Dr Ali K Yetisen

Dr Ali K Yetisen

School of Chemical Engineering
Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

Institute of Transnational Medicine
Heritage Building
Mindelsohn Way
B15 2TH

Dr Ali K. Yetisen is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the School of Chemical Engineering. He researches biophotonics, sensors, nanotechnology, and biomaterials. He was previously a Tosteson Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. He holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology from the University of Cambridge.


  • Tosteson Postdoctoral Fellow in Biophotonics, Harvard University, 2017
  • PhD in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, 2014


Dr Yetisen holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology from the University of Cambridge. He was previously a Tosteson Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr. Yetisen is interested in supervising masters and doctoral students in the following areas: 

Wearable Devices
Medical Diagnostics
Optical Nanomaterials



Dr Yetisen's research involves the development of nano/microscale devices, optical sensors, microfluidic chips, and smartphone-based readout technologies for point-of-care diagnostics. He specialises in photonics and biomaterials with a focus on optical sensors that analyse patient samples. He has developed several optical sensing platforms that quantitatively report on the concentrations of biomolecules. Specifically, he uses functionalised hydrogels, graphene, carbon nanotubes, nanoparticles, and techniques such as laser printing, holography, and microfluidics to create analyte-sensitive optical sensors. These devices have the ability to quantitatively measure pH, alcohols, glucose, lactate, fructose, osmolarity, electrolytes, heavy metals and proteins in clinical samples (e.g. urine, tear, blood). For sensor readouts, he developed a smartphone application that quantified the concentration of the optical sensors using the camera and sending data via a secure network to a centralised database. He also successfully carried out a clinical trial of these optical sensors to rapidly screen for diabetes, among high-risk individuals in the clinic. His research in nanotechnology led to a range of novel devices including world’s thinnest Fresnel lens, first rewritable holographic data storage, and first substrate-free photonic crystals.

His invention about automated immunehistochemistry and in situ hybridization slide staining system has been licensed by Diagnostics Division, Hoffmann-La Roche - under the trademark of BenchMark ULTRA. Recently, his work on the development of mobile medical applications led to a startup company (Colorimetrix) in Munich, Germany. His recent research focuses on the application on these platform technologies for application in minimally-invasive wearable devices with subcutaneous probes and implantable chips for prolonged diabetes monitoring, and contact lens sensors for electrolyte analyses in dry eye diagnostics.

his group’s research interests are primarily focused on the development and validation of biophotonic medical devices and sensors for application in clinical or point-of-care diagnostics. They conduct research to create novel materials and photonics devices that can reversibly sense a wide range of biomarkers in biological samples at nano/micromolar sensitivity. The applications of these biophotonic technologies are in wearable devices, minimally-invasive sensors with subcutaneous probes, and implantable chips for prolonged biomarker monitoring.


