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The University of Southampton
Chemistry

Research project: Mahajan: Next Generation Label-Free Chemical Nanoscopy for Biomedical Applications

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Imagine if one could simply use an optical microscope and see whether a particular virus has infected a bio-logical specimen or not! Or if a single disease causing molecular structure could be detected, 20 years before the disease manifests itself!

Conventional microscopy simply does not have such spatial resolution! The challenge is to image endogenous molecules and structures composed of them specifically, in real-time, without tampering and sample destruction. Non-Linear optical techniques such as vibrational sum frequency generation (vSFG) and coherent Raman scattering (CRS), which use the intrinsic properties of molecules for selectively imaging them may provide a solution. They are non-invasive, label-free, chemically selective and non-destructive with capability for video-rate imaging of biomolecules and bio-chemical structures. However, they need to overcome the frontier of spatial resolution to be able to provide information at <100 nm level. This challenge is being addressed in this project.

Funding: European Research Council (ERC)

Funding duration: April 2015 – March 2020

Research groups: CBDT and IfLS

Staff: Sumeet Mahajan

Student: Tual Monfort

Nanoscopy image
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Related research groups

Chemical Biology, Diagnostics and Therapeutics

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