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Astronomy technology brings nanoparticle probes into sharper focus
Date:2/19/2008

novative computing and data processing will be increasingly used to reveal detailed and quantitative features not currently available to biomedical researchers.

This work is pointing to a new era in light microscopy in which single molecule detection is achieved at nanometer resolution, said Dr. Shuming Nie, a professor of biomedical engineering and chemistry and also the director of the Emory-Georgia Tech Cancer Nanotechnology Center. This is also an example of interdisciplinary research in which advanced computing meets nanotechnology. I envision major applications not only for single-molecule imaging, but also for ultrasensitive medical diagnostics.

Because scientists frequently use several different colors of nanoprobes to color code genes and proteins, a blended color dot is a common challenge when analyzing images. For every few green or red dots in an image, there could be a few yellow dots as well, indicating that at least two dots are clustering to create the appearance of a new color.

While less than precise nanoprobe images yield valuable information, the Georgia Tech and Emory research team knew that better technology was needed to pinpoint the exact distance in nanometers between probes to reveal important information about the size and binding geometry of targeted molecules.

We had no way of knowing for sure if we were looking at one molecule or two or three molecules very near one another, said Wang. The fuzzy dot images were not precise enough on the nanometer level to truly tell us how these markers reflect DNA, but this system allows us to collect quantitative data and prove not hypothesize how genes are behaving.

Instead of starting from scratch to create a system to isolate the clumped nanoprobe images, the Georgia Tech and Emory researchers pursued their stellar photometry idea by adapting DAOPHOT, a program written by Peter Stetson at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory designed to handle cro
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Contact: Megan McRainey
megan.mcrainey@comm.gatech.edu
404-894-6016
Georgia Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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