- Broida Hall 3302
High-speed and time-lapse atomic force microscopy: from technological challenges to applications in microbiology
Nanoscale characterization using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) has become routine for studying the detailed structure of samples in materials science, physics and life science. Time resolved AFM imaging is a powerful tool for such investigations, as long as the processes of interest are within the time scale of minutes to hours. Significant challenges arise if the processes fall outside of this range, happening either within (sub-) seconds, such as the motion of protein motors or within days such as growth and division of individual cells. In my laboratory we combine methods from microfabrication, physics, mechanical engineering and bioengineering to make these time-scales accessible. I will give an overview of some recent developments ranging from new polymer based HS-AFM cantilevers, new cantilever detection and actuation techniques, scanner controls approaches and the coupling of AFM with advanced optical microscopy. I will further discuss the use of the techniques in the area of single cell microbiology and give examples for the nanoscale characterization of cell growth and division, as well as the study of the killing process of fast acting antimicrobial agents.