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Ali Yetisen

Ali Yetisen







Office Phone: 01223767782


B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, The University of Arizona, USA

Research Interests

Our research involves characterisation and optimisation of pH, glucose, ion-responsive optical sensors for point-of-care diagnostic devices. We record three-dimensional (3D) images in functional polymers using nanosecond pulsed laser writing to produce optical sensors. When the sensor is illuminated with a white-light source, it produces visible-light Bragg diffraction and displays a monochromatic color. We recently carried out clinical trials of these sensors at Wolfson Diabetes and Endocrine Clinic in Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Our results showed that the sensor was highly sensitive and reported large and reversible colors in the entire visible spectrum, which was correlated with the concentration of the target analyte. We also obtained fully-quantitative readouts through spectrophotometry, and semi-quantitative results were achieved through visual readouts. The optical sensor represents a simple and label-free analytical platform for the quantification of clinical analytes, while showing potential scalability. We anticipate that our sensing platform will lead to many novel applications from printable devices to low-cost colorimetric biosensors.

Adapted from Advanced Optical Materials

Key Publications

1. Yetisen, A.K, Montelongo, Y., Vasconcellos, F.C., Martinez-Hurtado, J.L., Neupane, S., Butt, H., Qasim, M.M., Blyth, J., Burling, K., Carmody, J.B., Evans, M., Wilkinson, T.D., Kubota, L.T., Monteiro, M.J., Lowe, C.R. Reusable, Robust, and Accurate Laser-Generated Photonic Nanosensor. Nano Letters, 14 (6), 3587-3593 (2014) link

2. Yetisen, A.K., Naydenova, I., Vasconcellos, F.C, Blyth, J., Lowe,C.R. Holographic Sensors: Three-Dimensional Analyte-Sensitive Nanostructures and their Applications. Chemical Reviews (in press) (2014)

3. Yetisen, A.K., Butt, H., Vasconcellos F.C., Montelongo, Y., Davidson, C.A.B., Blyth, J., Chan, L., Carmody, J.B., Vignolini, S., Steiner, U., Baumberg, J.J., Wilkinson, T.D., Lowe, C.R., Light-Directed Writing of Chemically Tunable Narrow-Band Holographic Sensors. Advanced Optical Materials, 2 (3), 250-254 (2014) link

4. Yetisen, A.K., Qasim, M., Nosheen, S., Wilkinson, T.D., Lowe, C.R. Pulsed laser writing of holographic nanosensors. Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 2 (18), 3569 - 3576 (2014) link

5. Yetisen, A.K., Martinez-Hurtado, J.L., Garcia-Melendrez, A., Vasconcellos, F.C, Lowe, C.R. A smartphone algorithm with inter-phone repeatability for the analysis of colorimetric tests. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 196, 156-160 (2014) link

* Selected for Lab on a Chip Top 10% and Lab on a Chip HOT Article

7. Yetisen, A.K., Martinez-Hurtado, J.L., Vasconcellos, F.C., Simsekler, M.C.E., Akram, M.S., C.R., Lowe. The regulation of mobile medical applications. Lab Chip, 14 (5), 833-840 (2014) link

13. Yetisen, A.K., Akram, M.S., Lowe, C.R. Paper-based microfluidic point-of-care diagnostic devices. Lab Chip, 13 (12), 2210-2251 (2013) link

* This manuscript is thought as course material in the undergraduate curriculum in diagnostic design class, Innovations in International Health, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Selected for Lab on a Chip Top 10%

14. Martinez-Hurtado, J.L., Akram, M.S., Yetisen, A.K., Iridescence in meat caused by surface gratings. Foods, 2(4), 499-506 (2013) link

15. Yetisen, A.K., Jiang, L., Cooper, J.R., Qin, Y., Palanivelu, R., and Zohar, Y. A microsystem-based assay for studying pollen tube guidance in plant reproduction. J. Micromech. Microeng. 21, 054018 (2011) link

16. Kong, X.T., Khan, A.A., Kidambi, P.R., Deng, S., Yetisen, A.K., Dlubak, B., Hiralal, P., Montelongo, Y., Bowen, J., Xavier, S., Jiang, K., Amaratunga, G.A.J., Hofmann, S., Wilkinson, T.D., Dai, Q., Butt, H. Graphene based Ultra-Thin Flat Lenses (under review) (2014)

17. Akram, M.S., Daly, R., Vasconcellos, F.C., Yetisen, A.K., Hutchings, I., Hall, E.A.H. Applications of Paper-Based Diagnostics. Lab-on-a-Chip Devices and Micro-Total Analysis Systems. Eds. Castillo-Leon, J., Svendsen, W. E. Springer (2014) link


