Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Nanoscale Analysis of Biological and Organic Materials

The goal of this project is to develop 2D and 3D structural and elemental characterization methods for studying nanoscale features in organic and biological matrices in various environmental conditions.  We combine existing microscopy and spectroscopy methods with computational approaches to improve spatial resolution and detection sensitivities.  Projects include 3D characterization of nanomaterials in biological matrices, fate of nanomaterial in biological systems, nanocomposite characterization, analysis of nanoparticles in photographic printing, and compressive sensing approach for low-signal x-ray analysis. 


Aunps Celegans
Cross-sectional views of a Caenorhabditis elegans showing Au nanoparticles captured in the gut of the nematode.

Displayed figure shows two cross-sectional images of a Caenorhabditis elegans from a recent study.  A portion of the nematode that was previously exposed to Au nanoparticles was imaged at nanoscale using focused ion beam serial sectioning.  The goal of this work was to detect and identify Au nanoparticles that were trapped inside the nematode.  This work was part of a larger study for developing an ICP-MS based quantification methods for nanoparticles in organisms. 

Full 3D image stack of the worm can be found here.

Customers/Contributors/ Collaborators

University of Maryland

National Gallery of Art

Smithsonian Institution

MML (Monique Johnson, Shannon Hanna, Antonio Montoro Bustos, Christopher Sims, Bryant Nelson)

Created January 31, 2018, Updated August 15, 2023