Studying the building blocks of life

Yinfa Ma, Curators’ Teaching Professor of chemistry, and Honglan Shi, an associate research professor of chemistry, are working with colleagues at Clemson University to develop a microscopic fiber optic probe that can detect changes in a single cell. The work is funded through a $567,311 grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.

Imagine a doctor’s needle that is only 2 to 5 microns in size. When inserted into a cell, the probe’s fluorescent nanomaterial-doped tip is used to detect either the cell’s pH change or corresponding temperature change.

When hit with a laser source attached to the probe, the six strands surrounding the central fiber detect changes in the cell’s reflected fluorescent signal. Researchers then calculate the ratio in two ways: one looks at the peak fluorescent intensity and the reference intensity; the other measures the decay time of the phosphorescence, which is then calculated and correlated with the pH or temperature values.

“Comprehensive understanding of a single cell in response to its biological environment and stimuli is becoming the foundation of many biomedical research fields, including drug development, nanotoxicity study, biomarker discovery, cancer diagnosis and treatment, and many other areas,” Ma says.

Around the Puck

Generous partners complete ACML fundraising

Thanks to an investment from the University of Missouri System, major gifts from industry partners and alumni support, S&T will break ground on the Advanced Construction and Materials Laboratory (ACML) on Oct. 12, during Homecoming weekend.

[Read More...]

Alumni help with sesquicentennial planning

Seven alumni, including three Miner Alumni Association board members, have been named to Missouri S&T’s sesquicentennial advisory committee. The group is made up of graduates, students, faculty, staff and community members who are involved in planning the university’s upcoming 150th anniversary celebration.

[Read More...]

Using big data to reduce childbirth risks

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complications during pregnancy or childbirth affect more than 50,000 women annually, and about 700 of them die every year. Steve Corns, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, is working with researchers from Phelps County Regional Medical Center through the Ozarks Biomedical Initiative to reduce […]

[Read More...]

Bogan solves Benton mural mystery

Missouri State Capitol muralist Thomas Hart Benton wrote in his memoir about being called into then-Gov. Guy Park’s office and told that a prominent St. Louis politician objected to Benton’s portrayal of black people, especially depictions of slavery.

[Read More...]

Breaking bias

According to Jessica Cundiff, assistant professor of psychological science at S&T, women who consider careers in the physical sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are deterred by stereotypes that impose barriers on the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in STEM.

[Read More...]