University of Gothenburg
NanoSIMS Sweden
NanoSIMS Sweden
Photo: Nhu Phan

NanoSIMS Sweden

The NanoSIMS Sweden (NanoSIMS Facility in Gothenburg) offers a secondary ion nanoprobe to carry out nanoscale projects, which is unique in the Nordic region. NanoSIMS can be applied to address questions in various research fields, especially materials, geological, marine, enviromental, medical and life science.

The NanoSIMS instrument is capable of measuring elemental, isotopic, inorganic, organic, and biomolecular distributions in various samples with excellent sensitivity (ppm), and 2D/3D imaging with nanometer spatial resolution (approximately 50 nm laterally and 10 nm axially).

NanoSIMS Sweden has personnel with expertise in high resolution mass spectrometry imaging, absolute quantification of concentration of analytes with NanoSIMS (originally developed in our facility), as well as development of new standards for NanoSIMS measurements. We are the first team capable of using NanoSIMS to accurately assess the absolute accumulation of drugs at the subcellular level, a crucial aspect in therapeutic design.

Services provided

  • Consultancy on experimental design, sample preparation, image acquisition and data processing and analysis support.
  • Training for routine measurements with NanoSIMS.
  • Training for data processing and analysis in 2D and 3D images.
  • Consultancy and support for NanoSIMS applications in pharmaceutical research and industry.


Principle of NanoSIMS

The CAMECA NanoSIMS 50L is an exceptional secondary ion nanoprobe designed to optimize SIMS analysis performance with a lateral resolution of nanometers. It features with a coaxial optical design for the ion gun and secondary ion extraction, along with an innovative magnetic sector mass analyzer with multicollection.

The NanoSIMS 50L offers several key performances:

  • High spatial resolution analysis (50 nanometers laterally, 10 nanometers axially)
  • High sensitivity (ppm in element imaging)
  • High mass resolution (M/dM ~ 10000)
  • Simultaneous acquisition of seven masses
  • Fast acquisition (DC mode)
  • Analysis of electrically insulating samples without problem
  • Isotope ratio reproducibility less than 0.1%.
  • Applicability to all types of analytes, including organic and inorganic materials, metals, and biomolecules such as metabolites, lipids, peptides, and proteins
  • Capabilities for 2D and 3D imaging

Novel methodology - drugSIMS™

Novel methodology - drugSIMS™, a product from a collaborative innovation between NanoSIMS Sweden, AstraZeneca, and Cameca, enables accurate measurement of drug uptake and endosomal escape, providing a thorough understanding of protein and lipid trafficking through absolute quantification of new drug modalities. This is a new approach to reaching targeted drug concentrations inside the cells at subcellular level.
Further information about drugSIMS™

A web tool, Molecular content calculator, for determination of the detection limit to accurately assess the absolute accumulation of drugs at the subcellular level was originally developed in our lab and can be freely accessed. 
To the web tool Molecular content calculator.

Examples of research and applications

Logotyp NanoSIMS Sweden.
Photo: NanoSIMS Sweden
Pharmacology. Antisense oligonucleotide in human hepatocyte cells.
Pharmacology. Antisense oligonucleotide in human hepatocyte cells.
Photo: Cecile Becquart & Michael Kurczy
Environmental Ecology. Uranyl in hepatic Ceca of Daphnia.
Environmental Ecology. Uranyl in hepatic Ceca of Daphnia.
Photo: Elias Ranjbari
Light element distribution in battery.
Light element distribution in battery.
Photo: Elias Ranjbari
DrugSIMS workflow - Cameca.
DrugSIMS workflow - Cameca.
Photo: Michael Kurczy
Stress granules turnover using STED/NanoSIMS
Stress granules turnover using STED/NanoSIMS.
Photo: Stefania Rabasco & Elias Ranjbari

Access to NanoSIMS Sweden

NanoSIMS Sweden welcomes researchers from both academia and industry. Potential users are encouraged to contact the facility to discuss the viability, relevance, and feasibility before applying for access. Academic projects will be consulted with the local committee (see below) regarding feasibility and scientific excellence.

User fees are charged for facility access, with full cost for industrial users and a subsidized rate for academic users. Confidentiality agreements will be signed as needed, following the host university’s or company's procedure.

We encourage potential users to submit a proposal with a brief description of the project.

Please mail to Nhu Phan to receive the application form. We will review your proposal and respond promptly.

Service fees

For academic users: 1625 SEK / hour
For industry users: 2225 SEK / hour

Optional fee for data analysis preformed by the engineer:
For academic users: 950 SEK / hour
For industry users: 1850 SEK / hour

Training for data processing and analysis:
For academic users: 1450 SEK / hour
For industry users: 2780 SEK / hour

Staff and contact information


Thi Ngoc Nhu Phan
Assistant professor, Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg.
About Thi Ngoc Nhu Phan

Lab manager

Elias Ranjbari
Principal research engineer, Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg.

Visiting Address NanoSIMS LAB

NanoSIMS Sweden
KL00 / NanoSIMS Lab / Elias Ranjbari
Pepparedsleden 1
431 83 Mölndal

Sample Delivery Address

KL00 / NanoSIMS Lab / Elias Ranjbari
Pepparedsleden 3
431 83 Mölndal

About Us

The NanoSIMS Sweden was founded in 2015 with the goal to provide mass spectrometry imaging technology with nanoscale spatial resolution to researchers in Sweden. Since then, it has expanded its services to researchers across the Nordic region. The NanoSIMS instrument is owned by the University of Gothenburg and hosted by AstraZeneca as part of the open innovation ecosystem known as the AstraZeneca BioVentureHub. This partnership provides unprecedented collaborations between academic research and pharmaceutical development and applications.

Vision and purpose

The NanoSIMS Sweden aims to be an extensive molecular and elemental imaging platform with the main focus on life science and medical science.

The goals of the facility are to:

  • Be world leading when it comes to method development and advances in high resolution chemical imaging creating new analytical possibilities for mass spectrometry imaging.
  • Focus on new analytical approaches: optimizing analytical protocols for industry and academia engaging new users and making nanoscale mass spectrometry imaging available to more users from different fields.
  • Continuously attract new users by outreach, industry site visits, workshops and conferences.


University of Gothenburg

Local committee of the facility

Thi Ngoc Nhu Phan, Chair, University of Gothenburg
Michael Kurczy, AstraZeneca
Elias Ranjbari, Gothenburg University
John Fletcher, University of Gothenburg