WITec Paper Award 2021 rewards three outstanding Labmate Online publications
Three scientific publications were awarded the WITec Paper Award, an annual competition among peer-reviewed papers from the previous year that present results acquired with a WITec microscope. The exceptional quality of the 115 publications submitted made it particularly difficult to select only three winners. The 2021 Paper Awards are presented to researchers from the UK, Turkey and the US who have performed Raman imaging measurements on zebrafish embryos, meteorites, and jet engine thermal barrier coatings, respectively. WITec congratulates the winners and thanks all the participants.
Gold: H. Høgset, CC Horgan, JPK Armstrong, MS Bergholt, V. Torraca, Q. Chen, TJ Keane, L. Bugeon, MJ Dallman, S. Mostowy, MM Stevens (2020) In vivo biomolecular imaging of zebrafish embryos using Raman confocal spectroscopy. Nature Communications 11: 6172 www.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19827-1
Silver: M. Yesiltas, M. Kaya, TD Glotch, R. Brunetto, A. Maturilli, J. Helbert, ME zel (2020) Biconical reflectance, micro-Raman and nano-FTIR spectroscopy of the Didim meteorite (H3-5): Chemical content and molecular variations. Meteorites and Planetary Sciences 55: 2404-2421 www.doi.org/10.1111/maps.13585
Bronze: C. Barrett, Z. Stein, J. Hernandez, R. Naraparaju, U. Schulz, L. Tetard, S. Raghavan (2021) Adverse effects of sand infiltration in ceramic coatings of jet engines captured with rendering 3D based on Raman. Journal of the European Ceramic Society 41: 1664-1671 (available online 2020) www.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2020.09.050
For a list of all previous Paper Award winners, please click here.
The Gold Paper Award: Raman Imaging of Zebrafish Embryos
Zebrafish are well-established model organisms in the life sciences and are frequently used to study embryonic development and various diseases. Håkon Høgset from Imperial College London (ICL), UK, receives the Gold Paper Award 2021 for demonstrating the versatility of Raman confocal imaging for the biomolecular characterization of zebrafish embryos. Together with his colleagues at ICL and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, he established that the distribution of various biomolecules such as lipids and proteins can be visualized in an embryo at different length scales. First, 3D Raman images of whole zebrafish embryos several millimeters in length demonstrated Raman imaging of a whole organism. Second, high-resolution Raman imaging revealed micro-scale features of tissue sections from the dorsal muscle, tail, and intestine. Raman imaging was then used to detect clusters of mycobacterial infections in a zebrafish model for tuberculosis. Based on metabolic differences, Raman spectroscopy could even distinguish infections from different strains. Finally, time-lapse Raman imaging monitored molecular changes during the wound response in living embryos for several hours. The authors expect that “the ability to perform volumetric and in vivo imaging in unlabeled embryos should provide a host of new opportunities for zebrafish research that can easily complement fluorescence imaging techniques. existing “.
The Silver Paper Award: Chemical characterization of meteorites
From the chemical makeup of meteorites, planetologists can learn a lot about the history of their parent bodies. “Studying meteorites and their parent bodies helps us understand how our solar system formed and evolved,” said Mehmet Yesiltas of Kirklareli University, Turkey, winner of the 2021 Silver Paper Award. Sa publication presents a detailed chemical analysis of the Didim meteorite, which he investigated with his colleagues at research institutes in Turkey, the United States, France and Germany. The Didim meteorite is a chondrite with a relatively rare and varied mineralogical composition, making it particularly interesting. The authors studied its chemical composition at different scales using three spectroscopic methods. Biconical reflectance spectroscopy was used for a first large-scale evaluation and revealed mainly anhydrous silicates. Raman imaging then allowed a more precise characterization of rock minerals, including feldspars, olivine and pyroxene, and their distributions at the micrometer scale. In addition, aromatic hydrocarbons of different thermal metamorphic qualities were found to exist in the immediate vicinity of the meteorite. Non-destructive 3D Raman imaging showed carbonaceous material to be present under an olivine grain inside the meteorite, suggesting its extraterrestrial origin. Additionally, nano-FTIR spectroscopy indicated that the mineralogical composition of the rock varied even at the submicron scale.
The Bronze Paper Award: Thermochemical degradation of ceramic coatings
Jet engines are protected from their extremely high operating temperatures by thermal barrier coatings (TBC). Introducing molten calcium, magnesium and aluminosilicates (CMAS) into a TBC during flight causes severe damage to it and shortens engine life. Chance Barrett of the University of Central Florida (UCF), USA wins the Bronze Paper Award 2021 for showcasing 3D Raman imaging as a non-destructive method of analyzing CMAS-induced TBC degradation, with his colleagues at UCF and the German Aerospace Center. Entry of CMAS causes a transition from TBC to the monoclinic phase. The volume fraction of this phase therefore represents a measure of the degree of degradation and it can be quantified by Raman imaging. 3D Raman maps from TBC visualized degradation as a function of depth. The damage was less pronounced at the heart of the columns that form the TBC than at their edges, because the interstices between the columns were more accessible. In addition, time-dependent measurements showed that most damage occurred within the first hour of CMAS infiltration. The results were validated by scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy. To the authors’ knowledge, their study is the first to present a non-destructive 3D characterization of TBC degradation at high resolution. They postulate that “this ability to quantitatively and non-destructively characterize the degradation of CMAS infiltrated TBCs will accelerate the development of degradation resistant coatings. “
Don’t miss your chance to participate in the WITec Paper Award 2022
WITec invites scientists from all fields of application to participate in the Paper Award 2022 competition. Papers are eligible if they were published in 2021 in a peer-reviewed journal and present results (at least partially) obtained with a WITec instrument. Submit your work in PDF format by January 31, 2022. WITec looks forward to receiving many great publications again.
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