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Advances in Atomic Force Microscopy: Nanomechanical Characterization by using PinPoint™ AFM

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The Institute Jacques Monod, founded jointly by the CNRS and the University Paris Diderot, and Park Systems are pleased to invite you to a workshop on Advances in Atomic Force Microscopy: Nanomechanical Characterization by using PinPoint™ AFM, which will take place on October, 10 at the “Cell Adhesion and Mechanics” Group, Institute Jacques Monod.

Date: Thursday, 10 October, 2019

Time: 10.00am - 16.00pm

Place: Institute Jacques Monod, “Cell Adhesion and Mechanics” Group, 15 Rue Helene Brion, Batiment Buffon, 404B, Paris Franc



  • 10:00 Welcome
  • 10:15 Introduction
  • 10:30 Talk: “Advances in Atomic Force Microscopy: Nanomechanical Characterization by using PinPoint™ AFM”/ Andrea Carreta, Application Scientist, Park Systems Europe
  • 11:30 - 13:00 Live Measurements
  • 13:00 Lunch
  • 14:00 - 16:00 Live Measurements
  • 16:00 End Discussion/Wrap up



Nanomechanical imaging of collagen fibrils via PinPointTM atomic force microscopy

Andrea Cerreta,1 Mina Hong,2 Gerald Pascual,2 Byong Kim,2 Keibock Lee2
1. Park SystemsEurope, Mannheim, Germany
2. Park Systems, Inc., Santa Clara, USA

Imaging the distribution of local mechanical properties on the nanoscale can significantly advance research on exciting soft matter materials relevant for biological systems (1,2) or optoelectronic applications (3). Force-distance measurements with atomic force microscopy (AFM) measure adhesion and elasticity by pressing a nanometer-sized tip on the end of a cantilever onto the surface. However, the correlation of mechanical data from force-distance measurements to the local sample morphology additionally requires topographic sample information. PinPointTM nanomechanical imaging with Park Systems AFMs simultaneously acquires topographic and force-distance data within short amounts of time. Therefore, PinPointTM AFM locally resolves the distribution of adhesion and elasticity.
Here, we characterized the mechanical properties of collagen fibrils, a structural protein occurring in ligaments and skin. As such, the study of collagen’s mechanical properties can reveal new insights on the elasticity of skin and aging processes. Via PinPointTM AFM we imaged fibrils with diameters ranging from 60 to 600 nm and calculated an average elastic modulus of 1.9 GPa in air. Upon immersion of the collagen in liquid, we observed the softening of the fibrils to 4-12 MPa, agreeing with previous findings (4). This study illustrates the additional value of PinPointTM AFM for the investigation mechanical properties in bioloical samples.

1. Perni, S., Preedy, E. C., Landini, P. & Prokopovich, P. Influence of csgD and ompR on Nanomechanics, Adhesion Forces, and Curli Properties of E. coli. Langmuir 32, 7965–7974 (2016).
2. Bastounis, E. E., Yeh, Y.-T. & Theriot, J. A. Matrix stiffness modulates infection of endothelial cells by Listeria monocytogenes via expression of cell surface vimentin. Mol. Biol. Cell 29, 1571–1589 (2018).
3. Kim, S. et al. Origin of macroscopic adhesion in organic light-emitting diodes analyzed at different length scales. Sci. Rep. 8, 6391 (2018).
4. Grant, C. A., Brockwell, D. J., Radford, S. E. & Thomson, N. H. Tuning the Elastic Modulus of Hydrated Collagen Fibrils. Biophys. J. 97, 2985–2992 (2009).

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