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UCLA, Japanese Firm to Collaborate on Nanotech Imaging Tools
UCLA's Leonard Rome (right) and Kathryn Atchison with Hamamatsu's Akira Hiruma at Sept. 1 signing ceremony.

UCLA, Japanese Firm to Collaborate on Nanotech Imaging Tools

The California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA has announced plans to collaborate with Hamamatsu Photonics to apply nanoscience and nanotechnology to projects having global importance in health, medicine, energy and the environment.

By Jennifer Marcus for the UCLA Newsroom

The California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA has announced plans to collaborate with Hamamatsu Photonics Corp., a leading developer and manufacturer of photon detectors and camera systems, to apply nanoscience and nanotechnology to projects having global importance in health, medicine, energy and the environment.
 
Hamamatsu will provide the CNSI with state-of-the-art photon detectors and systems and will work with CNSI researchers on new instruments to advance the field of nano-level optical imaging.
 
Hamamatsu manufactures optical sensors, electric light sources and other similar technologies that are necessary for nanoscale research. Founded in 1953, with headquarters in Hamamatsu City, Japan, the company has established an international reputation for high-quality optical instruments, and its products are marketed throughout the world.
 
"CNSI places great value on collaborations with industry. We are committed to strengthening our links to the private sector," said Paul S. Weiss, who directs the CNSI and holds UCLA's Fred Kavli Chair in Nanosystems Sciences. "CNSI will greatly benefit from this partnership with Hamamatsu. The equipment they are providing will enhance our ability to image and to manipulate particles at the nanoscale."
 
The Hamamatsu instruments will be employed in the Macro-Scale Imaging Laboratory and the Advanced Light Microscopy/Spectroscopy core lab, two of eight shared resource facilities at the CNSI. These two core labs focus on optical imaging and advanced image-analysis techniques for the study of macromolecules, cellular dynamics and the nanoscale characterization of biomaterials, down to the single-molecule level.
 
"These items will augment and expand our existing imaging capabilities," said Laurent Bentolila, scientific director of both core labs. "They will put our microscopy lab in the front ranks of research facilities using ultra–high-speed microscopy and spectroscopy and FLIM (fluorescence lifetime imaging)."
 
"Hamamatsu welcomes this opportunity to form a substantive collaboration with researchers at UCLA and CNSI," said Akira Hiruma, president and CEO of the Hamamatsu Photonics Corp. "This connection will advance the field of photonic technologies and help find new applications for our instruments."
 
The CNSI's laboratories contain a wide array of instruments essential to nanoscale research. These instruments are offered to the UCLA community on a shared basis and have served as a catalyst for multidisciplinary collaborations across the campus. 
 
The California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA is an integrated research facility located at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. Its mission is to foster interdisciplinary collaborations in nanoscience and nanotechnology; to train a new generation of scientists, educators and technology leaders; to generate partnerships with industry; and to contribute to the economic development and the social well-being of California, the United States and the world. The CNSI was established in 2000 with $100 million from the state of California. An additional $250 million of support has come from federal research grants and industry funding. CNSI members are drawn from the Life Sciences Division of UCLA's College of Letters and Science, the David Geffen School of Medicine, the School of Public Health, and the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. They are engaged in measuring, modifying and manipulating atoms and molecules — the building blocks of our world. Their work is carried out in an integrated laboratory environment. This dynamic research setting has enhanced understanding of phenomena at the nanoscale and promises to produce important discoveries in health, energy, the environment and information technology.