User:Brian P. Josey/Notebook/2010/06/09
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Ferritin on Microscope
After a couple of technical issues with iMovie, I was able to put ferritin onto the microscope and film some kind of movement. I am not sure yet if this is from the magnet, or if it is just the result of Brownian motion.
Through the microscope, the ferritin droplets suspended in the oil come out very well. The quantum dots today however, did not come out as well, and I was unable to find any droplets. This is what the ferritin looks like:
This photo was taken before I applied a magnetic field to the flow cell. When I applied the magnetic field I did it twice. The first time, I placed one of the small cylindrical magnets on top of the slide so that it was as close as possible to the field of view without obstructing it. I was unable to see any motion with my naked eye.
The second time, I held one of the 2 in long cylinder magnets with a cone attached against the slide. Because of the awkward geometry of the magnet and the microscope, I had to hold it by hand. Due to my hands shaking, I was unable to keep it at a constant distance, but examining the film there may be some motion:
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This is a time lapse of two minutes under the magnet. It appears to me that the droplets are drifting to the upper left corner. The problem with this however, is that I cannot guarantee that this is caused by the magnet. From how the microscope is set up, a movement to the left in the camera would indicate a movement to the left looking down on the slide. I believed that I held the magnet to the right side of the slide, meaning the droplets were moving away from the magnet, but with the computer being on the left side of the microscope it would make sense if I was standing on the left side. Because of the slip-up, I will have to repeat the experiment on Tuesday.
Here is an after picture of the same field of view as above:
Because it is difficult to distinguish individual droplets, it might be impossible to demonstrate that there is a net motion using only before and after pictures.
If I can definitively show that there is a net motion towards a magnet when I hold it against the slide, this will be a major breakthrough for my project. To do this I need to try several things:
I am planning on attacking all of these different ideas next week, and hopefully I will be able to measure the force experimentally soon, and move on to more elaborate ideas too.