Atomic Force Microscope

ForceRobot 400

High-throughput, quantitative single-molecule biomechanics

ForceRobot 400

Forces play a crucial role in molecular mechanisms, such as recognition, response, and signaling. The ForceRobot® 400 BioAFM incorporates a number of unique force spectroscopy innovations to measure forces at the single-molecule level. It enables the quantification of the mechanical strength of individual molecular bonds and characterization of the force-dependent properties of molecular interactions and biomolecular complexes.

High Throughput
250,000 force curves per day 
Advanced capabilities allow long-term, self-regulating experiment series, delivering improved productivity and statistically significant datasets. 
Fully Automated Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy
Advanced force curve designs combined with extensive fitting routines and easy-to-use scripting tools enable flexible, user-defined experiment designs.
Force spectroscopy
Advanced Nanomechanical Characterization
Senses and quantifies forces at the molecular level and characterizes force-dependent properties of individual molecules.

Understanding the Mechanics of Single Molecules

ForceRobot 400 is uniquely capable of providing crucial insights into functional biological mechanisms, opening new possibilities in such research fields as biophysics, biochemistry, developmental biology, and the development of novel therapeutic molecules.

ForceRobot 400 delivers:

  • Outstanding performance: 250,000 force curves per day
  • Fully automated single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) capabilities
  • Statistically relevant, standardized datasets required in biomedical and preclinical research
  • Advanced force curve designs and extensive fitting routines for flexible experiments


Innovative multiparametric nanomechanical mapping

ForceRobot 400 enables the label-free, nanomechanical measurement of individual molecules under near-physiological conditions. Correlative, multiparametric datasets of unprecedented quality can be collected and a comprehensive range of biophysical parameters derived automatically from each dataset.

SMFS measurements on (GB1)8 polyprotein with statistical analysis of force curves. A: 3D representation of a single GB1 molecule (guanine nucleotide-binding protein) and corresponding polyprotein consisting of 8 tandem repeats of GB1. (Structure 2J52 from was used to display GB1) B: Exemplary force distance (FD) curve showing the complete unfolding of all 8 subunits of (GB1)8. The contour length of each unfolded GB1 subunit was determined by fitting the FD curves with a worm-like chain model (orange). C: Density plot of superimposed FD curves indicating the probability of unfolding up to 8 subunits. D: Distribution of contour length and unfolding force values for GB1 subunits. Mean contour length determined is 19.2 nm, with an average unfolding force applied of 173 pN. Sample courtesy of Prof. Yi Cao, Dept. of Physics, Nanjing University, China.

"The increased level of automation, in conjunction with advanced optical techniques, makes the new ForceRobot 400 an outstanding tool for the study of biophysical phenomena at the single-molecule scale. Such force measurement capabilities enable the study of the mechanical properties of natural and synthetic polymers at the single molecular level, advancing the design and synthesis of novel macro and nanomaterials."

Professor Yi Cao, Department of Physics
Nanjing University, China

Next-Generation Force Measurement Capabilities

Advanced Automated Force Spectroscopy

ForceRobot 400 is the ideal tool for SMFS, providing crucial insights into biophysical mechanisms at the molecular level. Large-scaled z-motors and an enhanced motorized stage functionality enable the investigation of samples ranging in size from single molecules to larger biological complexes and regions of interest (ROI) that are far apart or in different sample compartments. The latest optional NestedScanner feature has a fast z-scanner with a capacitive sensor. It generates reproducible force curves even at high speeds, significantly extending the frequency range for microrheological measurements.

The new SmartMapping feature allows the flexible selection of multiple, userdefined 2D force maps. Using optical tiling, multiple ROIs can be selected in advance and examined automatically, facilitating the systematic study of large sample areas.

Setting New Standards in SMFS Automation

ForceRobot 400 delivers advanced automation and analysis capabilities at unprecedented data acquisition rates. Automated alignment and calibration features, in combination with proprietary software tools, ensure autonomous operation and rapid results.

Ultimate Flexibility

The new ForceRobot 400 user interface, with intuitive user guidance, enables the fast and simple definition of operating parameters. Pre-defined experiment setups, such as force-clamp, force-ramp, or microrheology, along with easy-to-use scripting tools allow user-defined experiment designs. Long-term, selfregulating experiment series can be run thanks to the automated adjustment of system parameters.

Correlative fluorescence microscopy and force mapping on phase separated DOPC (1,2-dioleoyl-snglycero-3-phosphocholine) supported lipid bilayers containing cholesterol, sphingomyelin, and rhodamine-DOPE (1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycerolphospho-ethanolamine). A: Fluorescence image of rhodamine-DOPE containing liquid disordered phase (red) and sphingomyelin-rich liquid ordered phase (black regions). B: Height map showing elevated lipid rafts (liquid ordered phase) in liquid disordered phase. (Map size 20 × 20 μm2 with 60 × 60 pixels.) C and D: Force- Indentation curves acquired on liquid disordered phase (C) and liquid ordered phase (D) showing breakthrough events at different forces. Sample courtesy of Prof. Dr. Salvatore Chiantia, BB, Cell Membrane Biophysics Group, University of Potsdam, Germany.