  • Jiang, N., Montelongo, Y., Butt, H., Yetisen, A.K. Microfluidic Contact Lenses. 14 (15), 1704363 (2018)
  • Elsherif, M., Hassan, M.U., Yetisen, A.K., Butt, H. Wearable Contact Lens Biosensors for Continuous Glucose Monitoring using Smartphones. ACS Nano. 12 (6), 5452-5462 (2018)
  • Jiang, N., Ahmed, R., Rifat, A.A., Guo, J., Yin, Y.X., Butt, H., Yetisen, A.K. Functionalized Flexible Soft Polymer Optical Fibers for Laser Photomedicine. Advanced Optical Materials. 6 (3), 1701118 (2018)
  • AlQattan, B., Yetisen, A.K., Butt, H. Direct Laser Writing of Nanophotonic Structures on Contact Lenses. ACS Nano. 12 (6), 5130-5140 (2018)
  • Elsherif, M., Hassan, M.U., Yetisen, A.K., Butt, H. Glucose Sensing with Phenylboronic Acid Functionalized Hydrogel Based Optical Diffusers. ACS Nano. 12 (3), 2283-2291 (2018)
  • Badawy, A.R., Hassan, M.U., Elsherif, M.I., Yetisen, A.K., Butt, H. Contact Lenses for Color Blindness. Advanced Healthcare Materials. 7(12) 1800152 (2018)
  • Yetisen, A.K., Martinez, J.L., Unal, B., Khademhosseini, A., Butt, H. Wearables in Medicine. Advanced Materials. 30 (33), 1706910 (2018)
  • Jiang, N., Butt, H., Montelongo, Y., Liu, F., Afewerki, S., Ying, G.L., Dai, Q., Montelongo, Y., Yun, S.H., Yetisen, A.K. Laser Interference Lithography for the Nanofabrication of Stimuli-Responsive Bragg Stacks. Advanced Functional Materials. 28(24), 1702715 (2018)
  • Yetisen, A.K., Jiang, N., Fallahi, A., Montelongo, Y., Ruiz-Esparza, G.U., Tamayol, A., Zhang, Y.S., Mahmood, I., Yang, S.A., Kim, K.S., Butt, H., Khademhosseini, A., Yun, S.H. Glucose-Sensitive Hydrogel Optical Fibers Functionalized with Phenylboronic Acid. Advanced Materials. 2017, 29, 1606380 (2017) 
  • Yetisen, A.K., Jiang, N., Ruiz-Esparza, G.U., Zhang, Y.S., Tamayol, A., Medina-Pando, S., Gupta, A., Wolffsohn, J.S., Butt, H., Khademhosseini, A., Yun, S.H. Paper-Based Microfluidic System for Tear Electrolyte Analysis. Lab on a Chip. 17, 1137-1148 (2017) 
  • Ahmed, R., Yetisen, A.K., Butt, H. High Numerical Aperture Hexagonal Stacked Ring-Based Bidirectional Flexible Polymer Microlens Array. ACS Nano. 11 (3), 3155–3165 (2017)
  • Ahmed, R., Yetisen, A.K., Yun, S.H., Butt, H. Color-Selective Holographic Retroreflector Array for Sensing Applications. Light: Science & Applications, 6, e16214 (2017) 
  • Butt, H., Yetisen, A.K., Khan, A.A., Knowles, K., Malik, Q., Yun, S.H., Wilkinson, T.D. Electrically Tunable Scattering from Devitrite-Liquid Crystal Hybrid Devices. Advanced Optical Materials. 5 (1), 1600414 (2017) 
  • Ahmed, R., Yetisen, A.K., El Khoury, A., Butt, H. Printable Ink Lenses, Diffusers, and 2D Gratings. Nanoscale. 9, 266-276 (2017) 
  • Alqurashi, T., Sabouri A., Yetisen, A. K. and Butt, H. Nanosecond Pulsed Laser Texturing of Optical Diffusers. AIP Advances. 7, 025313 (2017) 
  • Khalid, M.W., Ahmed, R., Yetisen, A.K., Butt, H. Holographic Writing of Ink-Based Phase Conjugate Nanostructures via Laser Ablation. Scientific Reports. 7, 10603 (2017) 
  • Ahmed, R., Rifat, A.A., Hassan, M.U., Yetisen, A.K., Butt, H. Phase-conjugated directional diffraction from a retroreflector array hologram. RSC Advances. 7, 25657-25664 (2017) 
  • Bentaleb, E.M., Messaoudi, M.D.E., Abid, M., Messaoudi, M., Yetisen, A.K., Sefrioui, H., Amzazi, S., Benhassou, H.A. Plasmid-based High-Resolution Melting Analysis for Rapid Detection of rpoB Mutations in Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isolates from Moroccan Patients. BMC Infectious Diseases, 17, 548 (2017) 
  • Deng, S., Butt, H., Jiang, K., Dlubak, B., Kidambi, P.R., Seneor, P., Xavier, S., Yetisen, A.K. Graphene Nanoribbons Based Plasmonic Fresnel Zone Plate Lenses. RSC Advances. 7, 16594-16601 (2017) 
