be benchmarked and tested with a variety of optical reporter techniques commonly applied for gene expression and signaling studies in bacterial average population studies with respect to its ability to resolve signals from individual bacteria.