CDI wins NIH grant to develop carbon nanotube-based microscopy probes for cellular imaging

AUGUST 13, 2009--Carbon Design Innovations, Inc. (CDI; Burlingame, CA) says a new grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program will fund development and commercialization of its carbon nanotube (CNT) atomic force microscope (AFM) probes for bioimaging and cell biology.

AUGUST 13, 2009--Carbon Design Innovations, Inc. (CDI; Burlingame, CA) says a new grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program will fund the development and commercialization of carbon nanotube (CNT) atomic force microscope (AFM) probes for bioimaging and investigations in cellular biology.

"CNT AFM probes offer very high-aspect ratio AFM imaging capabilities," said CDI CEO Vance Nau. Nau expects that probes resulting from the $390,000 probe will enable better understanding cell structures, which in turn will further advancements in protein and cell membrane analysis, bone cellular interface, and drug delivery--plus a CNT-based advanced sensor platform.

CDI will collaborate with the University of California at Davis on development of the probes. The company has already developed relevant nanofabrication methods as well as intellectual property (IP) that will allow design of a high-aspect ratio CNT AFM probe for life sciences research. According to Nau, "With the NIH funding, we plan to build on our unique ability to make straight, strong and durable CNT AFM probes to develop probes for imaging biomaterials and cells in much greater detail than current Si, SiN or CNT probes can provide."

CNT-based AFM probes from CDI are engineered from the micro to the nano scale with precise dimensions, angles and material properties. They promise longer lifetime, higher resolution and greater flexibility than other commercially available probes.

CDI develops and manufactures carbon nanotube devices based on a patented, deterministic process methodology. Its new class of CNT atomic force microscope (AFM) probes were designed to be straight, strong and extremely durable. The company says its CNT AFM probes provide high-aspect ratio, high-resolution imaging capabilities that are ideal for detailed whole cell AFM imaging and metrology.

In addition to the long lifetimes inherently provided by CNT technology, CDI saus ots patented manufacturing processes allow it to predictably straighten, align and securely attach a CNT to the AFM cantilever. The same probe can be used for multiple scans without tip deterioration or breakage, says CDI--so that AFM researchers can produce reliable scan-to-scan results.

For more information, see Carbon Design Innovations website.

Posted by Barbara G. Goode, barbarag@pennwell.com, for BioOptics World.

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