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2024-07-12
  • Research Findings
  • Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences
Short-wave infrared fluorescence cytometry: The next-generation analytical technology for fluorescently labelled cells

Fluorescence cytometry is a widely used method for identifying cellular expressions. Live cells are highly complex, and their precise identification often requires simultaneous staining of more than 20 biomarkers. However, in traditional flow cytometry, the number of available channels is limited by wavelength constraints, which has reached its physical limits and hinders accurate determination and identification of target cells. The research led by Assistant Research Fellow Dr. Ching-Wei Lin at the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences has developed and demonstrated a detection technology that extends the spectral range to wavelengths up to 1550 nm. The most significant breakthrough of this technology is the expansion of the spectral range by more than 2.5 times. By combining this technology with short-wave infrared (SWIR; 900-1700 nm) fluorescent materials such as single-wall carbon nanotubes, indium arsenide quantum dots, down-conversion rare-earth nanoparticles, polymer dots, and donor-acceptor-donor small molecular dyes recently developed by synthetic materials chemists, it is possible to increase the number of spectral detection channels to >50, significantly improving the accuracy of complex live cell detection and identification. The main contribution of this work lies in addressing the uncertainty that scientists previously had about whether flow cytometry could achieve such detection limits in the SWIR range. Even with the existence of long-wavelength fluorescent materials, it was uncertain if the complexity of spectral mixing issues could be solved or reduced. This research provides positive insights in this regard, giving future researchers confidence to continue advancing in this direction. This research was published online on July 8, 2024 in ACS Nano, with financial support from Academia Sinica and the National Science and Technology Council in Taiwan.

2024-06-26
  • Research Findings
  • Institute of Earth Sciences
Antigorite’s anisotropy impacts seismicity of intermediate-depth earthquakes

In some subduction zones, intermediate-depth earthquakes (~70–300 km depth) occur along two separate planes, known as double seismic zones. The subduction system in eastern Taiwan has a similar feature with shallower double seismic zone. Mechanisms forming such intriguing seismicity, however, remain inconclusive. The research, led by Dr. Wen-Pin Hsieh, Research Fellow at the Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, has precisely measured the thermal conductivity of antigorite, an important serpentine mineral in subducting slabs, at high pressure-temperature conditions along slab subduction. The study demonstrated that antigorite has a strong thermal conductivity anisotropy. Combined with numerical modeling on slab’s thermal evolution, the team further showed that such strong thermal conductivity anisotropy combined with shear-induced crystal-preferred-orientation creates a thermal blanket effect that suppresses heat flow, significantly affecting slab’s thermal evolution and promoting dehydration embrittlement. Meanwhile, such effect also facilitates thermal runaway, a positive feedback accumulating heat, to trigger intermediate-depth earthquakes. These exciting findings highlight the important role that hydrous minerals play on the thermal state of a slab and the fundamental mechanisms triggering deep earthquakes. This research has been published on June 18, 2024 in Nature Communications. The first author of this research, Yu-Hsiang Chien, is a PhD candidate of TIGP-ESS at Academia Sinica, and coauthors include Yi-Chi Tsao of IES, and Dr. Enrico Marzotto of GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ), Germany.

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