NanoLund News: Protein motors, strategic research areas looking at the future – and new director Web version
NanoLund at the Forefront of NanoScience
Photo of snowy garden.
’Tis the season to turn off the computers
So – after all, we are nearing the end of the strange Covid-19 year of 2020. Overall, operations at NanoLund have been relatively little affected. We suffered some bottlenecks due to equipment that was difficult to repair, we all sorely miss in-person scientific discussions and just having coffee together, and we discovered that digital meetings also have advantages, like the remarkable success of the INASCON student conference that you can read about below. But overall, we were able to keep things going, and were even able to contribute to virus research. A big thank you to everyone who worked hard to make this possible, and for staying enthusiastic.
The end of this year also marks the end of my eight-year tenure as the Director of NanoLund, which has been a highly rewarding experience that I am grateful for. It is a true privilege to be given the opportunity to entirely focus on the strategic development of a pioneering environment made up of such talented and creative colleagues.  

A warm thank you to everyone inside and outside of Lund University who has been supporting us on our journey. Taking turns in leadership roles is one of the strengths of NanoLund, and I am now extremely happy to hand over to a highly qualified and experienced new leadership team, consisting of Anders Mikkelsen as the new Director, a new Deputy-Director to be appointed very soon, and Anneli Löfgren as Co-director. I know that NanoLund still has a lot of room to further develop, and wish the new team and all of NanoLund all success.

With working from home so much, the border between work and home has become very fuzzy. It is therefore even more important than usual to truly turn off the computers, and to spend time with family and friends.

I wish everyone a relaxing break and God Jul.
Heiner Linke, for the leadership of NanoLund
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640x640transp New director coming up
640x640transp Anders Mikkelsen, professor at Synchrotron Radiation Physics, will be the next Director of NanoLund by January 2021, when Heiner Linke steps down from this role after eight years of leadership.
  – We are very happy that Anders Mikkelsen from Synchrotron Radiation Physics has agreed to take over the leadership of NanoLund, says Heiner Linke.
Photo of Lund University main building.

Lund University launches new strategy for Research Areas
The Lund Strategic Research Areas are looking into the future. NanoLund is one of the eight Strategic Research Areas (SRAs) at Lund University, facing the complex challenges in our society that strongly require new solutions. We need high-quality, challenge-relevant research brought together in collective efforts over subject and sector boundaries, combined with strong curiosity-driven research. With this need in mind, Lund University has now launched a new strategy for its SRAs.
640x640transp Photo of Pablo Villanueva Perez.
New ERC Starting Grant
Less damage is done to samples studied in X-ray microscopes – when rotating is not required. This technique will be developed by Pablo Villanueva Perez from NanoLund and Synchrotron Radiation Physics. He is an ERC Starting Grant awardee 2020, for the project Probing MHz processes in 3D with X-ray microscopy.

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640x640transp ERC grant to research project on protein motors
640x640transp Building engines – out of proteins. That’s the aim for a research project, with Heiner Linke at NanoLund as the corresponding principal investigator. The project is now being funded by the European Research Council (ERC) – it received a EUR 10 million ERC Synergy Grant.

640x640transp Photo of Christina Isaxon.
Funding for research on nanomaterials in the construction industry
Nanoparticles are often used to functionalize construction materials, however knowledge is lacking regarding how common these materials are and if they affect our health. Christina Isaxon has been awarded 4,5 MSEK by AFA Insurance, to map the use of nanomaterials within the construction industry, and what happens if you are exposed to the nanoparticles.

Photo of the Balder beamline at MAX IV. Photo: Kennet Ruona. 1x1
Grants in collaboration with the metals and manufacturing industry

Researchers within NanoLund have secured grants from both Vinnova and the Swedish Research Council that will fund research in collaboration with the metals and manufacturing industry. Filip Lenrick was awarded 4,2 MSEK (total budget 8,9 MSEK) from the Vinnova strategic innovation programme Metallic Material to establish models for material behaviour and corrosion with a higher predictive accuracy. The project is in collaboration with Alfa Laval, Sandvik Material Technology, Tetra Pak and Thermo Calc.
A research team from NanoLund headed by Anders Mikkelsen in collaboration with Jan-Eric Ståhl and Elizabeth Blackburn was awarded 5,9 MSEK from the Swedish Research Council Grant for accessibility to infrastructure. The project will perform research studies based on industrial needs within the metals and manufacturing industry where studies at MAXIV or ESS can make a difference. In the same call, Edvin Lundgren was awarded 4,4 MSEK for in-situ studies of corrosion using the BALDER beamline at MAX IV.
Looking for innovation ideas to be developed by students
Do you have an idea for an innovation that you think deserves testing?