  • Jiang, N., Butt, H., Montelongo, Y., Liu, F., Afewerki, S., Ying, G.L., Dai, Q., Montelongo, Y., Yun, S.H., Yetisen, A.K. Laser Interference Lithography for the Nanofabrication of Stimuli-Responsive Bragg Stacks. Advanced Functional Materials. DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201702715 (2017) 
  • Alqurashi, T., Montelongo, Y., Penchev, P., Yetisen, A.K., Dimov, S. and Butt, H. Femtosecond laser ablation of transparent microphotonic devices and computer-generated holograms. Nanoscale, 9, 13808-13819 (2017) 
  • Rashid, I., Butt, H., Yetisen, A.K., Dlubak, B., Davies, J., Seneor, P, Vechhiola, A., Bouamrane, F. Xavier, S. Wavelength-Selective Diffraction from Silica Thin-Film Gratings. ACS Photonics. DOI: 10.1021/acsphotonics.7b00419 (2017) 
  • Sabouri A., Sadigzade R., Yetisen, A.K., Hussanin, H., Essa, K., Butt, H. Three-Dimensional Lattice Mesh Structures for Oil Sensing. Energy & Fuels. 31 (3), 2524-2529 (2017) 
  • Alqurashi, T., Sabouri, A., Penchev, P., Yetisen, A.K., Dimov, S., Butt, H. Femtosecond Laser Directed Fabrication of Optical Diffusers. 2017, 7, 18019-18023, RSC Advances (2017) 
  • Dou, Q., Hu, D., Gao, H., Zhang, Y., Yetisen, A.K., Butt, H., Wang, J., Nie, G., and Dai, Q. High performance boronic acid-containing hydrogel for biocompatible continuous glucose monitoring. RSC Advances, 7, 41384-41390 (2017) 
  • Tamayol, A., Najafabadi, A.H., Mostafalu, P., Memic, A., Yetisen, A.K., Commotto, M., Aldhaheri, M., Shaban, M., Annabi, N., Yun, S.H., Dokmeci, M.R., Khademhosseini, A. Biodegradable elastic nanofibrous platforms with integrated flexible heaters for on-demand drug delivery. Scientific Reports, 7, 9220 (2017) 
  • Brinegar, K., Yetisen, A.K., Choi, S., Vallillo, E., Ruiz-Esparza, G.U., Prabhakar, A.M., Khademhosseini, A., Yun, S.H. The Commercialization of Genome Editing Technologies. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology. 37(7), 924-932 (2017) 
  • Vega, K., Jiang, N., Kan, V., Liu, X., Barry, N., Maes, P., Yetisen, A., Paradiso, J. The Dermal Abyss: Interfacing with the Skin by Tattooing Biosensors. ISWC2017 The 16th International Semantic Web Conference, Maui, HI, USA, 138-145 (September 11-15, 2017) 
  • Martinez-Hurtado, J.L., Yetisen, A.K., Yun, S.H., Multiplex Smartphone Diagnostics In Multiplex Biomarker Techniques: Methods and Applications, Methods in Molecular Biology Series, Ed. Guest, P.C. Chapter 26, 1546, 295-302. Springer Nature (2017) 
  • Montelongo, Y.,* Yetisen, A.K.,* Butt, H., Yun, S.H. Reconfigurable optical assembly of nanostructures. Nature Communications, 7, 12002 (2016) pdf *equal contribution
  • Yetisen, A.K., Butt, H, Yun, S.H. Photonic Crystal Flakes. ACS Sensors. 1 (5), 493-497 (2016) 
  • Yetisen, A. K., Butt, H., Mikulchyk, T., Ahmed, R., Montelongo, Y., Humar, M., Jiang, N., Martin, S., Naydenova, I., Yun, S. H. Color-Selective 2.5 Dimensional Holograms on Large-Area Flexible Substrates for Sensing and Multilevel Security. Adv. Opt. Mater. 4 (10), 1589–1600 (2016) 
  • Yetisen, A.K., Montelongo, Y., Butt, H. Rewritable Three-Dimensional Holographic Data Storage via Optical Forces. Applied Physics Letters. 109, 061106 (2016) 
  • Guo, J.J., Liu, X., Jiang, N., Yetisen, A.K., Yuk, H., Yang, C., Ali Khademhosseini, Zhao, X., Yun, S.H. Highly Stretchable, Strain Sensing Hydrogel Optical Fibers. Advanced Materials. 28 (46), 10244-10249 (2016) 
  • Ahmed, R., Ahmeed, R., Yetisen, A. K., Yun, S. H., Dai, Q., Butt, H. Multiwall Carbon Nanotube Microcavity Arrays. Journal of Applied Physics, 119, 113105 (2016) 
