Quantum dot based super-resolution microscopy

Research Group: 
Centre for Condensed Matter and Material Physics
Number of Students: 
Length of Study in Years: 
Full-time Project: 
Project Description: 
Live cell capable optical super-resolution strategies are of intense interest among biomedical researchers, and developers of science technologies. They already do and will continue in the foreseeable future to play a crucial role in advancing fundamental discovery science and will generate fresh insights into living systems.

The aim of this project is to develop and test a methodology for biological imaging based on spectral separation of light emission from quantum dots (QDs). This approach allows to shift SR from the temporal to the spectral domain, thus promising much faster image acquisition rates than currently possible making live cell SR relatively straightforward.  In order to achieve the aim we will: (i) develop a quantitative resolution reference platform based on DNA origami/QD hybrid nanorulers with spacing from 60nm down to 18nm for precise quantitative assessment of optical resolution; (ii) test our SR approach using NMDA/AMPA receptors and Bassoon/Homer proteins in the synaptic region of neuron cells; (iii) test the practical limits of data acquisition rates on conventional confocal systems and a custom built microscope; (iv) carry out live cell imaging below diffraction limit.

Student will receive training in cell imaging using confocal microscopes as well as custom total internal reflection microscope, in optical instrument development and neuron cell tagging with quantum dots.
A good first degree in Physics or Biology/Biophysics. Interest in optics and image processing, knowledge of programming languages (e.g. Java, Perl, Python etc.).
SPA Academics: 
Andrei Sapelkin