You are invited to submit an idea for a project course as part of the Engineering Nanoscience program. Highly motivated groups of third-year students will spend a total of 4 to 6 person-months during the Spring of 2020 to take the next step for your innovation, be it to test a concept, make a prototype or develop a business plan. If you have such an idea, please contact Fredrik Johansson by January 8.
Swedish Research Council Grants awarded 2020
Ten NanoLund Faculty Members received new grants in Natural and engineering sciences from the Swedish Research Council (VR, Vetenskapsrådet), for a total of almost 34 MSEK for their projects.
Awardees of project grants are: Martin Leijnse, Heiner Linke, Anders Mikkelsen, Tommy Nylander, Ivan Scheblykin, Claes Thelander, Jens Uhlig and Kenneth Wärnmark. Awardees of starting grants: Patrick Potts and Jan Vogelsang.
Photo of the AF-borgen Stora Salen with NanoLund Annual Meeting 2020.

Hybrid mode with focus on nanotech for life science
The focus of this year’s annual meeting was on nanotechnology solutions for life science problems. Program chair Christelle Prinz put together an exciting program that featured talks on SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics and spreading, nanotechnology for precision medicine, neuromorphic electronics, biocomputation, thermodynamics of small systems such as molecular motors, and many other exciting topics that highlighted the many aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology of, and for the life sciences.

The format was a hybrid-meeting of sessions in the AF-borgen combined with streaming. Of the total 177 registered participants, 73 participated in the AF-borgen in 5 sessions of maximum 50 persons at a time.

Photo of Camilla Modéer and panelists at the Annual Meeting.
“Academia needs boosting the purpose perspective”
The chair of our External Advisory Board, Camilla Modéer, selected in 2020 by LTH for an honorary doctorate, presented her lecture as part of our Annual Meeting, on the topic of interaction between academic research, industry and society.
Photo of Award Ceremony.
The Annual Awards
Junior Scientist Ideas Awards: Kim von Allmen, Egle Kelpsiene, Michael S. Seifner, Ruben Seoane Souto, Pavel Kolesnichenko
Young Teacher Award: Therese Olsson, PhD student, Solid State Physics
Excellent Support Awards: Elisabeth Nordström, Finance Officer, Department of Electrical and Information Technology
Håkan Lapovski, Facility Manager, Solid State Physics
OPEN Award: Line Lundfald, Project coordinator, NanoLund for in an outstanding way living the core values Openness, Pioneering & Enthusiasm as a true NanoLundian. Also, Viktor Öwall, Dean of LTH and Chair of the NanoLund board, got the OPEN Award.

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640x640transp Success for INASCON
640x640transp NanoLund is very proud to sponsor INASCON 2020, the International Nanoscience Student Conference that attracted more than 1000 registered participants from all over the world.

Professionally and digitally organized by a team of 35 Lund University undergraduate and graduate students, and featuring Nobel laureate Ben Feringa and many other leading scientists, the conference was sponsored by NanoLund, Sten K Johnsons Stiftelse, Region Skåne, Lunds kommun and MAX IV Laboratory.
640x640transp Photo of Professor Emeritus Hermann Grimmeiss, plus small picture of the Department of Solid State Physics in 1968.
Medal to founder of Semiconductor Physics research in Lund
Professor Emeritus Hermann Grimmeiss, who founded the research field of Semiconductor Physics in Lund, has been awarded the Daniel Ernst Jablonski Medal of the Leibniz Society of Sciences in Berlin.
Sara Linse, on the right, with her colleague Katja Bernfur. Photo: Johan Joelsson 640x640transp
640x640transp Sara Linse among the world’s most cited researchers
640x640transp Each year, the analysis company Clarivate Analytics identifies the world’s most influential researchers ─ the select few who have been most frequently cited by their peers over the last decade. The list includes three names from Lund University, and Sara Linse, principal investigator at NanoLund, is one of them.
Photo of David Winge.
Mimicking the navigation of the insect brain
How come bees always find their way home, not to mention in a straight line? How do the insect brains allow them to navigate so easily? Could we copy that function? A step in this direction has now been taken by a group of scientists in a project combining the fields of biology, physics, nanoscience and informatics.
Electron microscopy image of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell on top of nanostraws. Image credit: M. Hjort and L. Schmiderer 640x640transp
640x640transp Nanostraws deliver biomolecules to stem cells
640x640transp Researchers from NanoLund and StemTherapy have developed a promising new method for delivering biomolecules into human blood stem cells. With little to no detrimental effects on target cells, this novel approach has great potential.
“The surprisingly gentle nature of this method encourages us to explore practical applications of nanostraws,” says Martin Hjort. 

