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03-02-2012

Clarkson University Professor's Research Highlighted at American Physical Society Meeting

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/isokolov.jpg.]

Two works of research carried out by the group of Clarkson University Physics Professor Igor Sokolov were highlighted by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) at the recent annual meeting of the American Physical Society in Boston, the world's largest meeting of physicists.

Clarkson University Physics Professor Igor Sokolov The first work, “Atomic force microscopy as nano-stethoscope to study living organisms, insects,” was chosen by the AIP as one of only 15 to present to the entire meeting, out of about 7,000 presentations in total.

Atomic force microscopy is a technique generally used to image surfaces. However, the Clarkson researchers used it to record tiny oscillations on the surface of insects and even on human organisms.

They showed that the method allows recording a vibration of the surface as small as 1/100th of its atomic size. This can be used not only to study various functional mechanisms of insects, but also to detect some diseases.

Postdoctoral fellow Maxim Dokukin, graduate student Nataliia Guz, and Sokolov performed the research. Read more at http://www.aps.org/meetings/march/vpr/2012/highlighted.cfm .

The other work of the same group, in collaboration with Biology Professor Craig D. Woodworth, was titled “Emergence of fractal behavior and other changes of cell surface during malignant transformation: AFM study of human cervical epithelial cells.”

This research was also distinguished by being chosen for presentation at a press conference, “The Physics of Cancer,” during the APS meeting.

The Clarkson researchers demonstrated that the physical properties of a cell surface may be an even better indication of cancer than the “classical” biochemical markers, perhaps opening a new avenue for early detection of cancer and development of new drugs.

Other presentations at the press conference were done by researchers from Wake Forest University, University of California at Berkeley, and the National Science Foundation.

Sokolov’s research is performed under the umbrella of Clarkson’s Nanoengineering and Biotechnology Laboratories Center (NABLAB), a unit established to promote cross-disciplinary collaborations within the University. It comprises more than a dozen faculty members to capitalize on the expertise of Clarkson scholars in the areas of cancer cell research, fine particles for bio and medical applications, synthesis of smart materials, advancement biosensors, and more.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Igor Sokolov.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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