April 1, 2019
by Carol Lynn Alpert
Participating: Jessica, Peter, Abhijit, Abhilasha, Kil Ho, Carol Lynn
The Ohio team played an April Fools joke on us, showing up 15 minutes late. Meanwhile Peter, Abhijit, and I discussed plans for our upcoming no-cost extension period. Peter’s has already been approved; mine is pending. Peter’s interim goal is to demonstrate imaging of a single molecule (such as an Alexa dye molecule) using the new holographic technique.
When Ohio got on the line, Jessica mentioned that she has not yet been able to make the supplement proposal request, but will contact our program officer shortly. She would like to try to tackle the QDot quenching problem using a different strategy, with molecular cages around the QDots that detach and diffuse away.
After Abhijit delivered his talk on building the new microscope at the Photonics West conference in San Francisco in early February, he returned to Georgia to tackle other parameters that could improve its performance. He tested the scope’s localization precision, which is affected by factors such as the number of photons being emitted at the target site and the presence of noise. It’s amazingly precise in the horizontal and vertical planes; somewhat less so in the axial plane. He showed us a stunning comparison between an widefield and STORM two-color image of a neuromuscular junction (see figure). More details here.
Both Abby and Kil Ho are aiming to finish up their doctoral research this summer; they are looking for job opportunities.
Abby ran into an unexpected obstacle this month when she could not reproduce the QD-DNA-AuNP composites previously synthesized, using a new batch of quantum dots. The new QD-ssDNA conjugates stuck to the sides of the tubes, rather than dispersing in aqueous solution so they could be available for linking with AuNP-ssDNA conjugates. After a literature search, Abby found a new method of dispersing the conjugates in a PEG solution. It worked. Next step: confirm that the new dispersion will allow the DNA hybridization necessary to accomplish the AuNP-ssDNA binding step. See details here.
This month, Kil Ho focused on improving the filtration system so he could use a higher concentration of DNA while also being able to effectively remove excess DNA. Through a series of experiments controlling for several variables, he was able to optimize the concentration of the washing buffer. See details here.
In Boston, the final countdown is underway to Saturday’s triple launch of the Museum’s first “NanoDays with a Quantum Leap,” plus the Finals of the national 2019 Quantum Matters™ Science Communication Competition, and the unveiling of new exhibit on quantum computing produced in collaboration with IBM Q. We’ll have lots to report next month about what occurred.
Our annual reports are due by April 30. Our next meeting is set for May 17, 10:30 am.