Bundled Protein Filaments Win Popular Vote in Nikon Small World Competition

A bundle of fluorescent actin protein filaments captured by Dennis Breitsprecher of Hannover, Germany, awed the public to win the Popular Vote in the 2009 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. The public voted for the image as its favorite among the 137 finalists featured at

Mr. Breitsprecher, whose winning image also received recognition as an Image of Distinction, is a faculty member at the Institute of Biophysical Chemistry at Germany’s Hannover Medical School. Nikon will recognize Mr. Breitsprecher’s image alongside the other winners of this year’s Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition.

Tracy Anderson of the University of Minnesota received second place in the Popular Vote. His image of dried toluidine blue on a Petri dish was also named as an Image of Distinction in this year’s competition.

“Whether selected for aesthetic appeal, scientific relevance or technical proficiency, these images continue to show us the amazing beauty and detail that can be captured under the microscope,” said Lee Shuett, executive vice president, Nikon Instruments. “The Popular Vote gets the public involved so that everyone has the chance to serve as a judge.”

Now in its 35th year, Nikon Small World is the oldest and most respected competition of its kind. The competition, which has become the preeminent forum for showcasing the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light microscope, celebrates the world’s best photomicrographers who create beautiful imagery while showcasing a wide variety of advanced scientific disciplines. Nikon Small World recognizes photomicrographers for their achievements in capturing dynamic images at the intersection of science and art.

Top images from the 2009 Nikon Small World Competition will be exhibited in a full-color 2010 calendar and through a national museum tour. For additional information, including tour cities and dates, please visit