Groundbreaking Capabilities:

  • Over 10,000 force curves per hour
  • Automated alignment of detection system and adaptation to environmental conditions
  • New automated self-adjusting mapping mode for probing rough surfaces
  • Characterization of viscoelastic properties with a modulation frequency of at least 5 kHz (requires optional z-scanner) 
  • Extensive range of environmental control accessories (humidity, temperature, ionic strength, buffer exchange, etc.)

Seamless Integration with Optical Microscopes

ForceRobot 400 can be seamlessly integrated with advanced optics and super-resolution techniques to deliver correlated nanomechanical data sets and the comprehensive characterization of an extensive range of biological samples.

ForceRobot 400 on Nikon Eclipse Ti2 inverted microscope and intuitive software interface.

Use ForceRobot 400 to study:

  • Protein function at the molecular level
  • Molecular biomechanics and receptor-ligand type bonds
  • Detection and kinetics of novel antibody-antigen complex formations for immunodiagnostics
  • Viscoelastic properties of various materials
  • Maximum adhesion force, mechanisms of individual binding and unbinding events
  • Intramolecular properties of individual molecules and molecular arrangements
  • Structural changes in macromolecules

Selection of Scientific Publications Using the ForceRobot Technology

  • Fernandez et al., AFM-Based Force Spectroscopy Unravels Stepwise Formation of the DNA Transposition Complex in the Widespread Tn3 Family Mobile Genetic Elements. Nucleic Acids Research, gkad241 (2023)
  • Dupuy et al., Molecular Device for the Redox Quality Control of GroEL/ES Substrates. Cell  186 (5), 1039-1049.e17.  (2023).
  • Li et al., Active Microrheology of Protein Condensates Using Colloidal Probe-AFM. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 632, 357–366 (2023).
  • Blaimschein et al., Substrate-Binding Guides Individual Melibiose Permeases MelB to Structurally Soften and to Destabilize Cytoplasmic Middle-Loop C3. Structure 31 (1), 58-67.e4 (2023).
  • Serdiuk et al., A Cholesterol Analog Stabilizes the Human β 2 -Adrenergic Receptor Nonlinearly with Temperature. Sci. Signal. 15 (737), eabi7031 (2022).
  • Petitjean et al., Multivalent 9-O-Acetylated-Sialic Acid Glycoclusters as Potent Inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 Infection. Nat Commun 13 (1), 2564 (2022).
  • Lee et al., Modified Cytosines versus Cytosine in a DNA Polymerase: Retrieving Thermodynamic and Kinetic Constants at the Single Molecule Level. Analyst 147 (2), 341–348 (2022).
  • Lei et al., An Ester Bond Underlies the Mechanical Strength of a Pathogen Surface Protein. Nat Commun 12 (1), 5082 (2021).
  • Wang et al., Living Materials Fabricated via Gradient Mineralization of Light-Inducible Biofilms. Nat Chem Biol 17 (3), 351–359 (2021).
  • Liu et al, High Force Catch Bond Mechanism of Bacterial Adhesion in the Human Gut. Nat Commun  11 (1), 4321 (2020).
  • Zhang et al., Dynamic Topology of Double-Stranded Telomeric DNA Studied by Single-Molecule Manipulation in Vitro. Nucleic Acids Research 48 (12), 6458–6470 (2020).
  • Sun et al., Molecular Engineering of Metal Coordination Interactions for Strong, Tough, and Fast-Recovery Hydrogels. Sci. Adv.  6 (16), eaaz9531 (2020).
  • Huang et al., Maleimide–Thiol Adducts Stabilized through Stretching. Nat. Chem. 11 (4), 310–319 (2019).
  • Tiu et al., Enhanced Adhesion and Cohesion of Bioinspired Dry/Wet Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 11 (31), 28296–28306 (2019).

ForceRobot 400 Data Gallery

Bruker’s BioAFMs allow life science and biophysics researchers to further their investigations in the fields of cell mechanics and adhesion, mechanobiology, cell-cell and cell-surface interactions, cell dynamics, and cell morphology. We have collected a gallery of images demonstrating a few of these applications.


The Widest Range of Accessories in the Market

Optical systems/accessories, electrochemistry solutions, electrical sample characterization, environmental control options, software modules, temperature control, acoustic and vibration isolation solutions and more. Bruker provides you with the right accessories to control your sample conditions and to perform successful experiments.  


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Our webinars cover best practices, introduce new products, provide quick solutions to tricky questions, and offer ideas for new applications, modes, or techniques.

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