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Department of Bioengineering


Emily Gibson, PhD

Assistant Professor - Bioengineering

Contact Information

Office: Research 2 - Room 8112
Telephone: 303-724-3678

Research Focus

Microfluidics Technology, Optical Microscopy, and Spectroscopy

Microfluidics technology holds promise to revolutionize the healthcare industry by providing point-of-care devices for diagnostics and therapeutics. In addition, microfluidics can advance current biomedical research by providing a finer level of control of reactions and permitting novel bioassays. One area of research in my lab is the development of new diagnostic tools by integrating microfluidic devices with laser spectroscopy for high throughput analysis and sorting biological samples. The goal of this research is to improve early cancer detection and treatment of diabetes, among other medical applications. Optical microscopy is another research focus. Optical microscopy, in particular fluorescence microscopy, has advanced to a level that allows unprecedented study of biological processes in real-time on the single molecule level. My lab is working in collaboration with the Advanced Microscopy Core and the Light Microscopy Facility to apply STimulated Emission Depletion (STED) Microscopy, Fluorescence Lifetime Imagining Microscopy (FLIM), and Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) for understanding biological systems on the cellular and molecular level.

  • Integration of Coherent anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (CARS) with microfluidic devices for label-free, biochemical identification in flow cytometry.
  • In vivo detection of changes in extra cellular matrix and cellular metabolism implicated in disease through multiphoton imaging (second harmonic, third harmonic, and autofluorescence lifetime).
  • Development of a STimulated Emission Depletion (STED) microscope for fluorescence imaging of live cells down to resolutions of 25-30 nanometers.
  1. Two-photon imaging of the trabecular meshwork. Ammar DA, Lei TC, Gibson EA, Kahook MY. Mol Vis. 2010 May 29;16:935-44.
  2. Using a genetically targeted sensor to investigate the role of presenilin-1 in ER Ca2+ levels and dynamics. McCombs JE, Gibson EA, Palmer AE. Mol Biosyst. 2010 Sep;6(9):1640-9. Epub 2010 Apr 8.
  3. Three-pulse photon echo peak shift spectroscopy as a probe of flexibility and conformational heterogeneity in protein folding. Gibson EA, Shen Z, Jimenez R. Chem Phys Lett. 2009 Jan 1;473(4-6):330-335.
  4. Microfluidic cell counter with embedded optical fibers fabricated by femtosecond laser ablation and anodic bonding. Schafer D, Gibson EA, Salim EA, Palmer AE, Jimenez R, Squier J. Opt Express. 2009 Apr 13;17(8):6068-73.
  5. Three-dimensional chemical concentration maps in a microfluidic device using two-photon absorption fluorescence imaging. Schafer D, Gibson EA, Amir W, Erikson R, Lawrence J, Vestad T, Squier J, Jimenez R, Marr DW. Opt Lett. 2007 Sep 1;32(17):2568-70.

University of Colorado Boulder. Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. 2004-2008. Biophysics.
University of Colorado Boulder. PhD. 2004. Physics.
Colorado School of Mines. BS. 1997. Engineering Physics.