  • AlQattan, B., Butt, H. Sabouri, A., Yetisen, A.K., Ahmed, R., Mahmoodi, N. Holographic Direct Pulsed Laser Writing of Two Dimensional Nanostructures. RSC Adv., 6, 111269-111275 (2016)
  • Ahmed, R., Rifat, A.A., Yetisen, A.K., Yun, S. H., Khan, S., Butt, H. Mode multiplexed waveguide sensor. Journal of Electromagnetic Waves and Applications. 30 (4), 444-455 (2016) 
  • Breuer-Weil, A., Almasoud, N.N., Abbasi, B., Yetisen, A. K., Yun, S.H., Butt, H. Parametric Simulations of Slanted 1D Photonic Crystal Sensors. Nanoscale Research Lett., 11, 157 (2016) 
  • Ahmed, R., Rifat, A.A., Yetisen, A.K., Salem, M.S., Yun, S.H., and Butt, H. Optical Microring Resonator Based Corrosion Sensing. RSC Advances, 6, 56127-56133 (2016) 
  • Yetisen, A.K., Qu, H., Manbachi, A., Butt, H., Dokmeci, M.R., Hinestroza, J.P., Skorobogatiy, M., Khademhosseini, A., Yun, S.H. Nanotechnology in Textiles. ACS Nano. 10 (3), 3042-3068 (2016) 
  • Yetisen, A.K., Coskun, A.F., England, G., Cho, S., Butt, H., Hurwitz, J., Kolle, M., Khademhosseini, A., Hart, A.J., Folch, A. Yun, S.H. Art on the Nanoscale and Beyond. Advanced Materials. 28 (9), 1724-1742 (2016) 
  • Butt, H.,* Yetisen, A.K.,** Mistry, D., Khan, S., Hassan, M.U., Yun, S.H. Morpho Butterfly-Inspired Nanostructures. Advanced Optical Materials. 4 (4), 497-504 (2016) * Featured on the front cover ** Equal contribution and featured on the front cover 
  • Humar, M., Kwok, S.S.J., Choi, M., Yetisen, A.K., Cho, S, Yun, S. H. Toward Biomaterial-Based Implantable Photonic Devices. Nanophotonics, 5, 60-80 (2016) 
  • Yetisen, A.K., Volpatti, L.R., Humar, M., Kwok, S.J.J., Pavlichenko, I., Kim, K.S., Koo, H., Butt, H., Naydenova, I., Khademhosseini, A., Hahn, S.K., Yun, S.H. Photonic Hydrogel Sensors. Biotechnology Advances. 34 (3), 250-271 (2016) pdf
  • Rifat, A.A., Ahmed, R., Yetisen, A.K., Butt, H., Sabouri, A., Mahdiraji, G.A., Yun, S.H., Adikan, F.R.M. Photonic Crystal Fiber Based Plasmonic Sensors. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical. 243, 311-325 (2016) 
  • Zawadzka, M., Mikulchyk, T., Cody, D., Martin, S., Yetisen, A.K., Martinez-Hurtado, J.L., Butt, H., Mihaylova, E., Awala, H., Mintova, S., Yun, S.H., Naydenova, I. Ed. Serpe M.J., Kang, Y., Zhang, Q.M., Photonic Materials for Holographic Sensing In Photonic Materials for Biosensing, and Display devices, Springer Series in Materials Science, 229, 315-359, Springer International (2016) 
  • Paradiso, J., Schmandt, C., Vega, K., Kao, H.L., Kleinberger, R., Liu, X., Qi, J., Roseway, A., Yetisen, A.K., Steimle, J., Weigel, M. UnderWare: Aesthetic, Expressive, and Functional On-Skin Technologies. The 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp), Heidelberg, Germany (September 12-16, 2016) 
  • Yetisen, A.K., Montelongo, Y., Qasim, M.M., Butt, H., Wilkinson, T.D., Monteiro, M.J., Yun, S.H. Photonic Nanosensor for Colorimetric Detection of Metal Ions. Analytical Chemistry. 87 (10), 5101-5108 (2015) 
  • Zhao, Q.,* Yetisen, A.K.,* Sabouri, A., Yun, S.H., and Butt, H. Printable Nanophotonic Devices via Holographic Laser Ablation. ACS Nano, 9 (9), 9062-9069 (2015) *equal contribution 
  • Zhao, Q.,* Yetisen, A.K.,* Sabouri, A., Yun, S.H., and Butt, H. Printable Ink Holograms. Applied Physics Letters. 107, 041115 (2015) *equal contribution 
  • Butt, H., Yetisen, A.K., Ahmed, R., Yun, S.H. and Dai, Q. Carbon Nanotube Biconvex Microcavities. Applied Physics Letters, 106, 121108 (2015) 
  • 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. ACS Photonics. 2 (2), 200-207 (2015) 
