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Performing Quantitative Nanomechanical AFM Measurements on Live Cells

  • Bede Pittenger (a1) and Andrea Slade (a1)

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Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been recognized since the mid-eighties as an excellent technique to image a wide range of samples in their near-natural environment. Although the primary function of AFM is to generate three-dimensional (3D) profiles of the scanned surface, much more information can be delivered via this technique. In 1993, TappingMode was developed, which prevents tip and sample damage due to friction and shear forces and allows qualitative mechanical property mapping through phase imaging. About the same time, force spectroscopy and force volume (FV) were developed to study tip-sample forces at a point or over an area, respectively. To date, force spectroscopy and FV are the most commonly used AFM modes for measuring nanometer-scale mechanical forces in a quantitative manner. Unfortunately, force spectroscopy and FV suffer from slow acquisition speed and a lack of automated tools; these operating characteristics limit their use because of the hundreds or thousands of curves that are required for good statistics.

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Performing Quantitative Nanomechanical AFM Measurements on Live Cells

  • Bede Pittenger (a1) and Andrea Slade (a1)

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