We have used conventional chemical fixation, dehydration, embedding and staining procedures to carry out studies on several fundamental biological processes, including membrane fusion, macroautophagy, and motility. We established a number of collaborative projects with multiple institutes across NIH. For example, with NIA we performed studies on the neuroprotective mechanism of NAM, the NAD+ precursor, and its effects on the autophagy-system in neurons exposed to oxidative stress;with NIDCR we examined mucin-type O-linked glycosylation in the structures of digestive system during development in Drosophila;and with NHLBI we investigated the process of selective degradation of mitochondria by using Drosophila cell lines. We also collaborated with a group in The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to use a high-pressure freezing/freeze-substitution method, the most useful and powerful cryofixation method, to study dynamic rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton in Drosophila. The findings were published in the May issue of Developmental Cell. In addition, quite a few projects involving the characterization of nanoparticles and drug delivery mechanisms were performed by using electron microscopy techniques, including negative staining methods. Investigators within the IRPs of NIBIB, NIDDK and NINDS initiated most of these projects.

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National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
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Huang, Xinglu; Zhang, Fan; Sun, Xiaolian et al. (2014) The genotype-dependent influence of functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes on fetal development. Biomaterials 35:856-65