Vitaly Vodyanoy, a professor of physiology and director of the biosensor laboratory, is named a real-life superhero by Edmund Optics, a global organization that supports R&D, electronics, semiconductor, pharmaceutical, biomedical, and military markets. Edmund Optic's real-life super heroes are using optics to foster innovation, drive cutting-edge research, and benefit industry.
The “superpower” Vodyanoy possesses enables real-time imaging of living cellular structures. Peering down the tube of his microscope, Vodyanoy, along with collaboration from academia and industry, developed a cutting-edge microscopy technique that features increased resolution and a dual mode fluorescence imaging capability enabling unlabeled techniques for identification of viruses and observation of interactions between labeled and unlabeled nanoparticles with the use of a traditional optical transmission microscope. His invention, the CytoViva Microscope, earned a R&D 100 Award in 2006 and 2007 for its revolutionary contribution to imaging technologies newly introduced to the market.
Vodyanoy is playing a key role in development of the emerging unlabeled imaging technology that offers extraordinarily high resolving power at a lower cost; thus enabling a tremendous benefit to public health around the globe with early stage disease detection. His technological advancements allow researchers to observe living cells, without any sample preparation, in fine detail traditionally offered by electro-microscopes. This real-time observation and analysis is allowing further development in advanced sensing techniques in such diverse applications as environmental monitoring, label-free biomedical imaging, trace detection, and pathogen sensing. The high resolution attributes allow for the detection of viruses, which can be approximately 20 nanometers in diameter versus bacteria that can be more than 200 nanometers in diameter.
Vodyanoy joined Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1989. He received his M.S. in Physics from Moscow Physical Engineering Institute and his Ph.D. in biophysics from Agrophysical Research Institute, Leningrad, USSR. He is a former faculty member of the Institute of Semiconductors and A.F. Loffe Physicotechnical Institute, Academy of Sciences, Leningrad, USSR. Vodyanoy has held positions at New York University and the University of California, Irvine, and he is published in numerous academic and scientific publications. He is the 2005 recipient of the Auburn University Creative Research Award and the 2011 recipient of the B.F. Hoerlein Memorial Endowed Faculty Research Award.