BioAFM Resource Library

Attaching Microspheres to Cantilevers Using the NanoWizard® Life Science Stage and AFM Head

Learn how cantilevers can be modified to perform sophisticated force experiments

Atomic Force Microscopy; AFM; Force Spectroscopy; Cantilever; Micro-Spheres; Glues; NanoWizard; CellHesion

AFM force spectroscopy can be used to obtain sensitive measurements of the stiffness of soft materials such as living cells and polymer gels. The surface inhomogeneity can be mapped, and changes measured in situ, as living cells respond to the addition of particular drugs, for example. The AFM is also a useful tool for measuring adhesion at a nanometer scale. The tip can be functionalized with molecules for ligand-receptor experiments, or whole cells can be picked up to measure the adhesion with other cells or solid surfaces.

The NanoWizard Life Science stage and AFM head can be used to easily align and manipulate the tip and sample to glue spheres to cantilever tips. The advantages and details of this setup are explored in this technical note.

Readers can expect to learn about:

  • Performing accurate cantilever modifications such as gluing micro-spheres to cantilevers using NanoWizard AFM instruments and accessories;
  • Application examples for the introduced modifications; and
  • Different procedures in detail, including an comprehensive overview over used cantilevers, materials and glues;