18. Del Rossi, J., Dunlop, P., Michael, S., Sanchez, S., Schoonmaker, S.P., Yetisen, A.K. Cell Staining with Air Quenched Steam Heating, WO2011139976 (2011) link

* This device was commercialised by Diagnostics Division of Hoffmann-La Roche

* BenchMark ULTRA: Automated IHC/ISH slide staining system link

Press Coverage

Holographic Sensing

Wired Magazine: Low-cost 'smart' holograms can monitor diabetes, Gizmag: Smart holograms can test for and monitor diseases, Chemistry World: Cheap and colourful holographic sensors, Extremetech: A new hydrogel uses holograms to warn you about your health, Science 2.0: Holographic Diagnostics, Med device: Holographic DiagnosticsFuturistech:  Color changing holograms developed for portable medical tests from infections to diabetes, Co.exist: Colorful Nanotechnology Holograms Make Cheap Medical Testing In The Field, Impresive Magazine: Smart Holograms Monitor Health Conditions, University of Cambridge Research: Holographic Diagnostics, Business Weekly: 10p medtech sensor could lead to smartphone test, The Economic Times:Smart holograms that detect and monitor diseases developed, News Medical: 'Smart' holograms could be used to monitor diabetes, cardiac function, infections, Electronics Weekly: Cambridge uses holograms on your smartphone to monitor diabetes, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology news, Cambridge Enterprise: Holographic Diagnostics, ScienceDaily: Holographic Diagnostics in Medicine, PhysOrg: Holographic diagnostics, World Health: Holograms for Health, Liberty: Color-changing holograms may be used to monitor glucose levels, UPI: Colorful, smart holograms could be used to monitor health conditions, my science: Holographic Diagnostics, Medilink UK: Smart Holograms can Test for and Monitor Diseases, body1: Diseases Diagnosed by 'Smart' Holograms, eurekalert: Holographic diagnostics, Cambridge Network: Researchers develop holographic diagnostics, Product Design and Development: Responsive Holograms Change Color, Laboratory Equipment: Holograms Can Monitor Disease, tcetoday: Holographic sensors change colour, Holographic diagnostics, e! Science News: Holographic Diagnostics, Hispanic Business: Holographic diagnostics, Medical Design Technology: Holographic Diagnostics, Azonano: Responsive Holograms, My Biologica: Holographic diagnostics in medicine, Health Medicine Network: Holographic diagnostics, iMedicalApps: Researchers starting clinical trials of low cost holographic test that monitors diabetes, The Watchers: Researchers develop holograms that change colour, diabetes1: Diabetes Diagnosis by 'Smart' Holograms, CEB: Responsive holograms act as sensors for medical diagnostic applications

Mobile Medical Applications

Yahoo news: Diagnostics On the Go, The Daily Beast: New Camera-Centric Smartphone App Puts Healthcare in Your Pocket, The Times of India: Cambridge University scientists develop diagnostic app, University of Cambridge Research News: Pocket diagnosis, Smartphone app to change the status quo in point-of-care diagnostics, Business Standard: Now, app that turns smartphone into portable medical diagnostic device, Pocket Diagnosis, my Science: Pocket Diagnosis, Colorimetrix test reader, USANews: Pocket Diagnosis, Medical Daily: ‘Mobile Healthcare’ Can Help Stop Spread Of Pandemics: New Phone App, ‘Colorimetrix,’ To Monitor Diabetes And Kidney Disease, Science Daily: Pocket diagnosis: App turns any smartphone into a portable medical diagnostic device, R&D Magazine: New app delivers pocket diagnosis, Public Health at Cambridge: Smartphone diagnostics, Qmed: Colorimetrix App Turns Smartphones into Lab Test Readers, Cambridge Network: New app enables pocket diagnosis, Wireless Design Magazine: Pocket Diagnosis, Hindustan Times, ANI News, Z News, ECN Magazine: Pocket Diagnosis, Fast Company: This App Turns Your Smartphone Into A Medical Diagnostic Device, Green Technology World: QMED -Colorimetrix App Turns Smartphones into Lab Test Readers, Fierce Mobile Healthcare: Smartphone app aims for faster, more accurate, body fluid testing, Tree Hugger: New app turns smartphone into portable medical diagnosis device, Lab Manager: Pocket Diagnosis, Ghana Health Nest: This new app turns any smartphone into a portable diagnostic device, Hispanic Business: Now, app that turns smartphone into portable medical diagnostic device, Science and Enterprise: Smartphone App for Point-of-Care Diagnostics in Development, Innovation Toronto: App turns a smartphone into a portable medical diagnostic device, Hispanic Business: Colorimetrix App Turns Smartphones into Lab Test Readers, Fierce Diagnostics: Mobile app could offer inexpensive Dx in developing world, Medical News Today: New app turns any smartphone into a portable medical diagnostic device, Press News: Pocket Diagnosis, Bio-Medicine: Pocket Diagnosis, The Outbreak: Colorimetrix: New App provides Pocket diagnosis, Eurekalert!: Pocket Diagnosis, Science Codex: Pocket diagnosis, Global Biodefence: Cambridge Researchers Develop Pocket Diagnosis App, TMC News: University of Cambridge - Pocket diagnosis, The Siasat Daily: Now, app that turns smartphone into portable medical diagnostic device, Smashits, Kurzweil: Fabrication of pH-Sensitive Holograms, Thisisreallyinteresting: Pocket Diagnosis, NDTV: Colorimetrix smartphone app to help diagnose diseases, The Health Site: Now a smartphone app which can diagnose diseases!, Business Standard: New smartphone app to diagnose diseases, TechMagnifier: Colorimetrix app for Smartphone reads Colorimetric Test Strips Accurately, Art of Healthy Living: Colorimetrix - the smartphone app for disease diagnosis, CSR Journal: New app turns smartphone into portable medical diagnosis device, Post: New smartphone app to diagnose diseases including HIV, Deccan Herald: New smartphone app to diagnose diseases, Electronics Bulletin: Pocket Diagnosis, medGadget: New App from University of Cambridge Accurately Reads Colorimetric Test Strips, Tech and Gadget News: Android Beta App ‘Colorimetrix’ May be the First Medical Tricorder, Wireless Design Magazine: New App Provides Pocket Medical Diagnosis, Lab Manager: Pocket Diagnosis, Clinical Innovation and Technology: New app aims to simplify colorimetric tests, The New Zealand Herald: Stickly Colour, Internet Medicine: A DIY medical diagnosis app, SnapMD: Test for Kidney Disease On Your Smart-Phone, Idea Connection: Smartphone App Reads Colorimetric Test Strips