  • Gibney, E., Yetisen, A. K. The nanomaterials designer. Nature, 526, 504 (2015) 
  • Yetisen, A.K., Volpatti L.R., Coskun, A.F., Cho, S., Kamrani, E., Butt, H., Khademhosseini, A., Yun, S.H. Entrepreneurship. Lab-on-a-Chip. 15 (18), 3638-3660 (2015) 
  • Yetisen, A.K., Davis, J., Coskun, A.F., Church, G.M., Yun, S.H. Bioart. Trends in Biotechnology (Cell Press) 33, 724-734 (2015) 
  • Farandos, N.M.,* Yetisen, A.K.,* Monteiro, M.J., Lowe, C.R., Yun, S.H. Contact Lens Sensors in Ocular Diagnostics. Advanced Healthcare Materials, 4 (6), 792-810 (2015) *equal contribution 
  • * Featured on the front cover
  • Akram, M.S., Daly, R., Vasconcellos, F.C., Yetisen, A.K., Hutchings, I., Hall, E.A.H. Applications of Paper-Based Diagnostics. Ch. 7. Lab-on-a-Chip and Micro Total Analysis Systems – A Practical Guide, Ed. Castillo, J., Svendsen, W. Springer. 161-195 (2015) 
  • Butt, H., Yetisen, A.K. Holographic lens fabrication using laser ablation. SPIE. DOI: 10.1117/2.1201511.006194 (2015) 
  • Yetisen, A.K., “Holographic Sensors”, Springer International, Cham, Switzerland, ISBN 978-3-319-13583-0 (2015) 
  • 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. 14 (6), 3587-3593. Nano Letters (2014) 
  • 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) 
  • Yetisen, A.K., Montelongo, Y., Farandos, N.M., Naydenova, I., Lowe, C.R., and Yun, S.H. Mechanism of multiple grating formation in high-energy recording of holographic sensors. Applied Physics Letters. 105, 261106 (2014) 
  • 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) 
  • 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) 
  • Vasconcellos, F.C.,* Yetisen A.K.,* Montelongo, Y.,* Butt, H., Grigore, A., Davidson, C.A.B., Blyth, J., Monteiro, M.J., Wilkinson, T.D., Lowe, C.R. Printable Surface Holograms via Laser Ablation. ACS Photonics 1 (6), 489-495 (2014) *equal contribution 
  • Tsangarides, C.P.*, Yetisen, A.K.*, Vasconcellos, F.C, Montelongo, Y., Qasim, M.M., Lowe, C.R., Wilkinson, T.D., Butt, H. Computational modelling and characterisation of nanoparticle-based tuneable photonic crystal sensors. RSC Advances, 4, 10454-10461 (2014) *equal contribution. 
  • Deng, S., Yetisen, A.K., Jiang, K., Butt, H. Computational Modelling of Tunable Graphene Fresnel Lens on Different Substrates. RSC Advances. 4, 30050-30058 (2014) 
  • Kong, X.T., Butt, H., Yetisen, A.K., Kangwanwatana, C., Montelongo, Y., Deng, S., Vasconcellos, F.C., Qasim, M.M., Wilkinson, T.D., Dai, Q. Enhanced reflection from inverse tapered nanocone arrays. Applied Physics Letters, 105, 053108 (2014) 
  • 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. 114 (20), 10654-10696 (2014) 
  • Yetisen, A.K., Volpatti, L.R.** Patent Protection and Licensing in Microfluidics. Lab Chip, 14 (13), 2217-2225 (2014) 
  • 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) 
  • Volpatti, L.R.,** Yetisen, A.K. Commercialization of Microfluidic Devices. Trends in Biotechnology (Cell Press), 32, 7, 347-350 (2014) 
  • Yetisen, A.K. Holographic Point-of-Care Diagnostic Devices, Cambridge (UK): University of Cambridge; 2014 
  • Martinez-Hurtado, J.L., Akram, M.S., Yetisen, A.K. Iridescence in meat caused by surface gratings. Foods, 2(4), 499-506 (2013) 
  • Yetisen, A.K., Akram, M.S., Lowe, C.R. Paper-based microfluidic point-of-care diagnostic devices. Lab Chip, 13 (12), 2210-2251 (2013) 
  • Del Rossi, J., Dunlop, P., Michael, S., Sanchez, S., Schoonmaker, S., Yetisen, A.K. Cell Staining With Air Quenched Steam Heating, WO Patent Application 139976 A1, 2011 
  • 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)