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Ralph Albrecht, Professor                   

Department of Animal Sciences; Pediatrics; and Pharmaceutical Sciences
1046 Animal Science Bldg.
1675 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Telephone: 608.263.3952 (office)
Telephone: 608.263.4162 (lab)
Fax: 608.262.5157

PubMed citations

Research Interests Laboratory Members Publications BBPIC


Research Interests:
Include the development of colloidal nano-particles of differing composition and shape for correlative and high resolution labeling in light microscopy, and electron microscopy as well as CT and MR applications. Current studies also involve the synthesis of inductively heated magnetite/gold (core/shell) nano-particles for targeted in vitro and in vivo cell killing of cells (such as tumor or auto-reactive cells) or for selective cell permeation of labeled cells. Other interests include receptor-ligand-cytoskeleton interactions; microvasculature development, biomaterial compatibility, and immunotoxicology.

Research Description
Studies involve the synthesis of colloidal nano-particles of unique elemental compositions and shapes including core/shell particles and the conjugation of the nano-particles to ligands or antibodies. The nano-particle conjugates serve as labels which permit correlative imaging of multiple epitopes/receptors at sub-molecular levels of spatial resolution. Various forms of correlative imaging using interference based light microscopy, energy filtering transmission electron microscopy, and high resolution scanning electron microscopy are under development. The use of EFTEM and aberration corrected STEM with high resolution EDX and EELS permits tomographic high resolution imaging of biological structure and simultaneous identification/localization of different label types.

 Additional studies involve the synthesis of gold coated, superparamagnetic magnetite core/shell nano-particles. Antibody conjugates of the particles selectively target specific cell surface antigens. Once bound to cell membranes the particles can be inductively heated and used to selectively kill labeled cells or to temporarily permeabilize targeted cells via generation of small reversible membrane holes.  The use of magnetite and other nanoparticles with MR and CT imaging is also currently being investigated.

Other interests include development of methodology to image and investigate the environmental toxicology of nanoparticles of differing shape, size, and chemical composition. Work also involves the use of microcorrosion casting to investigate vascular development in lymph nodes and elsewhere and to develop high resolution structural mimics of native cell adhesive surfaces. Additionally, collaborative efforts with Dr. Claudia Barreto, Univ. of New Mexico, involve the use of high resolution SEM and elemental analysis to investigate the growth plates and associated putative cellular structures of well preserved juvenile dinosaurs and how these compare to existing avian, reptilian, and mammalian species.

Also see the BBPIC web site for additional information on labeling, specimen preparation, and imaging.  Either click on “Facilities” then “Campus Facilities” then “Microscopy Laboratories” on the Animal Sciences web site or go to

Laboratory Members

Ralph Albrecht Professor and Director BBPIC Laboratory
Chris Erickson Senior Scientist; Clinical Assoc. Professor Department of Pediatrics
Julie Oliver Visiting Senior Researcher, Asst Professor Biololgical Sciences UWM
Joseph Heintz Laboratory Manager and Manager of BBPIC Laboratory
Daryl Meyer Graduate Assistant (Animal Sciences)
Nora O'Reilly Graduate Assistant (Animal Sciences)
Fikrullah Kisa       Graduate Assistant (Animal Sciences)
Andrew Zuehlke     Graduate Assistant (Neuroscience)

Selected Publications


Ward SK, Heintz JA, Albrecht RM, Talaat AM. Single-Cell Elemental Analysis of Bacteria: Quantitative Analysis of Polyphosphates in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2:63, 2012.

Shippy DC, Heintz JA, Albrecht RM, Eakley NM, Chopra AK, Fadl AA.Deletion of glucose-inhibited division (gidA) gene alters the morphological and replication characteristics of Salmonella enterica Serovar typhimurium. Arch Microbiol. 194:413, 2012.

Johnson RA, Simmons KT, Fast JP, Schroeder CA, Pearce RA, Albrecht RM, Mecozzi S. Histamine release associated with intravenous delivery of a fluorocarbon-based sevoflurane emulsion in canines. J Pharm Sci. 100:2685-92, 2011.

Meyer DA, Oliver JA, Albrecht RM. Colloidal palladium particles of different shapes for electron microscopy labeling. Microcs Microanal 16:33-42, 2010.

Bar-Ilan O, Albrecht RM, Fako VE, Furgeson DY. Toxicity assessments of multisized gold and silver nanoparticles in zebrafish embryos. Small 5:1897-1910, 2009.

Atapattu DN, Albrecht RM, McClenahan DJ, Czuprynski CJ. Dynamin-2-dependent targeting of mannheimia haemolytica leukotoxin to mitochondrial cyclophilin D in bovine lymphoblastoid cells. Infect Immun 76:5357-5365, 2008.

