New Biomaging Tools

We are developing and applying a suite of transformative new bioimaging tools exploiting quantum sensing, super-resolution optical imaging, correlated electron microscopy and cathodoluminescence, and new modalities for NMR and MRI. Applications range from noninvasive magnetic imaging of individual neurons to high-resolution NMR spectroscopy of single cells to open-access, low-magnetic-field human MRI.

Quantum Diamond Microscope (QDM) for Bioimaging

The Quantum Diamond Microscope (QDM) provides noninvasive, wide-field magnetic imaging of 2D biological samples with diffraction-limited resolution and high sensitivity. The QDM can map static magnetic field patterns — e.g., in populations of living magnetotactic bacteria and in magnetic nanoparticle-labeled cells and biomarkers. The QDM can also be configured to image real-time magnetic imaging of currents in electrically active cells and cellular networks, such as cardiac cells and neurons with single cell resolution. These capabilities are not available with any other technology.

Functionalized Super-Resolution Imaging

Multi-color cathodoluminescence (CL) of nanoparticles containing different types of quantum defects The CL images are well-correlated with electron microscopy images of the nanoparticles, and provide superior resolution to confocal imaging. Scale bars are 200 nm.

We pioneered the use of nanoparticles to provide functionalized electron microscopy via multi-color cathodoluminescence of nanoparticles, which may allow determination of both the structure and function of brain circuits with individual synapse resolution. We also pursue new approaches to add functional capability to super-resolution optical imaging by integrating STED and RESOLFT techniques with nanoscale sensing using quantum defects in diamond.