Brief Description of MAPRONANO ACE: Africa Center of Excellence in Materials Product Development and Nanotechnology (MAPRONANO ACE) was developed out of the need to strengthen research and training in the thematic areas of materials science and engineering, nanotechnology and nanomedicine in order to develop human resource capacity in applied science engineering disciplines for the development of the great lakes region.

VP Sigma 300 Scanning Electron Microscope Equipment:

MAPRONANO ACE has acquired a state of the art Vapour Pressure (VP) Sigma 300 High resolution Scanning Electron Microscope for nanomaterial’s characterization, Materials sciences research and all Nano scale related fields. This is the first of its kind Equipment in Sub-Saharan Africa for nanotechnology research. The VP Sigma 300 Scanning Electron Microscopy will be used by the faculty at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and College of Health Sciences and other University colleges for the below applications:

  • Minerals identification, size measurements of micron and nanosized materials
  • Determining the morphology of biological specimens (structural biology), nanoparticle analysis and detection, drug research (testing new vaccines and medicines)
  • Drug discovery and identification of new pathogens (Viruses, bacteria & fungi)
  • Tissue imaging such as Cancer Imaging, device testing and characterization, pharmaceutical quality control, forensic science, toxins identification.
  • Determining the crystallographic structure of specimens (topology, morphology and composition),
  • Materials science research, detection/ elemental analysis and cathodoluminescence microscopy (CL)
  •  Quality control and failure analysis, reliable performance of semiconductors
  •  Effectiveness of new production and fabrication methods

The Equipment will also be accessible to industry and regional partners. Training opportunities in advanced microscopy techniques, nano-materials characterization will also be offered to graduate, industry professionals and regional students.

Below some of the applied research projects that will use the Equipment:

1) Synthesis of lipid and chitosan nanoparticles for vaccine/drug delivery systems: The Equipment will be used for determining the morphological characteristics of the green synthesized lipid and chitosan nanoparticles before the Covid vaccine delivery system is developed.

2) Synthesis and characterization of graphene from Coffee husks: The size, number of concentric graphene layers, number of sphere and nano-structure of the graphite derived nanomaterials will be determined by the purchased VP Sigma Scanning Electron Microscopy

3) Characterize silver and copper nanoparticles derived from plant extracts: The particle size and microstructure will be studied by high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The VP sigma SEM Equipment will be used to characterize the size and shape of the nanoparticles

4) Green synthesis of graphene for energy storage.

Below some of the Industries & Institutions that will use the Equipment:

#Institution/Industry NameRole
1.Cipla PharmaceuticalsDrug discovery, drug quality control & testing, genomics
2.Steel and Tube IndustryMaterials Testing & Characterisation
3.Uganda National Bureau of StandardsMaterials Testing & Characterisation
4.Uganda Virus Research InstituteDiscovery of new viruses, drug discovery, Tissue imaging and diagnostics
5.Luwero Industries (NEC)Materials Testing & Characterization
6.Roofing’s Uganda LimitedMaterials Testing & Characterization
7.Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI)Cancer tissue imaging, therapeutics and diagnostics research
8.Mulago National Referral HospitalHistopathology and diagnostic imaging, toxicology, virology
9National Drug AuthorityPharmaceutical drug quality control & analysis
10.Uganda PoliceForensic science & Materials analysis: Analysis of gunshot residue, jewellery examination, bullet marking comparison, handwriting & print analysis, examination of banknote authenticity, filament bulb analysis in traffic incidents
11.Ministry of Energy and Mineral DevelopmentIdentification of new minerals, minerals analysis & characterization, research in photovoltaic/solar cells
MAPRONANO ACE acquires VP Sigma 300 Scanning Electron Microscope Equipment