The CHANL scientific art competition is an annual event that draws entries from departments across campus and around the world. Images are judged and cash prizes are awarded. If you’d like more information on the competition, contact Carrie Donley.
Skyline in the Snow
UNC Department of Chemistry
This image reminds me of New York City during a blizzard, where you can just make out silhouettes of skyscrapers through the falling hazy snow. The image was made by accident when a mixture of particles in a salt solution dried. The straight lines and angles because of the crystal structure of salt when it dries. (The original image was taken in black & white with a light microscope. Color added in ImageJ. Final edit in Lightroom).
Bonnie Taylor-Blake and Brandon Pearson
UNC Department of Cell Biology and Physiology
The dorsal root ganglion contains sensory neurons that detect stimuli from the environment (such as cold, heat, pressure, pinch) which then send these signal to the spinal cord and brain, where these sensations are interpreted noxious, innocuous, or even pleasurable. In this confocal image, some small neurons (green) not only contain the gene Ube3a, but also bind the lectin IB4, this pattern sets them apart from small neurons and larger neurons ( all mostly from light blue to dark blue), which have different physiological functions within the dorsal root ganglion. (This photograph represents an inversion of the original image).
Sara Turner, Stephanie Liffland and Valerie Ashby
UNC Department of Chemistry
In our current digital age we find ourselves surrounded by liquid crystals in places like our phones, our TVs, and our computer screens. These special molecules contain special light-bending characteristics that cause interesting rainbow patterns when viewed with polarized light. The liquid crystalline material here is being investigated for use in battery applications.
Don’t Forget Your Umbrella
David A. Barrow, PhD.
UNC Cytokine & Biomarker Analysis Facility/NC Oral Health Institute
This digital artwork was created with a fractal software program called Apophysis, which can generate “IFS fractal flames”. IFS stands for Iterated Function System, a relatively new branch of mathematics. Fractal patterns often resemble structures in nature, and many viewers enjoy identifying familiar plants or animals, similar to “cloud watching”. The delicate lines in this image are similar to the vein patterns found in leaves, and are typical of the Apophysis styles “Breach” and “Elliptic Splits”. With skillful and practiced command of the software, the fractal/digital artist can shape and enhance these similarities to approach traditional, representational art.
Maria Ina and Aleksandr Zhushma
Department of Chemistry – UNC
This fractal-like spot was seen with an electron microscope (SEM). Some material crystallized on the surface, like ice crystallizes on a window. The surface on which it lay had a wavy structure, giving it a flowing, robe/curtain-like, appearance.
Cary Tippets, Yulan Fu, Rene Lopez
Department of Physics & Astronomy – UNC
In a Galaxy Far Far smaller than our own…Nano World!! As viewed through the eye piece of a confocal microscope, this world was crafted from a transparent polymer, and is covered by small tree like structures. This brilliant blue color is not produced by pigment but from these small structures on the surface. These tree structures interact with the light and only reflect the color that you see.
The Perks of Being a Labflower
Emily Gidcumb1 and Andrew Tucker2
1 UNC-CH, Curriculum for Applied Science and Engineering
2 UNC-CH, Biomedical Engineering
Lily was lucky enough to be the first specimen imaged on our next generation breast imaging system. Now she will be immortalized in the CHANL art contest. Her beauty represents all the lives of the women we hope our system will save.
Never Neverland: Cellular Architecture
David A. Barrow, Ph.D.
UNC-CH, Cytokine & Biomarker Analysis Facility/Dental Research
This work was created with a popular (public domain) fractal software program named Apophysis, which generates so-called IFS fractal flames. IFS stands for Iterated Function System. Fractal patterns often resemble structures in nature, and here we can see similarities to cell structures such as the cell nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum, golgi apparatus, mitochondria, lysosomes and water vacuoles. Alternatively, as the title suggests, this could be the aerial view seen by the children of the Darling family when they flew to the home island of Peter Pan, where one never grows old.
