School Seminar: Dr Klaus Koren, Aarhus University
Chemical Imaging – Recent Advances in Real-time Visualization of Small Analytes in Complex Biological Systems
Wednesday, 8 March – 11:00am – 12:00pm (MIH, School Seminar)
Location: Chemistry Lecture Theatre 4 and Online (Zoom)
Speaker: Dr Klaus Koren, Aarhus University
Host: Prof Liz New
Seeing is believing, as the saying goes. Unfortunately, our vision (inbuild sensor) is limited when it comes to seeing chemical species in real-time. Therefore, we need tools to help us. Optical chemical sensors, so-called optodes, are in many ways, at least in my opinion, the perfect tools for this endeavor.
In this contribution I will highlight our recent advances in the field and discuss future directions. With the ambition to understand complex systems and to untangle the connection between the biotic and abiotic world, I aim to develop optodes fit for purpose.
To name an example, we recently developed a wide dynamic range NH3 optode . This optode enables us to study NH3 emission from agriculture; the main source of NH3 in the atmosphere at a sub-mm resolution. Using this optode in combination with other sensors and analytical methods can help understand the fate of N in soil at unprecedented spatial resolution.
In another project we use O2 sensitive particles in combination with particle image velocimetry and developed a method called SensPIV. SensPIV tracks individual particles using fast imaging approaches, consequently allowing the visualization of flow fields. The concurrent imaging of the O2 sensitive luminescence of these particles enables for the first time a simultaneous measurement of flow and O2 concentrations . This brings us a significant step closer to understanding how organisms exchange nutrients and interact with the surrounding environment (see figure 1).
Those two examples just highlight some of the advances we recently made using chemical imaging and as I will discuss in this presentation this might just be the beginning.