Navigation Links
All done with mirrors: NIST microscope tracks nanoparticles in 3-D

A clever new microscope design allows nanotechnology researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to track the motions of nanoparticles in solution as they dart around in three dimensions. The researchers hope the technology, which NIST plans to patent, will lead to a better understanding of the dynamics of nanoparticles in fluids and, ultimately, process control techniques to optimize the assembly of nanotech devices.

While some nanoscale fabrication techniques borrow from the lithography and solid state methods of the microelectronics industry, an equally promising approach relies on directed self-assembly. This capitalizes on physical properties and chemical affinities of nanoparticles in solutions to induce them to gather and arrange themselves in desired structures at desired locations. Potential products include extraordinarily sensitive chemical and biological sensor arrays, and new medical and diagnostic materials based on quantum dots and other nanoscale materials. But when your product is too small to be seen, monitoring the assembly process is difficult.

Microscopes can help, but a microscope sees a three-dimensional fluid volume as a 2-D plane. Theres no real sense of the up and down movement of particles in its field of view except that they get more or less fuzzy as they move across the plane where the instrument is in focus. To date, attempts to provide a 3-D view of the movements of nanoparticles in solution largely have relied on that fuzziness. Optics theory and mathematics can estimate how far a particle is above or below the focal plane based on diffraction patterns in the fuzziness. The math, however, is extremely difficult and time consuming and the algorithms are imprecise in practice.

One alternative, NIST researchers reported at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society,* is to use geometry instead of algebra. Specifically, angled side walls of the microscopic sample well act as mirrors to reflect side views of the volume up to the microscope at the same time as the top view. (The typical sample well is 20 microns square and 15 microns deep.) The microscope sees each particle twice, one image in the horizontal plane and one in the vertical. Because the two planes have one dimension in common, its a simple calculation to correlate the two and figure out each particles 3-D path. Basically, we reduce the problem of tracking in 3-D to the problem of tracking in 2-D twice, explains lead author Matthew McMahon.

The 2-D problem is simpler to solveseveral software techniques can calculate and track 2-D position to better than 10 nanometers. Measuring the nanoparticle motion at that fine scalespeeds, diffusion and the likewill allow researchers to calculate the forces acting on the particles and better understand the basic rules of interaction between the various components. That in turn will allow better design and control of nanoparticle assembly processes.


Contact: Michael Baum
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Related biology technology :

1. Nikon Instruments Launches Fully-Automated A1 Confocal Laser Microscope Series
2. Nikon Unveils the Eclipse Ti Inverted Microscope Series at The Society for Neroscience Annual Meeting
3. Nikon Instruments Launches New Eclipse Ti-E Fully-Integrated, Motorized Inverted Microscope
4. Millennium Research Group Offers New Marketrack Service that Tracks European Dental Implant Market
5. Strengthening fluids with nanoparticles
6. DNA technique yields 3-D crystalline organization of nanoparticles
7. Anthrax vaccine produces immunity with nanoparticles, not needles
8. Anthrax vaccine produces immunity with nanoparticles, not needles
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
All done with mirrors: NIST microscope tracks nanoparticles in 3-D
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Twist Bioscience, ... that Emily Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief executive ... Healthcare Conference on December 1, 2015 at 3:10 ... in New York City. --> ... . Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. Sign ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAPR ... and commercialization of first-in-class therapeutics, today announced that ... to present at the 2015 Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference ... The Lotte New York Palace Hotel in ... --> . --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 According to two new studies, fewer men ... something that many doctors, scientists, and public health experts have ... fewer PSA tests being done, will there be more men ... David Samadi, "Despite the efforts made in regards to ... leading cancer cause of death in men, killing approximately 27,500 ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 23, 2015 , ... Noblis, Inc., ... , former Director, Plans and Programs, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), has joined the ... with an incredibly distinguished career in the intelligence community and the private sector,” said ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/17/2015)... Paris from 17 th until 19 ... from 17 th until 19 th November 2015. ... invented the first combined scanner in the world which scans ... now two different scanners were required: one for passports and ... the same surface. This innovation is an ideal solution for ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... Nov. 17, 2015 Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: ... development and sale of broadly enabling, pressure cycling technology ... industry, today announced it has received gross proceeds of ... Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing the total amount raised ... more additional closings are expected in the near future. ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for use ... chemical discovery information management tools. The partnership will ... share both biological and chemical research information internally ... tools will be used for managing the Institute,s ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):