This image is one in a continuing survey of familiar plastic objects, in this instance, a double-exposure of two arrays of translucent cola cup lids. The recording was made using analog photographic materials (color photo paper and light) and the colors are the compliments of those seen in visible light. While not representing the nano-scale, this process may reveal previously unseen qualities of our material world, and momentarily confound, engage, or dazzle the viewer.
Inside HD Plasma TVs
Cytokine Analysis Facility/Dental Research
Inspired by previous CHANL Art Competitions, this work utilizes a three-dimensional fractal software program called Mandelbulb3D, which has expanded the classic two-dimensional Mandelbrot set into infinite new possibilities of art and mathematical discovery. This fanciful illustration depicts the pumping of different colored photons into the individual cells of a plasma television or computer monitor to display each pixel, symbolic of the technological advances that have made fractal art and digital imagery possible. In addition to leading to a patent application, I am exploring avenues for this artform to aid adult education, and to enhance scholastic interest in Science and Mathematics.
Year of the Dragon
William Rice1, Robert Schmidt2, and Robert Bruce2
1. UNC-CH Physics 2. UNC-CH Chemistry
Unique patterns of crystalline growth of valence tautomers out of a dichloromethane solution. Crystal branches grow out onto a planar surface but turn to avoid growing into one another. When they cannot grow any further, they collapse into spiral shapes forming dragon heads. The dragon head crystals will then start to grow out of plane, forming long spikes extending – towards the viewer – the fiery dragon’s breath.
Tammy Shen1, Jack Griffith2, Smaranda Wilcox2
1. UNC-CH, Molecular Pharmaceutics 2. UNC-CH, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
This image depicts lollipop particles targeting and killing cells in the body that may harbor disease-causing bacteria. These detailed images were taken by the Griffith Lab which has optimized an electron microscopy method to visualize the uptake of drug delivery vehicles by cells.
Lloyd Carroll§, Mike Falvo
UNC-CH, Physics & Astronomy
§Currently at WVU
This is an image of calcite micro spheroids (a form of calcium carbonate) taken with an optical microscope with crossed polarizers. Though clear, transparent and colorless, as a birefringent crystal, calcite exhibits a spectrum of colors when viewed with a polarizer on both the illumination and eye-piece side. The color in this image is inverted true color. That is, it is a true color image whose color was inverted digitally.
This is a SEM image of electrospun polyurethane ribbons. The discarded ribbons on the ground symbolize any past wonderful things in people’s life which are not here anymore. The image provokes the emotion of regret, the recalling of the past in people’s deep memory, and also reminds people to treasure every wonderful moment in their lives.
Just as the beauty of nature cannot be contained within the fruit of a flowering plant, neither can these nitric oxide-releasing silica-based dopants be contained within the polyurethane matrix they were embedded in.
Pavel Takmakov & Sergei Smirnov
The goal of this project was fabrication of gold nanowires with silver stripes with diameter of 200-20 nm. These nanowires can be used to tag single DNA molecules using “bar code” and also they have interesting optical properties. Nanowires were fabricated by deposition of metals into nanopores of a filtration membrane made of aluminum oxide. The membrane is dissolved with strong base afterwards and the nanowires were released. Sometimes the deposition is not uniform, which leads to the overgrowth of the metal on the other side of the membrane. After dissolution of the membrane, interesting mushroom-shaped features can be obtained.
Beaded nanofibers composed of tecoflex polyurethane. Fibers generated by electrospinning an 8% polyurethane solution in 4:1 tetrahydrofuran: N,N’ dimethylformamide. Applications include antibacterial/antithrombotic medical device coatings and electrochemical sensor membranes.
Holger Misslitz, Hans-Werner Schmidt & Joseph M. Desimone
The trumpet flower is a “special kind of German flower” which is growing spontaneously by self-assembly in special regions. Its origin is a small organic molecule called benzene trisamide which is growing by watering, heating and cooling effects. After this secret treatment, the flower blooms by non-covalent interactions only in a short time period in spring. In another form, these kinds of flower molecules are normally used for filtration application or polymer additives.