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Home > Press > ASU Gains Powerful Tool in Nanobiotechnology Research

Abstract:
Alabama State University is gaining a powerful tool that will help faculty and students perform world-class research in nanobiotechnology.



The Center for Nanobiotechnology Research at ASU recently purchased a $72,000 Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). This was made possible through part of a $4.9 million grant received in 2007 from the National Science Foundation.

ASU Gains Powerful Tool in Nanobiotechnology Research

Montgomery, AL | Posted on July 21st, 2008

Shree-Ram Singh, associate professor of biology and director of the ASU National Science Foundation - Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program, says faculty members will primarily use the microscope for nanotechnology research, but microbiology graduate students will use it to analyze samples.



Scanning-probe microscopes can be used in a variety of ways, including analyzing nanoparticles as well as biological samples.



"This type of scanning-probe microscope has a resolution much greater than a traditional microscope, enabling the user to examine subjects on the nanoscale. We can get three-dimensional images which are in nanoscale. This is not possible by other electron microscopes," Singh said. "This piece of equipment will allow students to view objects at the nanolevel, which is essential for an understanding of nanotechnology."



The new state-of-the art microscope differs from a traditional microscope in that it does not use lenses and instead contains a micro-scale cantilever with a sharp tip or probe, much like a record player, that is used to scan the specimen surface. The microscope measures attractive or repulsive forces between the probe and the sample. A laser captures the magnitude of the deflection and transfers the measurements to a computer screen display.



"Nanobiotechnology" is a relatively new and emerging area of research that deals with atoms and molecules that are in the 1-100 nanometer range. Several important biological molecules functioning in our body take place within this range. This new area of research holds great promise in the discovery and development of new technologies in creating devices and products to improve human health and environmental problems globally.



ASU's Center for Nanobiotechnology Research opened its doors in October of 2007 after receiving a $4.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation - Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (NSF-CREST). ASU's Center is the first nanobiotechnology center in the state of Alabama to be funded by the NSF-CREST. The major goal of the Center is to strengthen and enhance interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaborative research in the area of nanotechnology and biotechnology.



The Center is in the process of purchasing additional major instruments to support nanobiotechnology research.



The ASU CNBR NSF-CREST program has a long-term vision to enhance research infrastructure and state- of-the-art facilities, enhance collaborative research and business development capabilities, and serve as a training ground for scientists and students to perform world-class research in the use of nanotechnology to improve health and environmental problems.

####

About Alabama State University
Alabama State University, founded in 1867, is a comprehensive regional university offering students from throughout the region, state and nation a world class education by providing learning experiences designed to develop intellectual abilities, as well as social, moral, cultural and ethical values. In so doing, the university is equipping its students with the skills, insights, attitudes and practical experiences that will enable them to become well-rounded and discerning citizens, fully qualified for their chosen professions in the workplace and service to humanity.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
The Center for NanoBiotechnology Research
ASU
(334) 229-4485.

Copyright © Alabama State University

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