Module 1 Material structure
Modern microscopes such as advanced electron microscopy instruments can in principle "see" the structure of materials even at the atomic level. In the SuMo program these instruments are used to characterize the structure in materials of interest to our member companies. To characterize the structure of soft biomaterials at the nano and micrometer length scale is however a very challenging task and one that requires interdisciplinary ways of working.
SuMo is therefore collaborating with the SOFT microscopy centre at the physics department at Chalmers. The SOFT Microscopy Center is a strategic initiative at Chalmers together with SIK, the Swedish Institue for food and Biotechnology. The aim is to create a world leading research organisation in the field of biomaterials and soft biomaterials characterization with microscopy techniques. SuMo and SOFT Microscopy centre work together to develop both instrumental hardware and preparation techniques that enable the characterization of both structure and dynamics in soft biomaterials at the nanometer length scale.
With advanced electron microscopy techniques we study microstructures in soft biomaterials. With electron-beam instruments the resolution is however often limited by the presence of water in the samples. Driven by both scientific excellence in this field and our company needs we therefore develop hardware and ways of working to make microstructure characterization at the nanometer length scale possible. The goal with our combined effort is to be able to study uptake and release of water in soft biomaterials with molecular level resolution. Another important research goal is to develop electron tomography methods for characterizing 3-dimensional structures. The main challenge here is to minimize the effect of the very high energy of the electron beam passing the material. Having reached these goals the work in this module will serve as an integral part of the overall goal of SuMo, which is to combine the four research modules into innovative ways of working to reach predictiveness with respect to mass transport in water-containing soft biomaterials.
Last modified: October 19, 2010