and Mass Spectrometry

Upcoming Speakers

Comprehensive Bio-Imaging Using Breathable Liquids

presented by

Michael Kurczy
The Scripps Research Institute

April 17, 2014

TSRI Auditorium


Michael E. Kurczy earned his Ph.D from Penn State in 2009 focusing on mass spectrometry imaging across biological surfaces. After finishing his degree, he did a postdoc in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden studying lipid membranes in living and model systems using mass spectrometry imaging and electrochemical methods. Currently he is developing Nanostructure Imaging Mass Spectrometry (NIMS) technology at The Scripps Research Institute.


Fluorocarbons are both lipophobic and hydrophobic molecules yet exhibit remarkable bio-compatibility, with science fiction-esque applications in liquid ventilation and synthetic blood. These unique properties have also enabled mass spectrometry imaging where the Teflon-like fluorocarbons assist desorption/ionization from nanostructured surfaces. We have designed fluorinated gold nanoparticles (f-AuNPs) to carry out nanostructure imaging mass spectrometry (NIMS). These particles can be delivered to tissue via a biologically inert fluorocarbon solution. Upon irradiation the f-AuNP’s gold core efficiently absorbs the laser energy converting it to thermal energy to release the fluorinated ligands, providing kinetic energy (and a driving force) for analyte desorption. Additionally nanoparticles also act as contrast agents for X-ray microtomography (µ-CT) and electron microscopy (EM). For example, cancer metastasized lung tissue was examined using a multi-modal approach, where a biologically inert fluorocarbon f-AuNP solution was introduced into lungs of mice, allowing tissue to be probed using both NIMS and µ-CT.

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