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Bio-Inspired Nanomaterials

Multimodality live-cell imaging (located outside of the CNMS)

This laboratory provides full capabilities to manipulate and image hydrated biological samples. Major imaging instruments include:

  • Live Cell Zeiss LSM 710 High Resolution Confocal Microscopy 
    A Carl Zeiss 710 confocal microscope with an environmentally controlled stage is available for live cell multi-channel imaging of biological samples.
  • Zeiss Elyra Superresolution Confocal Microscope 
    Structured Illumination Microscopy (SR-SIM) and Photo-activated Localization Microscopy (PAL-M) offer sub-diffraction limited resolution imaging of biological and material samples.
  • Confocal Fluorescence Microscopy
    A Leica TCS SP2 MP scanning laser confocal laser system for multiphoton excitation and Red (HeNe, 633 nm/10mW), Green (HeNe, 543/1.2mW) and Blue (Ar 458/5mW; 476nm/5 mW; 488nm/20mW; 514nm/20mW) laser systems and a 6-channel Acousto Optical Tunable Filter for laser line selection and attenuation. The optical system is uv compatible. The inverted stage system is equipped with transmitted light detection for recording bright field images and a 50W mercury arc lamp for epifluorescent illumination. Heated sample holders and perfusion systems are in hand.
  • Epifluorescent Microscopy
    The Zeiss Axioskop 2 FS plus fluorescence microscope is equipped with epifluorescent (top) illumination, Nomarski phase contrast optics (bottom) and either top or bottom illumination using 12W halogens lamps. A 12 bit Retiga color CCD camera is mounted on the microsope for image collection. A Burleigh PCS-5000 Series Patch Clamp Micromanipulator and ceramic objectives for electrophysiology measurements.
  • Combined SPM / Fluorescence Imaging System
    A Molecular Imaging PicoPlus scanning probe microscope system is available. This system contains small (10 µm) and large (100 µm) closed-loop multipurpose scanners with low-coherence lasers and a Picoscan 3000 controller. The closed loop motion control allows for reproducible positioning and lithography on the nanometer scale. Liquid cells, flow cells and temperature control equipment are included. The system contains magnetic and acoustical cantilever oscillation modes and the PicoTrec system that allows for simultaneous topography and chemical recognition. A video imaging system allows for sample viewing from above and through the scan head. Alternatively, the system is mountable onto a Zeiss Axiovert 135 epifluorescent microscope.
  • Automated Cell-Tracking and –Imaging System
    A Zeiss Axioplan 2 epifluorescent upright microscopy system with a cooled Diagnostic Instruments Spot Xplorer 1.4 MP monochrome CCD camera and Ludl Electronics Products BioPrecision Stage is available for automated image acquisition for subsequent cell tracking analyses. At present, two fields of view are available, namely 60 and 90µm, and they are facilitated by a long working distance objective and oil immersion lens, respectively. The system is computer-controlled using custom software that, once initiated, can track, autofocus, and acquire both monochromatic brightfield and fluorescent images repeatedly from multiple nodes over very long times (tens of hours) without additional input from an operator.

PECVD Synthesis of Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanofibers (VACNFs) and Carbon Nanospikes (CNSs)

  • DC-PECVD System with Load Lock
    This system is available to grow VACNFs and CNSs on substrates up to 4 inches in diameter using DC plasma.  The VACNFs uses a Ni catalysis and can be synthesized deterministically by lithography or by dewetting a thin film to synthesize a forest.  The CNSs does not use a catalysis, is conformal, high surface area and is tolerant to various substrate materials.  Both are synthesized at temperatures over 650C.