Nav: Home

New nanoscale technologies could revolutionize microscopes, study of disease

July 19, 2016

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Research completed through a collaboration with University of Missouri engineers, biologists, and chemists could transform how scientists study molecules and cells at sub-microscopic (nanoscale) levels. Shubra Gangopadhyay, an electrical and computer engineer and her team at MU recently published studies outlining a new, relatively inexpensive imaging platform that enables single molecule imaging. This patented method highlights Gangopadhyay's more than 30 years of nanoscale research that has proven invaluable in biological research and battling diseases.

"Usually, scientists have to use very expensive microscopes to image at the sub-microscopic level," said Gangopadhyay, the C.W. LaPierre Endowed Chair of electrical and computer engineering in the MU College of Engineering. "The techniques we've established help to produce enhanced imaging results with ordinary microscopes. The relatively low production cost for the platform also means it could be used to detect a wide variety of diseases, particularly in developing countries."

The team's custom platform uses an interaction between light and the surface of the metal grating to generate surface plasmon resonance (SPR), a rapidly developing imaging technique that enables super-resolution imaging down to 65 nanometers--a resolution normally reserved for electron microscopes. Using HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs as starting templates, a repeating grating pattern is transferred onto the microscope slides where the specimen will be placed. Since the patterns originate a widely used technology, the manufacturing process remains relatively inexpensive.

"In previous studies, we've used plasmonic gratings to detect cortisol and even tuberculosis," Gangopadhyay said. "Additionally, the relatively low production cost for the platform also means it could be used to further detect a wide variety of diseases, particularly in developing countries. Eventually, we might even be able to use smartphones to detect disease in the field."

Gangopadhyay's work also highlights the collaborations that are possible at the Mizzou. Working with the MU Departments of Bioengineering and Biochemistry, the team is helping to develop the next generation of undergraduate and graduate students. Patents and licenses developed by MU technologies help create and enhance relationships with industry, stimulate economic development, and impact the lives of state, national and international citizens.

"Plasmonic gratings with nano-protrusions made by glancing angle deposition (GLAD) for single-molecule super-resolution imaging" recently was published in Nanoscale, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry. The National Science Foundation provided partial funding for the studies. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agency.
-end-


University of Missouri-Columbia

Related Nanoscale Articles:

Information storage with a nanoscale twist
Discovery of a novel rotational force inside magnetic vortices makes it easier to design ultrahigh capacity disk drives.
Researchers use acoustic waves to move fluids at the nanoscale
A team of mechanical engineers at the University of California San Diego has successfully used acoustic waves to move fluids through small channels at the nanoscale.
Core technology springs from nanoscale rods
Rice University scientists have demonstrated a method for reversibly changing the light emitted from metallic nanorods by moving atoms from one place to another inside the particles.
Tooth decay -- drilling down to the nanoscale
With one in two Australian children reported to have tooth decay in their permanent teeth by age 12, researchers from the University of Sydney believe they have identified some nanoscale elements that govern the behavior of our teeth.
Beating the heat a challenge at the nanoscale
A little heat from a laser can disrupt measurements of materials at the nanoscale, according to Rice University scientists.
New nanoscale technologies could revolutionize microscopes, study of disease
Research completed through a collaboration with University of Missouri engineers, biologists, and chemists could transform how scientists study molecules and cells at sub-microscopic (nanoscale) levels.
New tool allows scientists to visualize 'nanoscale' processes
Chemists at UC San Diego have developed a new tool that allows scientists for the first time to see, at the scale of five billionths of a meter, 'nanoscale' mixing processes occurring in liquids.
Heat and light get larger at the nanoscale
In a new study recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, researchers from Columbia Engineering, Cornell, and Stanford have demonstrated heat transfer can be made 100 times stronger than has been predicted, simply by bringing two objects extremely close -- at nanoscale distances -- without touching.
Revealing the ion transport at nanoscale
EPFL researchers have shown that a law of physics having to do with electron transport at nanoscale can also be analogously applied to the ion transport.
Systems analysis -- from the nanoscale to the global
Two major research grants were announced today by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Related Nanoscale Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Changing The World
What does it take to change the world for the better? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on activism—what motivates it, why it matters, and how each of us can make a difference. Guests include civil rights activist Ruby Sales, labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, author Jeremy Heimans, "craftivist" Sarah Corbett, and designer and futurist Angela Oguntala.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#521 The Curious Life of Krill
Krill may be one of the most abundant forms of life on our planet... but it turns out we don't know that much about them. For a create that underpins a massive ocean ecosystem and lives in our oceans in massive numbers, they're surprisingly difficult to study. We sit down and shine some light on these underappreciated crustaceans with Stephen Nicol, Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania, Scientific Advisor to the Association of Responsible Krill Harvesting Companies, and author of the book "The Curious Life of Krill: A Conservation Story from the Bottom of the World".