The Nanoscale World

Introducing New BioScope Catalyst Tools for Mechanobiology Research

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Bruker Posted: Wed, Nov 14 2012 5:55 PM

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Bruker Introduces New BioScope Catalyst Tools for Mechanobiology Research

November 2012

New BioScope Catalyst - Advancing Possibilities in
Mechanobiology Research

Bruker's breakthrough PeakForce QNM functionality provides expanded support for a lower modulus range covering live cells and tissues, making it the best mechanical property measurement tool for soft biological samples. The new PeakForce Capture function gives researchers full access to the PeakForce QNM data to explore alternate analysis models and validate their results against other techniques. New analysis capabilities in Quantitative Force-Volume Mapping mode enable direct comparisons with this widely used legacy technique. Together, these features provide the fastest, highest resolution, and most quantitative characterization of nanomechanical properties over a wide range of biological samples. New real-time measurement capabilities enable simpler, more direct measurement of biological sample properties. They include:

• Improvements to PeakForce QNM for more robust operation on live cells
• Addition of a new indentation model more appropriate for soft samples
• Introduction of PeakForce Capture, an extension to PeakForce QNM
• Enhancements to Force-Volume mode to enable direct property mapping
• Significant ease-of-use and time-to-data improvements

Mechanobiology: Modulus mapping on live E. Coli cells using the new Quantitative Force
Volume Mapping mode
More Possibilities

In the three years since the introduction of PeakForce QNM, the technique has been rapidly adopted by life science laboratories for characterizing the mechanical properties of biological materials at the nanoscale. Many impressive examples of PeakForce QNM results have been published demonstrating its ability to assist in understanding the mechanical properties of biological molecules, cells, and biomolecular assemblies. Yet in several ways PeakForce QNM had not been fully optimized for the uniquely soft, sticky and wet world of biology. The new Nanomechanics Package for BioScope Catalyst makes PeakForce QNM easier to use and more quantitative for biological samples.

More Power For Nanomechanical Measurements

Improvements to PeakForce QNM enable more robust operation on live cells by enabling larger modulation amplitudes and lower frequency operation. This helps overcome the often very high tip-cell adhesion forces. We have also added a new indentation model, the Sneddon conical indenter model, which is better suited for operation on very soft samples where the tip-sample indentation exceeds the tip radius. Users will also gain greater insight and more analysis options using the new PeakForce Capture function. This allows the individual force-distance curves to be captured during PeakForce QNM at each pixel. Together, these improvements make PeakForce QNM even more powerful for addressing nanomechanical measurements in biology.

Analyze Data in Real Time

Prior to the introduction of PeakForce QNM, the best technique for mapping cell nanomechanical properties was Force-Volume mode. It operates by collecting an array of conventional force curves over an evenly spaced grid. Because each force curve is measured at a much lower rate than PeakForce QNM, the total data acquisition time using Force-Volume is much greater and the practical image pixel density is much lower. Previously, Force-Volume mode was only capable of collecting the raw force-distance curves. Bruker now makes it possible to analyze this data in real-time and directly generate modulus and adhesion maps just like PeakForce QNM. Of course the raw data will still be captured as well, enabling further analysis offline. This will make it far more convenient to use Force-Volume either by itself or as a point of comparison to PeakForce QNM.

Ecoli_fv: High resolution PeakForce QNM modulus
mapping on live HEC1A cells
Get Started and Get Your Data Faster

Finally, we have extended some of our ease-of-use features, first introduced on other products. Users of the BioScope Catalyst will now enjoy guided instrument setup workflows and a convenient probe database to streamline the setup process and quickly start making their measurements. The engage process has also been significantly improved, with typical engage times now 10X faster than previous versions.

The overarching goal of all of these improvements is to enable researchers to obtain high-quality results faster and easier than ever before with new, high-performance features that are relevant to their research. With these latest enhancements, the BioScope Catalyst is now, more than ever, the best AFM for mechanobiology research.

For more information on BioScope Catalyst and the new Nanomechanics Package, please contact your Bruker representative at, or visit our new website at
© 2012 Bruker Corporation. All rights reserved.

Nano Surfaces Division, Bruker Corporation
112 Robin Hill Road • Santa Barbara, CA 93117, USA • Tel: +1 (805) 967-1400
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