Birck Nanotechnology Center

Joseph Irudayaraj


Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering


Contact Information:

Phone: +1 765 49-40388



B.S. Biosystems Engineering (India); M.S. Biosystems Engineering (University of Hawaii); M.S. Computer Sciences (University of Hawaii); Ph.D. Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, 1991.


Research Interests:

We develop nanotools and single molecule methods to understand intracellular biological mechanisms and interactions in realtime in single living cells using single molecule fluorescence methods, plasmonic sensing, and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. We achieve this by integrating optics and instrumentation, nanomaterials with multifunctional properties, and single molecule and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy.


Research Impact Statement:

We develop single molecule spectroscopic methods for detecting and mapping protein interactions in the cytoplasmic and nuclear compartments. We use these tools to understand the inheritance of epigenetic modifications, one of the fundamental mechanisms essential for understanding human diseases. The plasmonic platforms developed using gold nanostructures are used for quantifying mRNA in single cells as well as other desired genetic material at atto Molar sensitivity. We create dynamic single cell chemical imaging tools enabled by Raman spectroscopy to study phosphorylation and redox sites in single cells. These efforts will be useful in drug screening. The overall tools developed in our group has the capacity to impact both the basic and applied sectors of the community.


Current Projects:

  1. Multifunctional nanoparticles for detection and imaging: Assembly of magnetic nanoparticles onto the ends and ends and sides of gold nanorods for bimodal imaging, photothermal therapy, and targeted drug delivery.
  2. Single Molecule tools for Epigenetics: We are collaborating with Dr.Kirchmaier’s group in Biochemistry to develop single molecule platforms comprising of FCS, FLCS, and FRET-FLIM to detect chromatin and protein modifications and its relationship to gene expression and DNA methylation to understand chromatin folding. We are attempting to develop super-resolution capabilities for cellular tracking of proteins and RNA.
  3. Dynamic SERS mapping of Phosphorylation: We collaborate with Dr. Parker’s group in Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology to examine phosphorylation in a variety of peptide substrates (eg. ABL) using Raman chemical imaging in living cells.
  4. Raman Chemical Mapping of Chromate Uptake, Localization and Reduction in Remediating Bacterium: We are developing a novel single-cell Raman imaging platform and fluorescence lifetime imaging techniques for dynamic monitoring of bioremediation pockets in microorganisms to address a variety of mechanistic questions related to biological reduction of heavy metals, bioremediation efficacy and the fate of metal contaminants in the environment.
  5. Single molecule tracking and intracellular kinetics using Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy and FLIM: We study the oligomerization and kinetics of Toll-like receptors and and alpha synuclein to study its relevance to drug response.
  6. Pathogen biosensors using SERS and Multitasking nanoparticles: An approach to detect pathogenic bacteria using nanoparticles in conjunction with a portable spectrometer is explored for onsite detection of multiple pathogens.



Research Group Web Site
Purdue University Engineering Faculty Page


Recent publications


nanoHUB Contributions

Research Links


Research Areas: