Project: Research project

Project Details


This proposal concerns the development and application of a resource
technology capable of direct imaging of biomolecules with extremely good
spatial resolution and sensitivity. In the best case, the spatial
resolution will approach 1000 Angstroms. Increased spatial resolution
will be the direct result of an increased sensitivity gained via the use
of laser-based multiphoton ionization techniques combined with a liquid
metal ion source. This imaging molecular microprobe, which may be
constructed largely with commercially available components, is predicted
to exhibit a nearly 2 order of magnitude improvement in resolution over
existing molecular imaging techniques. Molecular imaging will be carried
out using a liquid metal ion source for ion and neutral desorption from
prepared surfaces with subsequent laser-based multiphoton ionization and
mass analysis by time-of-flight mass spectrometry. This combination of
chemical methodologies is uniquely suited to provide quantitative
chemical identification with high spatial resolution, or conversely,
spatial resolution at the few micron level with extremely good
concentration sensitivity. Both high resolution and low resolution
applications are planned. Applications of this technology will involve
at least nine investigators at Penn State Univ., SUNY Buffalo and NIH.
These applications will include imaging haptens to identify colonies that
have been genetically manipulated to produce catalytic antibodies.
Moreover, chemical imaging will be used to examine molecules bound to
clusters of neurotransmitter receptors on nerve cell membranes and
experiments are proposed to quantitate peptidergic neurotransmitters in
single vesicles exposed by freeze fracture. In addition, the molecular
microprobe will be developed for imaging phospholipids in erythrocyte,
sperm and nerve cells to correlate membrane structure with function. The
technology proposed complements existing capabilities in optical and
electron microscopy, provides an ability to identify chemical species
with extremely high resolution, and promises to revolutionize our ability
to carry out experiments requiring bioimaging.
Effective start/end date9/30/929/29/93


  • National Center for Research Resources

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