It’s a wrap! Nanomaterial wrap improves microscopy images


In Japan, researchers loved the idea of food plastic wrap and thought a similar product would help keep microscope samples protected and prevent them from drying out when mounted for microscopic viewing. Their wrap is a nanosheet of fluoropolymer organic material, known as CYTOP, that is embedded with agarose, a gel-forming material usually extracted from seaweed.

The nanosheet wrap prevents the samples from drying out or shrinking and allowing them to remain clearer than usual mounting methods. In one of their tests, 60% of the original water content was still in the sample after 24 hours, versus a similar sample that was completely dehydrated after only 10 hours without the wrap. The sheet also has strong adhesion properties, which works well for mounting the samples and keeping them in place on the slides.