Honors & Awards

  • 2021 Centennial Teaching Assistant Award, Stanford University (06/2021)
  • Cum Laude, University of California, San Diego (06/2019)
  • The Japanese National Honor Society, College Chapter, American Association of Teachers of Japanese (05/2019)
  • Osaka University Scholarship for Super Short Term Study, Osaka University (06/2018)
  • Japan Student Services Organization Scholarship for Study in Japan, Japan Student Services Organization (06/2017)

Education & Certifications

  • Bachelor of Science, University of California, San Diego, Mechanical Engineering (2019)

All Publications

  • Principles and applications of sono-optogenetics. Advanced drug delivery reviews Yang, F., Kim, S. J., Wu, X., Cui, H., Kwang Hahn, S., Hong, G. 2023: 114711


    Optogenetics has revolutionized neuroscience research through its spatiotemporally precise activation of specific neurons by illuminating light on opsin-expressing neurons. A long-standing challenge of in vivo optogenetics arises from the limited penetration depth of visible light in the neural tissue due to scattering and absorption of photons. To address this challenge, sono-optogenetics has been developed to enable spatiotemporally precise light production in a three-dimensional volume of neural tissue by leveraging the deep tissue penetration and focusing ability of ultrasound as well as circulation-delivered mechanoluminescent nanotransducers. Here, we present a comprehensive review of the sono-optogenetics method from the physical principles of ultrasound and mechanoluminescence to its emerging applications for unique neuroscience studies. We also discuss a few promising directions in which sono-optogenetics can make a lasting transformative impact on neuroscience research from the perspectives of mechanoluminescent materials, ultrasound-tissue interaction, to the unique neuroscience opportunities of "scanning optogenetics".

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.addr.2023.114711

    View details for PubMedID 36708773

  • Ultrasound-activated luminescence with color tunability enabled by mechanoluminescent colloids and perovskite quantum dots. Nanoscale Yang, F., Cui, H., Wu, X., Kim, S., Hong, G. 2023


    Ultrasound represents a wireless and non-contact route for energy delivery and device control, owing to its ability to propagate and focus in various mediums including biological tissue. Specifically, ultrasound-activated mechanoluminescence from a colloidal suspension of mechanoluminescent (ML) nanocrystals offers a wireless means to remotely control a light source, such as wirelessly addressing a multicolor display. However, the limited color purity and tunability, as well as the large sizes of conventional ML materials prevent their use in an ultrasound-mediated flexible color display. Here, we apply a biomineral-inspired suppressed dissolution approach to synthesize ML colloids with bright blue emission under ultrasound and small sizes down to 20 nm. In addition, we leverage the bandgap engineering strategy of all-inorganic perovskite quantum dots (PQDs) to achieve wavelength tunability of the mechanoluminescence of ML colloid/PQD composites. Remarkably, the ultrasound-activated emission of the ML colloid/PQD composites exhibits a highly saturated color gamut covering the entire visible spectrum. Based on these advantages, we assembled a pixel array composed of different ML colloid/PQD composites in a silicone elastomer and demonstrated the proof-of-concept of a flexible and wireless multicolor display with each pixel individually addressed by scanning focused ultrasound.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/d2nr06129e

    View details for PubMedID 36625323

  • Palette of Rechargeable Mechanoluminescent Fluids Produced by a Biomineral-Inspired Suppressed Dissolution Approach. Journal of the American Chemical Society Yang, F., Wu, X., Cui, H., Jiang, S., Ou, Z., Cai, S., Hong, G. 2022


    Mechanoluminescent materials, which emit light in response to mechanical stimuli, have recently been explored as promising candidates for photonic skins, remote optogenetics, and stress sensing. All mechanoluminescent materials reported thus far are bulk solids with micron-sized grains, and their light emission is only produced when fractured or deformed in bulk form. In contrast, mechanoluminescence has never been observed in liquids and colloidal solutions, thus limiting its biological application in living organisms. Here, we report the synthesis of mechanoluminescent fluids via a suppressed dissolution approach. We demonstrate that this approach yields stable colloidal solutions comprising mechanoluminescent nanocrystals with bright emissions in the range of 470-610 nm and diameters down to 20 nm. These colloidal solutions can be recharged and discharged repeatedly under photoexcitation and hydrodynamically focused ultrasound, respectively, thus yielding rechargeable mechanoluminescent fluids that can store photon energy in a reversible manner. This rechargeable fluid can facilitate a systemically delivered light source gated by tissue-penetrant ultrasound for biological applications that require light in the tissue, such as optogenetic stimulation in the brain.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/jacs.2c06724

    View details for PubMedID 36190898

  • A biomineral-inspired approach of synthesizing colloidal persistent phosphors as a multicolor, intravital light source. Science advances Yang, F., Wu, X., Cui, H., Ou, Z., Jiang, S., Cai, S., Zhou, Q., Wong, B. G., Huang, H., Hong, G. 2022; 8 (30): eabo6743


    Many in vivo biological techniques, such as fluorescence imaging, photodynamic therapy, and optogenetics, require light delivery into biological tissues. The limited tissue penetration of visible light discourages the use of external light sources and calls for the development of light sources that can be delivered in vivo. A promising material for internal light delivery is persistent phosphors; however, there is a scarcity of materials with strong persistent luminescence of visible light in a stable colloid to facilitate systemic delivery in vivo. Here, we used a bioinspired demineralization (BID) strategy to synthesize stable colloidal solutions of solid-state phosphors in the range of 470 to 650 nm and diameters down to 20 nm. The exceptional brightness of BID-produced colloids enables their utility as multicolor luminescent tags in vivo with favorable biocompatibility. Because of their stable dispersion in water, BID-produced nanophosphors can be delivered systemically, acting as an intravascular colloidal light source to internally excite genetically encoded fluorescent reporters within the mouse brain.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/sciadv.abo6743

    View details for PubMedID 35905189

  • Development of Rotational Incremental Hammering Process for Porous Metals 11th International Conference on Porous Metals and Metallic Foams (MetFoam 2019) Cui, H., Matsumoto, R., Utsunomiya, H. 2020: 27