Kimani Toussaint


  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Group: Extracellular Vesicle Imaging and Therapy
  • Affiliations: Computational Imaging
  • Status: Beckman Affiliate Faculty
  • Home: Mechanical Science and Engineering



Kimani C. Toussaint, Jr. earned his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Boston University in 1999 and 2004, respectively. His dissertation work focused on using polarization-entangled photons to probe the optical properties of materials. Prior to starting at Illinois, Toussaint was an NSF Minority Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology at the University of Chicago, where he worked on interference microscopy, exotic polarization states, and optical trapping. In 2006, he was one of 100 top American scientists in the United States (under 45) to be selected for the National Academy of Science’s 18th Annual Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium.

Dr. Toussaint joined the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in August 2007, and became an affiliate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and an affiliate in the Bioengineering Department, in October 2007, and March 2008, respectively. His group pursues interdisciplinary research in optical physics and engineering that has applications in many disciplines, including biology and chemistry. Currently, he is developing an advanced optical microscopy platform for characterizing and manipulating both nano- and biological systems.



  • 2016
    • Lee, W.; Kabir, M.; Emmadi, R.; Toussaint, Jr, K.C., Third-harmonic generation imaging of breast tissue microarrays. Journal of Microscopy 2016, DOI:10.1111/jmi.12427.
    • Okoro, C.; Toussaint, Jr, K.C., Experimental demonstration of two-photon Mueller-matrixsecond- harmonic generation microscopy. Journal of Biomedical Optics 2016, 21, 016011.
    • Chen, H.; Bhuiya, A. M.; Ding, Q.; Johnson, H. T.; Toussaint, Jr, K.C., Towards do-it-yourself planar optical components using plasmon-assisted etching. Nature Communications 2016, 7:10468 Doi: 10.1038/ncomms10468.
    • Xiao, T.; Cifci, O.; Bhargava, S.; Chen, H.; Gissibl, T.; Zhou, W.; Giessen, H.; Toussaint3, Jr, K.C., Yablonovitch, E.; Braun4, P, Diffractive spectral-splitting optical element designed by adjoint-based electromagnetic optimization and fabricated by femtosecond 3D direct laser writing. ACS Photonics 2016, 3 (5), 886–894.
  • 2015
    • You, S.; Kuang, C.; Toussaint, Jr., K. C.; Zhou, R.; Xia, X.; Liu, X., Iterative phase retrieval method for generating stereo array of polarization-controlled focal spots. Optics Letters 2015, 40, 3532-3535.
    • Ge, B.; Ma, Y.; Kuang, C.; Zhang, D.; Toussaint, Jr., K. C.; You, S.; Liu, X., Resolution-enhanced surface plasmon-coupled emission microscopy. Optics Express 2015, 23, 13159-13171.
    • Chen, H.; Bhuiya, A. M.; Ding, Q.; Toussaint, Jr, K.C., Plasmon-Assisted Audio Recording. Scientific Reports 2015, 5, 9125, DOI:10.1038/srep09125.
  • 2014
    • Kabir, M. M.; Jonayat, ASM; Patel, S.; Toussaint, Jr, K.C., GPU-Based Quantitative Second- Harmonic Generation Imaging. Journal of Biomedical Optics 2014, 19, 096009.
    • Chen, H.; Bhuiya, A. M.; Liu, R.; Wasserman, D. M; Toussaint, Jr, K.C., Design, Fabrication, and Characterization of Near-IR Gold Bowtie Nanoantenna Arrays. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2014, 118, 20553–20558.
    • Roxworthy, B. J.; Bhuiya, A. M.; Inavalli, V. V. G. K.; Chen, H.; Toussaint, Jr, K.C., Multifunctional Plasmonic Film for Recording Near-Field Optical Intensity. Nano Letters 2014, 14, 4687–4693.
    • Roxworthy, B. J.; Bhuiya, A. M.; Yiu, X.; Chow, E. K. C.; Toussaint, Jr, K.C., Reconfigurable nanoantennas using electron-beam manipulation. Nature Communications 2014, 5:4427 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5427 (2014).
    • Chen, H.; Toussaint, Jr, K.C., Application of flat-top focus to 2D trapping of large particles. Optics Express 2014, 22, 6653-6660.
    • Tripathi, S.; Toussaint, Jr, K.C., Harnessing randomness to control the polarization of light transmitted through highly scattering media. Optics Express 2014, 22, 4412-4422.
    • Chen, H.; Tripathi, S.; Toussaint, Jr, K.C., Demonstration of flat-top focusing under radial polarization illumination. Optics Letters 2014, 39, 834-837.
    • Roxworthy, B. J.; Toussaint, Jr, K.C., Simultaneously tuning the electric and magnetic plasmonic response using capped bi-metallic nanoantennas. Nanoscale 2014, 6, 2270-2274.
    • Roxworthy, B. J.; Johnston, M. T.; Montiel, F. L.; Ewoldt, R. H.; Imoukhuede3, P. I.; Toussaint3, Jr, K.C., Plasmonic Optical Trapping in Biologically Relevant Media. PlosOne 2014, 9(4): e93929. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0093929.
    • Roxworthy, B. J.; Bhuiya, A. M.; Vanka4, S. P.; Toussaint3, Jr, K.C., Understanding and controlling plasmon-induced convection. Nature Communications 2014, 5:3173 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4173
  • 2013
    • Lau, T. Y.; Sangha, H. K.; Chien, E. K.; McFarlin, B. L.; Wagoner Johnson, A. J.; Toussaint, K. C., Application of Fourier Transform-Second-Harmonic Generation Imaging to the Rat Cervix. Journal of Microscopy 2013, 251, (1), 77-83.

    • Tripathi, S.; Toussaint, Jr, K.C., Quantitative control over the intensity and phase of light transmitted through highly scattering media. Optics Express 2013, 21, 25890-25900. [Selected for the January 2014 issue of The Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics (Volume 9, issue 1).]
    • Kabir, M. M.; Inavalli, V. V. G. K.; Lau, T.-Y.; Toussaint, Jr, K.C., Application of quantitative second-harmonic generation microscopy to dynamic conditions. Biomedical Optics Express 2013, 4, 2546-2554.[invited] [Selected for Novel Techniques in Microscopy special issue.]
  • 2012
    • Roxworthy, B. J.; Toussaint, Jr, K.C., Femtosecond-pulsed plasmonic nanotweezers. Scientific Reports 2012, 2, 660; DOI:10.1038/srep00660.


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