Diabetes Screening

Chemical & Engineering News: Low-cost, Reusable Glucose Sensor, Varsity: Nanotechnology tackles developing world diabetes, Controlled Environments Magazine,, Cambridge University News: Nanotechnology takes on diabetes, Cambridge Network, HealthTech Event: Low-cost, Reusable Glucose Sensor, Cambridge Africa, Laboratory Equipment: Nanotech Screens for Diabetes, Bioscience technology, Headlines & Global News: U.K. Researchers Use Nanotechnology to Combat Diabetes, Nano Werk, Mumbai Mirror,, Diabetes News, Bio Portfolio, Nano Magazine, Bangalore Mirror, Nanocomputer: 20 Pence Reusable Sensor To Detect Diabetes, Public Health at Cambridge, Device Space, myScience, Hispanic Business, Today's Medical Developments, Med Device Design Newsroom, Bioethics, Diabetes Forum: Researchers develop low-cost nanotechnology sensor for diabetes screening, TG Techno, Investor Intel, Biospace, Brunch News


New sensing platform enables novel point-of-care diagnostics link

Paper-based Microfluidics

Paper-based microfluidic point-of-care diagnostic devices link

Patent Protection and Licensing in Microfluidics

GenomeWeb: Q&A: University of Cambridge Researchers on a Roadmap for Patenting Microfluidic Devices link

The Regulations of Mobile Medical Applications

The GP of the future: mobile medical applications link

Printable Devices

Printable holograms offer security and data storage solutions link


Undergraduate Teaching:

Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

       Biotechnology CET I - Lent Term 2014

Center for Entrepreneurial Learning, Judge Business School

       Entrepreneurship - ETECH Projects - Lent Term 2014

Fellow, Cambridge Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine

Affiliate Member, Royal Society of Chemistry

Alumnus, Roche Continents

Member, Tau Beta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi


Yunuen Montelongo, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

Michael Monteiro, Australian Institute for Bioengineering & Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland, Australia

Izabela Naydenova, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland

Jeff Blyth, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge

Malik Qasim, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

Haider Butt, School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Birmingham

Tim Wilkinson, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

Lisa Volpatti, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge

J. Bryan Carmody, The Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, Norfolk, VA, USA

Mark Evans, Institute of Metabolic Science, Addenbrooke's Hospital

Sankalpa Neupane, Institute of Metabolic Science, Addenbrooke's Hospital

Keith Burling, The Core Biochemical Assay Laboratory, NHS, Addenbrooke's Hospital

Ateeq Suria, XLab, Stanford University

Karl Gerhardt, Bioengineering, Rice University

Juan L. Martinez-Hurtado, Technical University of Munich, Germany

Lukas Chvatal, Institute of Scientific Instruments of the ASCR, Czech Republic

Pavel Zemanek, Institute of Scientific Instruments of the ASCR, Czech Republic

Silvia Vignolini, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge

Jeremy Baumberg, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Caterina Ducati, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge

Ullrich Steiner, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge