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2016 JALA & JBS Art of Science Contest Winners

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Grand Prize Winner

Fernanda Ricci, IIT@SEMM (Italy)


Mosaic representation of cell colonies (two outermost columns on each side) and the resulting automated segmentation (four color-coded columns) obtained with Colony Assay Toolbox (CaT, F. Ricci et al. JBS 2014). The illustrations are representative of a colony formation in a 384 multi-well format; the single wells are entirely acquired by using a 4x objective combined with a large camera in wide-field microscopy (Nikon Ti-Eclipse).


Honorable Mentions

Xianting Ding, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China)

In the research of microfluidics, Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is one of the most frequently used material to form microfluidics channels for various biomedical applications. Yet, in order to bind PDMS with glass substrate, oxygen plasma is often required to activate PDMS surface. However, Oxygen plasma could also damage the structure or electrode patterned on the PDMS surface. A newly developed material, named off-stoichiometry thiol-ene (OSTE), was reported to have the potential to replace PDMS as OSTE binds and seals easily. We further reform the manufacture protocols of OSTE, so that part of the OSTE surface is very bio-compatible, while the other part of the OSTE surface is bio-incompatible. The image depicts this interesting phenomenon. With our modification, the OSTE surface could either facilitate cell adhesion (outside the letter area) or resist cell adhesion (inside the letter area). The zoomed-out sub-image clearly shows that cells do not attach to the surface inside the letter area, but grow well outside the letter area. The optimized OSTE fabrication process would largely benefit the research community that requires biomedical device design or fabrication using the OSTE material.


Yun Ding, ETH Zurich (Switzerland)

Life Codes in Microfluidic Droplets: Uniquely DNA-barcoded beads are encapsulated in nanoliter droplets. They are designed to individually capture genetic information from millions of single human cells in a single experimental run. It is part of a high-throughput analytical platform that we built for next-generation DNA sequencing.


Tomasz Koprowski, ETH Zurich (Switzerland)

Caenorhabditis elegans worm in a drop of M9 buffer.


James Loomis, University of Auckland (New Zealand)

Two identically fabricated stimuli-response polymer composites are displayed, showcasing the dramatic elastic to plastic-like transformation in patterned honeycomb regions. This ternary composition of carbon nanotubes and thermally expanding microspheres in an elastomer matrix allows for design of polymer composites that exhibit unidirectional transformation of electrical and mechanical properties in response to thermal or infrared stimuli. Each hexagon region is ~4.5 mm in diameter prior to thermal expansion.


Carrie Lovitt, Griffith University (Australia)

MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells were treated with the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin. Following fixing and staining of cells, confocal imaging was performed using the Opera Confocal Screening System (20x objective) and texture masking was applied in Columbus software.


Sarah Morejohn (USA)

This drawing depicts cells with organelles and vortex paenibacillus bacteria. It was made with ink and colored pencil on paper.


Jing Yan, Princeton (USA)

A community of bacteria Vibrio cholerae, the pathogen for cholera. Bacteria adopt a social life form known as biofilm, where they stay together and secrete chemicals to build a "home" for survival. Using a high resolution confocal microscope, we investigate the fine structure of such a community with single-cell resolution. The cells are color-coded according to their height.


Constantinos D. Zeinalipour-Yazdi, University College London (UK)

Sphere-in-Contact Model: A new physical model, the sphere-in-contact model, is presented and built for carbon materials such as graphene, graphite, fullerene and carbon nanotubes. The sphere-in-contact model was made of marbles and epoxy glue and offers improved visualization of various structural, physico-chemical and mechanical properties of carbon materials. The ‘void’ space of it is more accurately described than in other commonly used chemistry models (i.e. ball-and-stick, wire-frame, space-fill). In this model one can rationalize the relative size of molecules/ions that can either be trapped in the ‘void’ space or diffuse through the material.The photograph depicts the sphere-in-contact model of fullerene-C60 in which every atom carries a reflection several other atoms in the structure!


Haijiang Zhang, EMPA (Switzerland)

"The Natural Life in the World of Crystals" shows a combination of different crystals made through a microfluidic process from materials including alginate, calcium, iron and triazole. The entire image and the diversity of the crystals elegantly simulate a unique frame of nature having a bush, flowers and butterflies all made of crystals. This is imaged by a high-resolution colorful camera using a polarized filter at 5X magnification on an inverted microscope.