Coalescing Micro-Droplets Win The 10th Annual Nikon Small World in Motion Competition

MELVILLE, N.Y., Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Nikon Instruments Inc. today unveiled the winners of the tenth annual Nikon…

MELVILLE, N.Y., Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Nikon Instruments Inc. today unveiled the winners of the tenth annual Nikon Small World in Motion Photomicrography Competition. This year’s first place prize was awarded to Mr. Kazi Rabbi and Dr. Xiao Yan and for their eye-catching video of micro-droplets (made of 80% water and 20% ethanol) coalescing. Rabbi and Yan’s research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is focused on creating surfaces that enhance the condensation and evaporation of liquid (repelling liquids from the surface they are on). People see condensation every day but are likely unaware of how enhancing condensation carries significant implications for sustainable living and creating energy efficient technology.

«Think about anything from keeping the pipes from freezing in winter to making your air conditioning unit run more efficiently,» said Rabbi, «If we can develop surfaces and materials that better repel liquids, we can create appliances, power systems, and other technologies that require less energy to run. It could lead to a more sustainable future.»

Rabbi and Yan conduct many experiments to see how liquids react to the functionalized surfaces (materials that can be used in the creation of new technologies) they have created, which is how they were able to capture this year’s top video. «Much of our microscopy is focused on visualizing how liquid droplets or condensate droplets interact with such surfaces at micro scale.» Yan said. This visualization is no easy feat to capture. The surface the droplets in the video are reacting to is one of Rabbi and Yan’s own design.

To capture the video, the pair used transmitted light microscopy. The biggest challenge, they said, was controlling the micro-droplet generation and growth. They had to use a frequency-controlled micro-droplet dispenser and a high-speed camera interfaced with a microscopic lens to accomplish the task – all while focusing on the perfect plane and maintaining perfect lighting. It was a two-person job.

«This year’s movies, and our winning video in particular, captures the spirt of Nikon Small World in Motion on the competition’s 10th anniversary,» said Eric Flem, Communications Manager, Nikon Instruments. «The winning video illustrates how highly sophisticated imaging techniques and systems can help us see and better understand common concepts as well as lead to improvements to technologies and products we all use in our everyday lives.»

Second place was awarded to Dr. Richard Kirby, a marine scientist focused on the study of plankton and their environments, for his darkfield video of a phoronid larva of a marine horseshoe worm. Dr. Kirby’s subjects can be very hard to capture because of their delicate nature. Despite their importance to many ecosystems, people know relatively little about these creatures, Kirby said. Microscopy, he continued, creates great images that attract the public’s curiosity and assist in better understanding of their lives and the role they play in our ecosystems.

Third place went to Mr. James Tandoc for his video of cytoplasmic streaming in onion cells, captured using Differential Interference Contrast (DIC). Tandoc says he hopes to help people learn the differences between animal and plant cells and the function of the different parts of the cell.

The 2020 judging panel included:

  • Dr. Dylan Burnette, Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt University
  • Dr. Christophe Leterrier, Group Leader at the Institute of Neurophysiopathology at CNRS and Aix-Marseille University
  • Samantha Clark, Photo Editor at National Geographic
  • Sean Greene, Graphics and Data Journalist at The Los Angeles Times
  • Ariel Waldman, Chair of the External Council for NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts Program

For additional information, please visit www.nikonsmallworld.com, or follow the conversation on Facebook, Twitter @NikonSmallWorld and Instagram @NikonInstruments.

NIKON SMALL WORLD IN MOTION WINNERS

1st Place

Kazi Fazle Rabbi & Dr. Xiao Yan

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Mechanical Science and Engineering

Urbana, Illinois, USA

Internal flow dynamics of coalescing micro-droplets (~200x slower speed)

Transmitted Light

20x (Objective Lens Magnification)

2nd Place

Dr. Richard Ralph Kirby

The Plankton Pundit

Plymouth, Devon, United Kingdom

Planktonic larva of a marine horseshoe worm (Actinotrocha)

Darkfield

1.0x and 2.3x (Objective Lens Magnification)

3rd Place

James Dennis Tandoc

Dagupan City, Pangasinan, Philippines

Cytoplasmic streaming in onion cells

Differential Interference Contrast (DIC)

250X (Objective Lens Magnification)

4th Place

Martin Kaae Kristiansen

My Microscopic World

Aalborg, Nordjylland, Denmark

A blackworm (Lumbriculus variegatus) displaying peristaltic movements

Polarized Light

4x (Objective Lens Magnification)

5th Place

Dr. Andrew Moore & Dr. Pedro Guedes-Dias

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Janelia Research Campus

Ashburn, Virginia, USA

Fluorescent actin (Lifeact-EGFP) expressed in an embryonic rat hippocampal neuron

Confocal

100x (Objective Lens Magnification)

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Dr. Gregory Adams Jr.

