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SIMS21, Poland 2017 - Jordan Lerach abstract

Jordan Lerach oral presentation (OB3-Thu3-1-1)

3D imaging of a native pigment molecule within an insect hair follicle

Jordan Lerach1, Li Tian2, Istvan Miko2, Dan Sykes3, Heather Hines2

1 Penn State University - Materials Research Insitute, Millennium Science Complex, PA 16801 University Park, United States
2 Pennsylvania State University - Department of Biology and Entomology, Mueller Building, PA 16801 University Park, United States
3 Pennsylvania State University - Department of Chemistry, Chemistry Building, PA 16801 University Park, United States


The analysis of complex materials as-received and with little to no sample preparation is of great interest to many researchers. In the field of biology this is particularly useful when attempting to observe the native chemical makeup of anatomical features since modifications to the sample can change the native structure and possibly introduce contaminants.

The research presented outlines the analytical process for the analysis of insect hair follicles (setae), using bee hairs as a model, to 1) determine the practicality of utilizing ToF-SIMS as a means to identify specific molecular components within the hair matrix and 2) to determine the localization of said analytes. Confirmation of the molecule of interest is observed and the localization of the molecule within the 3D matrix of a hair follicle is determined. Additionally, differing sample preparation methodologies are presented which showcase the strengths of the technique.