640x640transp Photo of Lucas Marçal.
Nano diffraction of ferroelastic domains at MAX IV
An international team of researchers – consisting of no less than four from NanoLund – have used nano focused X-rays at the NanoMAX beamline to image the complex structure of metal halide perovskite nanowires. The high-resolution imaging made it possible to see domains inside the nanowire, as the temperature was increased across a structural phase transition. The structure of perovskite materials plays an important role in their properties for solar cells and light-emitting device applications.

“We started measuring at room temperature, and we could observe structural inhomogeneities within the nanowire. This had not been observed with such high resolution using nano focused X-rays before, so that was already exciting. However, the domains did not have any special pattern,” says Dr Lucas Marçal from NanoLund.

“There are a number of neurological conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, whose mechanisms we want to understand”, says Jens Schouenborg. On his left: Johan Agorelius, Alexander Dontsios Holmkvist. Photo: Tove Smeds
Nanoparticles deliver drugs to the brain
A new method that slowly releases drugs locally in the brain has been developed by researchers at Lund University in Sweden. The drug is encapsulated in nanoparticles and delivered to the brain tissue via flexible electrodes.

“There are a number of neurological conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, whose mechanisms we want to understand”, says Jens Schouenborg.
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Could singing spread Covid-19?
If silence is golden, speech is silver – and singing the worst.
Singing doesn’t need to be silenced, however, but at the moment the wisest thing is to sing with social distancing in place. The advice comes from aerosol researchers Jakob Löndahl and Malin Alsved. They have studied the amount of particles we actually emit when we sing – and by extension – if we contribute to the increased spread of Covid-19 by singing.
X-ray beam induced current measurements from the nanowire detector through the nano focus.
Imaging the X-ray focus of NanoMAX with a single nanowire
A team of researchers from Lund University has imaged the beam focus at the hard X-ray nanoprobe NanoMAX using a single nanowire as the detector. The result is an unprecedented ultrahigh-resolution 3D image of the 88 nanometer diameter focus revealing fine details of the beam. Jesper Walllentin, associate professor at the division of Synchrotron Radiation Research, tells us more.
Articles from NanoLund researchers
Recent scientific articles from NanoLund researchers (the link redirects to Lund University’s Research Portal – most recent articles on tops.

Introduction meeting
Save the date! 18 February 2021 at 14:00–16:30 we welcome anyone who has joined NanoLund recently and all who wants to know more.

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New web design
The design of the NanoLund website has been upgraded to the latest Lund University web-template. If, you have feedback – please let us know!

Call deadline for Seedling projects;
Open to students and postdocs
Masters students, doctoral students and postdocs currently working in a NanoLund research group annually have the opportunity to apply for funds for seedling projects, to explore a new idea. Funds of up to 100 000 SEK per project are available. In addition to project funding, each Junior scientist responsible for a granted proposal will receive the Junior Scientist Ideas Award.
2020 Holiday card from NanoLund
Wishing you all happy holidays – and stay safe!
This year, NanoLund’s Christmas card marks the strange times we live in.

The card is a collage from a study on the spreading of respiratory droplets during singing, a topic that has become highly relevant during 2020 and the spread of Covid-19. This study is one of many where NanoLund researchers contribute to the understanding and reduction of the spreading of virus. Collage by Malin Alsved. Photo by Malin Alsved and Alexios Matamis.
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