Newswise – Fluid force microscopy (FluidFM) combines the sensitivity of atomic force microscopy with the capabilities of microfluidics and requires precise calibration of its cantilevers for reliable data. However, traditional methods have problems with the unique internal structure of FluidFM cantilevers, resulting in inaccuracies.

A recent one study (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41378-023-00629-6), published February 18, 2024 in the magazine Microsystems and nanotechnologyresearchers presented an innovative calibration technique for FluidFM micropipette cantilevers, which are critical for accurate force measurements in microfluidic environments.

The FluidFM is a tiny tool used in microscopic environments to measure forces with high precision. Unlike traditional methods, which are often insufficient due to the complex internal structure of FluidFM cantilevers, this new approach exploits the resonant frequencies of the cantilever in both air and fluid environments. By focusing on these frequencies, the method avoids the common pitfalls of the widely used Sader method, which can introduce errors due to its reliance on geometric and fluidic assumptions that are not suitable for FluidFM’s unique cantilever designs. This innovative calibration technique has been carefully tested and validated using data obtained from HUN-REN Nanobiosensorics Lab, Cytosurge, Nanosurf and Bruker. It was found that it not only provides more accurate measurements, but also simplifies the calibration process by reducing the effects of noise and eliminating the need for complicated experimental setups.

Dr. Attila Bonyár, lead author of the study, emphasizes: “Our method simplifies the calibration process, significantly reduces the influence of noise and eliminates the need for complex measurements, which represents a significant advance in the practical application of FluidFM technologies.”

The new calibration method promises greater accuracy in force measurements with profound implications for biological, biophysical and materials science research. It enables the precise manipulation of cells and nanoparticles and opens up new possibilities for research in these areas.

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References

DOI

10.1038/s41378-023-00629-6

Original source URL

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41378-023-00629-6

Financing information

This work was funded by the research program “Lendület” (HAS), the National Research, Development and Innovation Office of Hungary (VEKOP, ELKH Thematic Fund, “Élvonal” KKP_19 KKP 129936 and KH grants, TKP2021-EGA-04 program). from the NRDI fund). The research carried out at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics was funded by the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund of Hungary under grant TKP2021-EGA-02. We thank Dr. Torsten Müller from Bruker Nano GmbH for measuring the properties of a micropipette cantilever with their JPK NanoWizard device. We thank Dr. Zoltán Hajnal and Norbert Pap for their help in building the 3D model of the cantilever and Dr. Dario Ossola from Cytosurge AG for his helpful suggestions in drafting the manuscript. A. Bonyár is also grateful for the support of the Hungarian Engineering Academy and the “MICHELBERGER MESTERDÍJ” scholarship.

Around Microsystems and nanotechnology

Microsystems and nanotechnology is an online-only international open access journal dedicated to publishing original research and reviews on all aspects of micro- and nano-electromechanical systems from fundamental to applied research. The journal is published by Springer Nature in collaboration with the Aerospace Information Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and supported by the State Key Laboratory of Transducer Technology.

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