National Institute of Health

NHLBI

Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Morphing melanoma cells (alpha-Actintin shown in yellow; actin in red)

Confocal

60X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Massimo Brizzi

www.massimobrizzi.it

Empoli, Firenze, Italy

Colonies of rotifers with eggs

Darkfield

10X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Massimo Brizzi

www.massimobrizzi.it

Empoli, Firenze, Italy

Colonies of green algae (Volvox)

Darkfield

10X – 20X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Daniel Castranova & Dr. Brant Weinstein

NIH, NICHD

Section on Vertebrate Organogenesis

Bethesda, Maryland, USA

The first 22 hours of zebrafish development (blood vessels shown in green)

Confocal

4X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Dr. Douglas Clark

Paedia LLC

San Francisco, California, USA

Herb (Tradescantia spathacea) leaf stoma (breathing pore) responding to CO2 and RH transients

Brightfield, Image Stacking

50X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Dr. Stephan Daetwyler, Dr. Gloria Slattum, Dr. Jody Rosenblatt & Dr. Jan Huisken

UT Southwestern

Department of Cell Biology

Dallas, Texas, USA

Cancer cell metastasis in a developing zebrafish embryo

Light Sheet

10X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Frank Fox

Trier University of Applied Sciences

Konz, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

A stentor (ciliate) juggling green algae

Darkfield

20X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Frank Fox

Trier University of Applied Sciences

Konz, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

Hydra

Darkfield

10X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Karl Gaff

Dublin, Ireland

Oil droplets on a soap film

Reflected Light

4X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Ralph Claus Grimm

Jimboomba, Queensland, Australia

Ciliate (Prorodon viridis) showing its beating cilia and green zoochlorellae

Differential Interference Contrast (DIC)

60X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Roland Gross

Gruenen, Switzerland

Ciliates (Vorticella sp. and Paramecium sp.)

Differential Interference Contrast (DIC)

10X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Eric Lind

Delmar, New York, USA

Developing freshwater snail embryo, inside the egg

Darkfield

4X, 10X and 40X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Rafael Martín-Ledo

IES Leonardo Torres Quevedo

Biología y Geología

Santander, Cantabria, Spain

Two larvae of a parasitic flatworm (Platyhelminthes)

Phase Contrast

10X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Rafael Martín-Ledo

IES Leonardo Torres Quevedo

Biología y Geología

Santander, Cantabria, Spain

A marine tardigrade (Batillipes lusitanus)

Phase Contrast

20X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Rogelio Moreno

Panama, Panama

Nematode

Polarized Light

10X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Rogelio Moreno

Panama, Panama

Ciliate (Frontonia)

Differential Interference Contrast (DIC)

20X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Wojtek Plonka

Krakow, Malopolskie, Poland

Crystallization of a callus removal solution

Polarized Light

6.3X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Andrei Savitsky

Cherkassy, Ukraine

Spathidium ciliate feeding on Vorticella ciliate

Phase Contrast

20X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Anjalie Schlaeppi

Morgridge Institute for Research

Department of Medical Engineering

Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Endocardium, cells lining the heart chambers, in a beating heart of a living, 2 day old zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy (SPIM)

16x (Objective Lens Magnification)

Dr. Wim van Egmond

Micropolitan Museum

Berkel en Rodenrijs, Zuid Holland, Netherlands

Cytoplasmic streaming in slime mold

Darkfield

10x (Objective Lens Magnification)

About Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition

The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition is open to anyone with an interest in photography or video. Participants may upload digital images and videos directly at www.nikonsmallworld.com. For additional information, contact Nikon Small World, Nikon Instruments Inc., 1300 Walt Whitman Road, Melville, NY 11747, USA, or phone (631) 547-8569. Entry forms for Nikon’s 2021 Small World and Small World in Motion Competitions are available at https://enter.nikonsmallworld.com/

About Nikon Instruments Inc.

Nikon Instruments Inc. is the US microscopy arm of Nikon Healthcare, a world leader in the development and manufacture of optical and digital imaging technology for biomedical applications.  For more information, visit https://www.microscope.healthcare.nikon.com/ or contact us at 1-800-52-NIKON.

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SOURCE Nikon Instruments Inc.