Description The microscopic particles shown here are made of iron oxide, or rust, just like on a car. But these nanoparticles are tiny, 100,000 times thinner than a sheet of paper. In this image all the nanoparticles are the same size and shape and distance apart, and each magnetic particle is subjected to the attraction and repulsion forces of its neighbors. As a result, the magnetic nano-particles self-assemble (or come together) in a closely-packed honeycomb pattern. Iron oxide nanoparticles like these are already used to help people suffering from anemia, or iron deficiency. Researchers study how these magnetic nanoparticles interact with each other and with tissues in the body, which can open new avenues for nontoxic, targeted tests and treatments for cancer, Alzheimers and cardiovascular disease.
These images stem from cutting-edge research on campus, winning our annual Scientific Images Contest which goes on display in galleries across Chicago.
Through partnerships with schools and community groups, we train Northwestern researchers to share their expertise and creativity in a community centered way. Sales from these images goes to support our education and outreach activities, connecting researchers to the wider community.