Nano Sensors Group | Illinois


Kenny LongKenny Long



  • B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois, 2012
  • B.S. Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Illinois, 2012
  • M.S. Bioengineering, University of Illinois, 2014

Research Interests

As a current MD/PhD student, I am interested in bridging the gap between the development of new medical technologies and their clinical applications.  I have previously worked on the development of a label-free microscope for the investigation of the dynamics of stem cell attachment and cancer cell metastasis and the first smartphone-based, spectroscopic point-of- care testing device. My current work focuses on smartphone-based spectroscopic detection of medically-relevant biomarkers, including those for maternal and child health, and HIV.

Honors and Awards

  • Illinois International Graduate Student Achievement Award, 2016
  • NIH F30 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Fellowship, 2016-present
  • John W. Price Award for International Understanding, University YMCA, 2015
  • Honorable Mention, Graduate Student Leadership Award, UIUC, 2015
  • O’Morchoe Leadership Fellowship, UIC College of Medicine, 2013-2014
  • NIH M-CNTC Fellowship, R25 CA154015A, 2013-2014
  • 3rd Place Cozad New Ventures Competition, Technology & Entrepreneurship Center, UIUC, 2013


  1. "Label-Free Biodetection using a Smartphone," D. Gallegos, K. Long, H. Yu, P. Clark, Y. Lin, , S. George, P. Nath, and B.T. Cunningham, Lab on a Chip,Vol. 13, p. 2124-2132, 2013. DOI: 10.1039/C3LC40991K.
  2. "Photonic crystal enhanced microscopy for imaging of live cell adhesion," W. Chen, K.D. Long, M. Lu, V. Chaudhery, H. Yu, J.S. Choi, J. Polans, Y. Zhuo, B.A. Harley, and B.T. Cunningham, Analyst, Vol. 138, No. 20, p. 5886-5894, 2013.
  3. "Single nano particle detection using photonic crystal enhanced microscopy," Y. Zhuo, H. Hu, W. Chen, M. Lu, L. Tian, H. Yu, K.D. Long, E. Chow, W.P. King, S. Singamaneni, and B.T. Cunningham, Analyst, Vol. 139, No. 5, p. 1007-1015, 2014.
  4. "Enhanced live cell imaging via photonic crystal enhanced fluorescence microscopy," W. Chen, K.D. Long, H. Yu, Y. Tan, J.S. Choi, B.A. Harley, and B.T. Cunningham, Analyst, Vol. 139, No. 22, p. 5955-5964, 2014.
  5. "Smartphone instrument for portable enzyme linked immunosorbent assays," K.D. Long, H. Yu, and B.T. Cunningham, Biomedical Optics Express, Vol. 5, No. 11, p. 3792-3806, 2014.
  6. "Planar photonic crystal biosensor for quantitative label-free cell attachment microscopy," W. Chen, K.D. Long, J. Kurniawan, M. Hung, H. Yu, B.A. Harley, and B.T. Cunningham, Advanced Optical Materials, Vol. 3, No. 11, p. 1623-1632, 2015. DOI 10.1002/adom201500260.
  7. “Building Partnerships: The Global Health Initiative and Njala University.” G.L. Damhorst, E. Duwe, K.D. Long, Center for Global Studies-Policy Brief, 12, 2015.
  8. "Medical diagnostics with mobile devices: Comparison of intrinsic and extrinsic sensing," . L. Kwon, K.D. Long, Y. Wan, H. Yu, and B.T. Cunningham, Biotechnology Advances, Vol. 34, p. 291-304, 2016.
  9. "Characterization of drug authenticity using thin layer chromatography imaging with a mobile phone," H. Yu, H. Le, E. Kaale, K.D. Long, T. Layoff, S.C. Lumetta, and B.T. Cunningham, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, Vol. 125, p. 85-93, 2016.

Boldface denotes first or co-first author publications