High resolution light microscopy of nanoforms

Vitaly Vodyanoy, Oleg Pustovyy, Arnold Vainrub

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    9 Scopus citations


    We developed a high resolution light imaging system. Diffraction gratings with 100 nm width lines as well as less than 100 nm size features of different-shaped objects are clearly visible on a calibrated microscope test slide (Vainrub et al., Optics Letters, 2006, 31, 2855). The two-point resolution increase results from a known narrowing of the central diffraction peak for the annular aperture. Better visibility and advanced contrast of the smallest features in the image are due to enhancement of high spatial frequencies in the optical transfer function. The imaging system is portable, low energy, and battery operated. It has been adapted to use in both transmitting and reflecting light. It is particularly applicable for motile nanoform systems where structure and functions can be depicted in real time. We have isolated micrometer and submicrometer particles, termed proteons, from human and animal blood. Proteons form by reversible seeded aggregation of proteins around proteon nucleating centers (PNCs). PNCs are comprised of 1-2nm metallic nanoclusters containing 40-300 atoms. Proteons are capable of spontaneous assembling into higher nanoform systems assuming structure of complicated topology. The arrangement of complex proteon system mimics the structure of a small biological cell. It has structures that imitate membrane and nucleolus or nuclei. Some of these nanoforms are motile. They interact and divide. Complex nanoform systems can spontaneously reduce to simple proteons. The physical properties of these nanoforms could shed some light on the properties of early life forms or forms at extreme conditions.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationInstruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology X
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
    EventInstruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology X - San Diego, CA, United States
    Duration: Aug 28 2007Aug 30 2007

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
    ISSN (Print)0277-786X


    OtherInstruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology X
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Diego, CA


    • Division
    • Imaging system
    • Life forms
    • Motility
    • Nucleating centers
    • Proteons
    • Transfer function

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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