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Project Brief: Johns Hopkins University

NIST Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grants


Complete the development of two new widefield non-scanning imaging technologies for fluorescence 3D microscopy, in efforts to map the distribution of proteins and other components inside cells more simply and at higher speed and resolution than before.

RECIPIENT: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

  • Project duration: 3 Years
  • Total NIST Funding: $1,498,674
To understand cell function, organelle and molecular structure must be understood. A severe limitation in this has been our inability to map protein and cellular component distributions at the speed and level of resolution sufficient to fit intracellular substances into the underlying physical dimensions of membrane-limited organelles. This can be done by electron microscopy using thin sections where the cell is sampled in slices, but this technique samples only the random slice and is not interactive. A major structural goal is to map cellular proteins and other molecule distributions to organelles in three-dimensional space, and with the speed necessary to track rapid intracellular motion. Achieving this goal is important to all fields of biological investigation, including biomedical research. In support of this, the researchers plan to complete and perfect the development of two new widefield non-scanning imaging technologies for fluorescence 3D microscopy, which not only simplify the microscopy but also add important new functionality for high-speed imaging not possible with existing technology. The researchers will also combine these two new technologies into a powerful single microscope that combines the advantages inherent in each technology. This work will achieve whole cell mapping of fluorescent organelle proteins and other substances at higher resolutions while also enabling the capture of fluorescent confocal images on a CCD camera.

Public contact (for project information):

Robin Ferrier, 301-315-2896
rferrier [at] (rferrier[at]jhu[dot]edu)

Project Partners: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

NIST Program Office Contact:

Jason Boehm, 301-975-8678Jason.boehm [at] (

Created January 20, 2010, Updated September 9, 2021