NIST logo

Christopher Hartshorn

 Research Interests

  • Label-free chemical imaging development
  • Cellular and whole tissue broadband coherent anti-stokes Raman (B-CARS) imaging
  • Biopharmaceutical imaging 

With respect to the former, we are developing a functional near-video rate Raman spectral imaging device and associated novel analysis tools that will allow biologists, medical professionals, and biomedical engineers to track cell phenotype and activity, the chemical composition of extracellular matrix, as well as the morphological and chemical properties of synthetic tissue scaffolds.

As far as the latter is concerned, the putative cancer stem cell has been proposed to be responsible in the developmental stages of some cancers. The goal on this front, is to be able to phenotypically map cancerous and normal tissue in an effort to discover correlations of this and other theories about cancer development utilizing bCARS spectral imaging. More specifically, in a bottom-up approach, beginning with the analysis of multicomponent biopolymer solutions to individual cells and, eventually, whole tissue, the hope is to build more robust models of cancer development as well as to develop standards for phenotype mapping in whole tissue for the medical community.  Also, in an effort to develop quality control and characterization tools for the ever-changing biopharmaceutical industry, we are undertaking the initial phases of bringing CARS microscopy into the realm of tablet surface imaging. Utilizing an epi-detection CARS microscope design, we are imaging model tablet systems to detect crystalline forms of the active ingredients separately from the amorphous excipients. 


2011: National Research Council (NRC) Post-doctoral Fellowship at NIST

2004: IGERT Optics Fellowship

2004: Sean T. Ellicker Award


Selected Publications and Presentations

Hartshorn CM, Marsac PJ, Lee YJ, and Cicerone MT (2012) High-throughput Multicomponent Biopharmaceutical Imaging Using Broadband CARS Microscopy (In press)

Wong LP, Rudolph AR, Hartshorn CM, Keller DJ, and Brozik JA (2012) DNA Binding and Polymerization with Tethered HIV RT. (in press)  Bioconjugate Chemistry

Hartshorn CM, Jewett CM, and Brozik JA (2010) Molecular Effects of a Nanocrystalline Quartz Support upon Planar Lipid Bilayers. Langmuir, 26 (4), pp 2609–2617

Fan HY, Hartshorn CM, Buchheit T, Tallant D, Assink R, Simpson R, Kissel DJ, Lacks DJ, Torquato S, and Brinker CJ (2007) Modulus–Density Scaling Behaviour and Framework Architecture of Nanoporous Self-Assembled Silicas. Nature Materials, 6, pp 418-423

Lillian P Wong, Christopher M. Hartshorn, David Keller, and James A Brozik; Binding of DNA-DNA duplexes to single tethered HIV RT molecules. (Regional ACS conference 2010)

Kumud R. Poudel, Chistopher M. Hartshorn, Elsa Silva-Lopez, David J. Keller, and James A. Brozik; Biomimetic Self Assembly: From Theoretical Modeling to Experimental Characterization. (Los Alamos National Laboratory DOE BES Symposium 2010)

Christopher Hartshorn, Hongyou Fan, Julia Craven, Scott Reed and C. Jeffrey Brinker;  Gas Plasma Treatment to Create Mesoporous Silica Films. (Regional ACS conference 2002).

HY Fan, C Hartshorn, and CJ Brinker;  Nanomechanics of new self-assembled nanostructures. (National ACS conference 2002).

Picture of Christopher Hartshorn


NRC Postdoctoral Fellow
Polymers Division
Biomaterials Group


Ph.D., Physical Chemistry and Materials Science Div, Washington State University (2009)

B.S., Chemistry, University of New Mexico (2003)

B.S., Biology, University of New Mexico (2003)



Phone: 301-975-6834