Kempe funds for development of ultra-fast mid-infrared chemical imaging
Florian Schmidt has been awarded 1.7 MSEK by the Kempe Foundations to develop mid-infrared photothermal microscopy for imaging of molecules in living cells.
The funds will be used for the purchase of an ultra-fast camera and optical components, as well as to employ a postdoc.
The fast camera enables the continued development of photothermal microscopy at Umeå University and will make it possible to selectively image molecules in living cells with high spectral and spatial resolution, and with the potential to capture fast processes and reactions. Rapid imaging is needed to record high-resolution spectra for each camera pixel during scanning.
The equipment will be used primarily to image metal-carbonyls (involved in the production of the gasotransmitter carbon monoxide) and alkynes (used to tag larger molecules) in living cells and tissues. A better understanding of the origin of carbon monoxide at the cellular level is needed in order to be able to use the molecule as a biomarker.
Another application area of the fast camera will be imaging of gases released during thermochemical conversion of biomass and reaction kinetics in flames.