BMG matrix composites and 3D optical microscopy!

A couple of interesting papers from PNAS:

[1] Multilayer three-dimensional super resolution imaging of thick biological samples (Complete text is available via Open Access)

A Vaziri, J Tang, H Shroff, and C V Shank

Recent advances in optical microscopy have enabled biological imaging beyond the diffraction limit at nanometer resolution. A general feature of most of the techniques based on photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) or stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) has been the use of thin biological samples in combination with total internal reflection, thus limiting the imaging depth to a fraction of an optical wavelength. However, to study whole cells or organelles that are typically up to 15 μm deep into the cell, the extension of these methods to a three-dimensional (3D) super resolution technique is required. Here, we report an advance in optical microscopy that enables imaging of protein distributions in cells with a lateral localization precision better than 50 nm at multiple imaging planes deep in biological samples. The approach is based on combining the lateral super resolution provided by PALM with two-photon temporal focusing that provides optical sectioning. We have generated super-resolution images over an axial range of ≈10 μm in both mitochondrially labeled fixed cells, and in the membranes of living S2 Drosophila cells.

[2] Development of tough, low-density titanium-based bulk metallic glass matrix composites with tensile ductility

D C Hofmann, J-Y Suh, A Wiest, M-L Lind, M D Demetriou, and W L Johnson

The mechanical properties of bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) and their composites have been under intense investigation for many years, owing to their unique combination of high strength and elastic limit. However, because of their highly localized deformation mechanism, BMGs are typically considered to be brittle materials and are not suitable for structural applications. Recently, highly-toughened BMG composites have been created in a Zr–Ti-based system with mechanical properties comparable with high-performance crystalline alloys. In this work, we present a series of low-density, Ti-based BMG composites with combinations of high strength, tensile ductility, and excellent fracture toughness.

Have fun!

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