University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Electron Microscopy Group Seminars > When nano meets bio: Interdisciplinary applications of electron microscopy

When nano meets bio: Interdisciplinary applications of electron microscopy

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The Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis (CMCA) is a core facility supporting ~500 researchers from across the physical, biological and biomedical sciences. As leader of the Centre’s electron microscopy capability my role is to support those wanting to apply advanced electron microscopy techniques in their research. While I have traditionally collaborated with researchers in the physical sciences, the interdisciplinary nature of the CMCA has encouraged the development of major collaborations with biologists in recent years. The common theme of this research is the application of transmission electron microscopy techniques such as electron diffraction, high resolution imaging, energy-filtered TEM , EELS and STEM to extract structural and compositional information down to the nm or atomic scales.

One area where the benefit of this fusion of technique and discipline-specific expertise is readily apparent is when the field of nanomaterials and nanotechnology meets the discipline of biology. From understanding nature’s ability to form minerals at the nanoscale to the interaction of man-made nanomaterials with biological systems, an interdisciplinary combination of physical and biological scientists with experts in characterisation techniques creates distinct advantages. I hope to demonstrate this by presenting data from several ongoing collaborations including studies of biomineralisation processes in marine molluscs, magnetic nanomaterials for biomedical applications and drug delivery capsules for neuroscience.

Biography: Professor Martin Saunders is Deputy Director of the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis at The University of Western Australia (UWA). Originally from the UK, and with a background in Physics, Prof Saunders’ doctoral research involved the development of quantitative electron diffraction techniques. During post-doctoral appointments in the UK, USA and Sweden, this interest in electron microscopy broadened to include all experimental and theoretical aspects of TEM techniques such as EFTEM , EELS, HRTEM , diffraction, x-ray microanalysis, STEM and tomography. Prof Saunders joined UWA in 2001 where he now leads the electron microscopy capability, working with many groups nationally and internationally in both the physical and biological sciences to develop applications of electron microscopy techniques.

This talk is part of the Electron Microscopy Group Seminars series.

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