Winner Announced for NNI’s EnvisioNano 2.0 Nanotechnology Image Contest


(September 30, 2015) The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is pleased to announce the winner of the second round of EnvisioNano, a nanotechnology image contest for students. Elizabeth Sawicki, a member of the Medical Scholars Program and the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, won the top honors for her image entitled Gelatin Nanoparticles in Brain. Ms. Sawicki’s research focuses on developing gelatin nanoparticles (GNPs) to safely transport drug molecules through the nose into the brain of stroke patients without the need for an injection. Congratulations to Elizabeth!

Images were posted online for public voting. The top five images advanced to the semifinalist round. The final winner was chosen by representatives of the National Nanotechnology Initiative member agencies. The winning image will be displayed on for a month. For more information on the EnvisioNano contest rules and judging, visit the EnvisioNano page on

                      Gelatin particles in brain contest winner

Gelatin Nanoparticles in Brain: This image shows gelatin nanoparticles (GNPs) delivered to many different brain regions after being inhaled through the nose. Though stroke is a leading cause of death and adult disability, there are few effective treatments currently available. After delivering the GNPs loaded with stroke medication to rats with strokes, Ms. Sawicki was able to see a significant reduction in brain damage as well as healing. A fundamental understanding of the way gelatin nanoparticles interact with the brain will allow this technology to someday be applied to humans.

Image taken by: Elizabeth Sawicki
Advisor: Prof. Kevin Kim and Prof. Hyungsoo Choi
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Medical Scholars Program and the Department of Bioengineering

About the Contest: Federal agencies funding research and development activities in nanotechnology under the auspices of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), with support from the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO), are working to highlight the accomplishments of and build community around the NNI, and to educate the general public about nanotechnology. One such effort is EnvisioNano, a contest for students who submit striking nanoscale images with thoughtful, concise descriptions of the science.