All PIs attended the June phone meeting, plus Jianquan, Kayvan, Qirui, and Karine. The big news was that Jianquan has secured a post-doc position at Pittsburgh University and has a baby on the way next month! While Jianquan came originally to OSU to work with Jessica as a quantum dot chemical engineer, his new position reflects his two additional years of experience rotating through Ge’s bioengineering lab at Carnegie Mellon and Peter’s super-resolution imaging lab at University of Georgia. Headed back to Pittsburgh with his wife and new baby in October, Jianquan will be conducting super-resolution imaging of cancer cells. Meanwhile, in August, Ge will be presenting the conference version of Jianquan’s paper on QD transport into cells with cell penetrating peptides at EMBS in Chicago. At Carnegie Mellon, Qinle has completed additional experiments on the effect of nanoparticle size on the endocytic process, and this fuller co-authored paper will go out soon.
In other big news, Peter, Kayvan, and Jianquan have succeeded in harnessing simultaneous two-color quantum dot “blueing” for STORM imaging of fixed HEP G2 cells – distinguishing both microtubules and mitochondria. We look forward to seeing the images and the paper, which is in now in preparation. Kayvan also reports getting very good images harnessing a genetic algorithm to determine how to optimize mounting medium to control QD blueing rates. Meanwhile, Jessica and Qirui have decided to go back to basics and do a fundamental redesign of their DNA-conjugated QDs, this time inserting the DNA linker ligands just within the QD shell where they create a stronger three-atom bond, rather than the previous design which relied on a single-atom bond at the shell surface. This is producing a much more stable nanoparticle conjugate, and a smaller one as well, and it should not only increase FRET (QD quenching) efficiency, but may also solve the QD – gold nanoparticle fluorescence low modulation problem, which Qirui suspects was caused by the instability of the prior single-atom surface bond design. We’re waiting with baited breath to find out if the new QD-DNA-linker conjugates are able to make a noticeable difference in fluorescent intensity modulation. In other news, Peter and Jianquan teamed up with Jessica to provide imaging samples for OSU’s tests of potential new STORM imaging systems to serve the OSU community.
Beth reported that Nati has moved back to her hometown, Vancouver, to begin her scientific art and animation studies; not, however, before providing us all with beautifully organized documentation of all the protocols developed and used by the Brainerd lab. Their QSTORM funding has run out and Beth will no longer be able to contribute samples to the STORM imaging effort. She is turning her attention back to fish locomotion. Good luck in your new ventures, Beth!
Karine reported on the very successful debut of “Making Molecular Movies with QSTORM” at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, with special guest Ge Yang. The presentation was a hit, and the enthusiastic family audience had many good questions for Ge, to which he responded with not-too-technical language and great analogies. See Karine’s blog post. Karine continues to wow audiences at MOS with the presentation about three times a week. Coming up – the Kner and Winter labs will be submitting QSTORM abstracts for the 2015 Photonics West meeting by July 28. Such a productive bunch – all of us!