Karuri NW, Nealey PF, Murphy CJ, Albrecht RM.Structural organization of the cytoskeleton in SV40 human corneal epithelial cells cultured on nano- and microscale grooves. Scanning 30:405-413, 2008.

Bleher, R.,  I. Kandela, D.A. Meyer, and  R.M. Albrecht. Immuno-EM using Colloidal Metal Nanoparticles and Electron Spectroscopic Imaging for Colocalization at High Spatial Resolution. In Press: J of Microscopy, 2008

Kandela, I.K., R. Bleher, and R.M. Albrecht.  Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy Immunolabeling on Ultrathin Cryosections of Skeletal Muscle Tissue.  In Press: Microscopy and Microanalysis. 2008

Kaiser, M., J. Heintz, I. Kandela, and R. Albrecht.  Tumor Cell Death Induced by Membrane Melting via Immunotargeted, Inductively Heated Core/Shell Nanoparticles.  Micros. and Microanalysis 13 (supp. 2):18-19, 2007.

Kandela, I.K., and R.M. Albrecht. Fluorescence Quenching by Colloidal Heavy Metal Nanoparticles: Implications for Correlative Fluorescence and Electron Microscopic Studies. Scanning,  29:152-161, 2007

Kandela, I.K., R. Bleher, and R.M. Albrecht. Multiple correlative immunolabeling in light and electron microscopy using fluorophores and colloidal metal particles. J. Histochem Cytochem.  55:983-990, 2007

Hillyer J.F. and R.M. Albrecht.  Gastrointestinal persorption and tissue distribution of differently     sized colloidal gold nanoparticles.  J Pharm Sci. 90(12)1927-1936, 2001

Olorundare OE, Peyruchaud O, Albrecht RM, Mosher DF. Assembly of a fibronectin matrix by adherent platelets stimulated by lysophosphatidic acid and other agonists.  Blood. 98(1)117-124, 2001

Hillyer, J.F. and R.M. Albrecht. Correlative Instrumental Neutron Activation  Analysis, Light Microscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy, and X-Ray  Microanalysis for Qualitative and Quantitative Detection of Colloidal Gold Spheres  in Biological Specimens.  Microscopy and Microanalysis 4:481-490, 1999

Sims, P.A. and R.M. Albrecht. Corrosion Casting in the Reproduction of the Micro-Surface Topography of  Fibrillar Collagen.  Microscopy and Microanalysis 5:99-105, 1999

Simmons S.R., P.A. Sims, and R.M. Albrecht, Receptor Crosslinking Triggers aIIb3  redistribution. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, amd Vascular Biology 17:3311-3320, 1997

Waples L.M., O.E. Olorundare, S.L. Goodman, Q.J. Lai, and R. M. Albrecht.  Platelet-Polymer Interactions: Morphologic and Intracellular Free Calcium Studies of Individual Platelets.  J. Biomed. Mat. Resch.  32:65-76, 1996


Albrecht, R.M. and D.A Meyer.  Molecular Labeling for Correlative Microscopy: LM, LVSEM, TEM, EF-TEM and HVEM, Ch 6,Biological Low Voltage Scanning Electron Microscopy.  H. Schatten and J.B. Pawley (eds) Springer Science, New York, 171-196, 2008

Sims, P., R. Albrecht, J. Pawley, V. Centonze, T. Derrinck, and J. Hardin.  When LM Resolution is not Enough: Correlational LM and EM.  Ch 49 Handbook of Biological Confocal Microscopy, 3rd edition, J.B. Pawley (ed.),

Goodman, S. L., and R.M. Albrecht. Cell-Surface Interactions: the Blood Platelet as a Paradigm. Ch 15 Interfacial Phenomena and Bioproducts, J.L. Brash and P.W. Wojciechowski (eds.), Marcel Dekker Inc., New York, NY publishers, pp. 485-506. 1996.

Rabinow B.E., Y.S. Ding, C. Quin, M.L. McHalsky J.H. Schneider, K.A. Ashline, T.L. Shelbourn, and R.M. Albrecht. 1995. Biomaterials with Permanent Hyhdrophilic Surfaces and Low Protein Adsorption Properties. In "Polymer  Biomaterials in Solution, as Interfaces and As Solids." S.L. Cooper, C.H. Bamford, and T. Tsurata eds. VSP  publishers pp. 109-127.

Albrecht R.M., S.R. Simmons, and J.B. Pawley.  1993.  Correlative video-enhanced light microscopy, high voltage transmission electron microscopy, and field emission scanning electron microscopy for the localization of colloidal gold labels.  In "Immunocytochemistry, A practical approach."  J.E. Beesley ed.  Oxford Univer. Press, Oxford, U.K.  Chapt. 8, pp. 151-176.

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