Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Scientists image nanoparticles in action

Deborah Kelly
Deborah Kelly

Abstract:
The macroscopic effects of certain nanoparticles on human health have long been clear to the naked eye. What scientists have lacked is the ability to see the detailed movements of individual particles that give rise to those effects.



For the first time, researchers at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have imaged nanoparticles in action in a liquid environment.

Scientists image nanoparticles in action

Roanoke, VA | Posted on April 25th, 2013

In a recently published study, scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute invented a technique for imaging nanoparticle dynamics with atomic resolution as these dynamics occur in a liquid environment. The results will allow, for the first time, the imaging of nanoscale processes, such as the engulfment of nanoparticles into cells.

"We were stunned to see the large-ranged mobility in such small objects," said Deborah Kelly, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. "We now have a system to watch the behaviors of therapeutic nanoparticles at atomic resolution."

Nanoparticles are made of many materials and come in different shapes and sizes. In the new study, Kelly and her colleagues chose to make rod-shaped gold nanoparticles the stars of their new molecular movies. These nanoparticles, roughly the size of a virus, are used to treat various forms of cancer. Once injected, they accumulate in solid tumors. Infrared radiation is then used to heat them and destroy nearby cancerous cells.

To take an up-close look at the gold nanoparticles in action, the researchers made a vacuum-tight microfluidic chamber by pressing two silicon-nitride semiconductor chips together with a 150-nanometer spacer in between. The microchips contained transparent windows so the beam from a transmission electron microscope could pass through to create an atomic-scale image.

Using the new technique, the scientists created two types of visualizations. The first included pictures of individual nanoparticles' atomic structures at 100,000-times magnification - the highest resolution images ever taken of nanoparticles in a liquid environment.

The second visualization was a movie captured at 23,000-times magnification that revealed the movements of a group of nanoparticles reacting to an electron beam, which mimics the effects of the infrared radiation used in cancer therapies.

In the movie, the gold nanoparticles can be seen surfing nanoscale tidal waves.

"The nanoparticles behaved like grains of sand being concentrated on a beach by crashing waves," said Kelly. "We think this behavior may be related to why the nanoparticles become concentrated in tumors. Our next experiment will be to insert a cancer cell to study the nanoparticles' therapeutic effects on tumors."

The team is also testing the resolution of the microfluidic system with other reagents and materials, bringing researchers one step closer to viewing live biological mechanisms in action at the highest levels of resolution possible.

The study appeared in Chemical Communications in the article "Visualizing Nanoparticle Mobility in Liquid at Atomic Resolution," by Madeline Dukes, an applications scientist at Protochips Inc. in Raleigh, N.C.; Benjamin Jacobs, an applications scientist at Protochips; David Morgan, assistant manager of the Cryo-Transmission Electron Microscopy Facility at Indiana University Bloomington; Harshad Hegde, a computer scientist at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute; and Kelly, who is also an assistant professor of biological sciences in the College of Science at Virginia Tech.

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute joins the basic science, life science, bioinformatics, and engineering strengths of Virginia Tech with the medical practice and medical education experience of Carilion Clinic. Virginia Tech Carilion is located in a new biomedical health sciences campus in Roanoke at 2 Riverside Circle.

Written by Ken Kingery.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Paula Byron

540-526-2027

Copyright © Virginia Tech

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Article - “Visualizing Nanoparticle Mobility in Liquid at Atomic Resolution,” by Madeline Duke:

Related News Press

News and information

New low-cost technique converts bulk alloys to oxide nanowires January 24th, 2017

News from Quorum: Experienced electron microscopist, David McCarthy, talks about working with Quorum and his use of their coaters and cryo-SEM preparation instrumentation January 24th, 2017

Tough aqua material for water purification: Decontamination of water with a robust and sustainable membrane assembled from 2 synergistically working components January 24th, 2017

Harris & Harris Group Announces the Filing of Preliminary Proxy Materials Detailing Its Proposed Conversion From a BDC to a Registered Closed-End Fund January 24th, 2017

New, old science combine to make faster medical test: Nanoparticles and Faraday rotation allow faster diagnoses January 23rd, 2017

Imaging

News from Quorum: Experienced electron microscopist, David McCarthy, talks about working with Quorum and his use of their coaters and cryo-SEM preparation instrumentation January 24th, 2017

Distinguishing truth under the surface: electrostatic or mechanic December 31st, 2016

Nanoscale 'conversations' create complex, multi-layered structures: New technique leverages controlled interactions across surfaces to create self-assembled materials with unprecedented complexity December 22nd, 2016

Safe and inexpensive hydrogen production as a future energy source: Osaka University researchers develop efficient 'green' hydrogen production system that operates at room temperature in air December 21st, 2016

Microfluidics/Nanofluidics

Zeroing in on the true nature of fluids within nanocapillaries: While exploring the behavior of fluids at the nanoscale, a group of researchers at the French National Center for Scientific Research discovered a peculiar state of fluid mixtures contained in microscopic channels January 11th, 2017

Nanomedicine

New, old science combine to make faster medical test: Nanoparticles and Faraday rotation allow faster diagnoses January 23rd, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Discoveries

New low-cost technique converts bulk alloys to oxide nanowires January 24th, 2017

Tough aqua material for water purification: Decontamination of water with a robust and sustainable membrane assembled from 2 synergistically working components January 24th, 2017

The speed limit for intra-chip communications in microprocessors of the future January 23rd, 2017

New, old science combine to make faster medical test: Nanoparticles and Faraday rotation allow faster diagnoses January 23rd, 2017

Announcements

New low-cost technique converts bulk alloys to oxide nanowires January 24th, 2017

News from Quorum: Experienced electron microscopist, David McCarthy, talks about working with Quorum and his use of their coaters and cryo-SEM preparation instrumentation January 24th, 2017

Tough aqua material for water purification: Decontamination of water with a robust and sustainable membrane assembled from 2 synergistically working components January 24th, 2017

Harris & Harris Group Announces the Filing of Preliminary Proxy Materials Detailing Its Proposed Conversion From a BDC to a Registered Closed-End Fund January 24th, 2017

Tools

New low-cost technique converts bulk alloys to oxide nanowires January 24th, 2017

News from Quorum: Experienced electron microscopist, David McCarthy, talks about working with Quorum and his use of their coaters and cryo-SEM preparation instrumentation January 24th, 2017

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

Nanometrics to Announce Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results on February 7, 2017 January 19th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project