The major thrust of the Burgess group is the investigation of new concepts in the development of integrated multi-component analysis systems for real-time industrial, biomedical and environmental monitoring applications. Major components of this effort involve integrated and guided wave optics and micro fluidics. The work is highly multidisciplinary and problem oriented.
A burgeoning effort is in the area of developing cutting edge technology for multi-parameter analysis of single cells, and to facilitate the application of this technology to the understanding of biological questions characterized by cellular heterogeneity. To this end we have developed technology for respiration measurements at the level of a single cell and have begun to develop approaches for additional metabolic markers. This is part of a larger collaborative program to design and build fully integrated and automated micro systems for the interrogation of individual cells. These systems will be able to simultaneously measure many variables in cells in real-time and provide data to analyze complex molecular outcomes such as cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and pathogenesis.
Examples of other work includes the development of novel sampling interfaces for Raman spectroscopy, including the development of a micro-liter volume liquid core waveguide cell that can be directly interfaced to chromatographic systems, and developments in Grating Light Reflection Spectroscopy (GLRS) and optical low coherence reflectometry (OLCR). Both of these techniques are well suited for the direct monitoring of changes in heterogeneous and highly scattering matrices during manufacturing, and have been demonstrated at high concentrations, and over a wide range of particle size, in applications such as pharmaceutical nano-milling