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Press Room Photo: Engineers Make Strides in Diabetes Research at UH

Peter Vekilov, associate professor of chemical engineering, and Dimitra Georgiou, a recent doctoral graduate in chemical engineering, work with an atomic-force microscope to capture images of insulin molecules only five nanometers in diameter.


Thousands of block-shaped insulin molecules, each measuring five nanometers, attach themselves to crystals in special locations known as kinks. Vekilov and Georgiou found that groups of insulin blocks form mounds, resulting in the creation of multiple kinks. These additional kinks provided by the mounds allow for rapid growth of insulin crystals.