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Calibration of colloidal probes with atomic force microscopy for micromechanical assessment

Calibration of colloidal probes with atomic force microscopy for micromechanical assessment
Calibration of colloidal probes with atomic force microscopy for micromechanical assessment

Mechanical assessment of biological materials and tissue-engineered scaffolds is increasingly focusing at lower length scale levels. Amongst other techniques, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has gained popularity as an instrument to interrogate material properties, such as the indentation modulus, at the microscale via cantilever-based indentation tests equipped with colloidal probes. Current analysis approaches of the indentation modulus from such tests require the size and shape of the colloidal probe as well as the spring constant of the cantilever. To make this technique reproducible, there still exist the challenge of proper calibration and validation of such mechanical assessment. Here, we present a method to (a) fabricate and characterize cantilevers with colloidal probes and (b) provide a guide for estimating the spring constant and the sphere diameter that should be used for a given sample to achieve the highest possible measurement sensitivity. We validated our method by testing agarose samples with indentation moduli ranging over three orders of magnitude via AFM and compared these results with bulk compression tests. Our results show that quantitative measurements of indentation modulus is achieved over three orders of magnitude ranging from 1 kPa to 1000 kPa via AFM cantilever-based microindentation experiments. Therefore, our approach could be used for quantitative micromechanical measurements without the need to perform further validation via bulk compression experiments.

Atomic force microscopy, Biological tissues, Colloidal probes, Indentation, Microscale, Soft matter
1751-6161
225-236
Kain, Lukas
8cfd77f3-0e58-418e-975d-8d0e888a54d5
Andriotis, Orestis G.
d88047ee-bc23-4b1b-9d98-184685fefb65
Gruber, Peter
a4d2667c-04a0-44c4-b09a-d88ea32907a6
Frank, Martin
09ec65ac-f62d-41da-86b2-81908973b8a1
Markovic, Marica
b92c8a4b-498a-4303-9d87-4bfc70362a5d
Grech, David
f44a3fe2-5f50-4192-9018-3fccd1612ceb
Nedelkovski, Vedran
b340e3db-0d1a-45ce-b589-688306d9bcfc
Stolz, Martin
7bfa1d59-511d-471b-96ce-679b343b5d1d
Ovsianikov, Aleksandr
915ebe18-3693-4e44-a3ed-dd1e1a76afb7
Thurner, Philipp J.
ab711ddd-784e-48de-aaad-f56aec40f84f
Kain, Lukas
8cfd77f3-0e58-418e-975d-8d0e888a54d5
Andriotis, Orestis G.
d88047ee-bc23-4b1b-9d98-184685fefb65
Gruber, Peter
a4d2667c-04a0-44c4-b09a-d88ea32907a6
Frank, Martin
09ec65ac-f62d-41da-86b2-81908973b8a1
Markovic, Marica
b92c8a4b-498a-4303-9d87-4bfc70362a5d
Grech, David
f44a3fe2-5f50-4192-9018-3fccd1612ceb
Nedelkovski, Vedran
b340e3db-0d1a-45ce-b589-688306d9bcfc
Stolz, Martin
7bfa1d59-511d-471b-96ce-679b343b5d1d
Ovsianikov, Aleksandr
915ebe18-3693-4e44-a3ed-dd1e1a76afb7
Thurner, Philipp J.
ab711ddd-784e-48de-aaad-f56aec40f84f

Kain, Lukas, Andriotis, Orestis G., Gruber, Peter, Frank, Martin, Markovic, Marica, Grech, David, Nedelkovski, Vedran, Stolz, Martin, Ovsianikov, Aleksandr and Thurner, Philipp J. (2018) Calibration of colloidal probes with atomic force microscopy for micromechanical assessment. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 85, 225-236. (doi:10.1016/j.jmbbm.2018.05.026).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Mechanical assessment of biological materials and tissue-engineered scaffolds is increasingly focusing at lower length scale levels. Amongst other techniques, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has gained popularity as an instrument to interrogate material properties, such as the indentation modulus, at the microscale via cantilever-based indentation tests equipped with colloidal probes. Current analysis approaches of the indentation modulus from such tests require the size and shape of the colloidal probe as well as the spring constant of the cantilever. To make this technique reproducible, there still exist the challenge of proper calibration and validation of such mechanical assessment. Here, we present a method to (a) fabricate and characterize cantilevers with colloidal probes and (b) provide a guide for estimating the spring constant and the sphere diameter that should be used for a given sample to achieve the highest possible measurement sensitivity. We validated our method by testing agarose samples with indentation moduli ranging over three orders of magnitude via AFM and compared these results with bulk compression tests. Our results show that quantitative measurements of indentation modulus is achieved over three orders of magnitude ranging from 1 kPa to 1000 kPa via AFM cantilever-based microindentation experiments. Therefore, our approach could be used for quantitative micromechanical measurements without the need to perform further validation via bulk compression experiments.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 16 May 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 May 2018
Published date: 1 September 2018
Keywords: Atomic force microscopy, Biological tissues, Colloidal probes, Indentation, Microscale, Soft matter

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 424831
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/424831
ISSN: 1751-6161
PURE UUID: 67f01f07-a1ae-4deb-ab01-b610124d46f8
ORCID for Martin Stolz: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0732-0811
ORCID for Philipp J. Thurner: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7588-9041

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Oct 2018 11:49
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:13

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Contributors

Author: Lukas Kain
Author: Orestis G. Andriotis
Author: Peter Gruber
Author: Martin Frank
Author: Marica Markovic
Author: David Grech
Author: Vedran Nedelkovski
Author: Martin Stolz ORCID iD
Author: Aleksandr Ovsianikov

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