True Tapping Mode Scanning Near-Field Optical Microscopy with Bent Glass Fiber Probes.
ABSTRACT: In scanning near-field optical microscopy, the most popular probes are made of sharpened glass fiber attached to a quartz tuning fork (TF) and exploiting the shear force-based feedback. The use of tapping mode feedback could be preferable. Such an approach can be realized, for example, using bent fiber probes. Detailed analysis of fiber vibration modes shows that realization of truly tapping mode of the probe dithering requires an extreme caution. In case of using the second resonance mode, probes vibrate mostly in shear force mode unless the bending radius is rather small (ca. 0.3?mm) and the probe's tip is short. Otherwise, the shear force character of the dithering persists. Probes having these characteristics were prepared by irradiation of a tapered etched glass fiber with a CW CO2 laser. These probes were attached to the TF in double resonance conditions which enables achieving significant quality factor (4000-6000) of the TF + probe system (Cherkun et al., 2006). We also show that, to achieve a truly tapping character, dithering, short, and not exceeding 3?mm lengths of a freestanding part of bent fiber probe beam should also be used in the case of nonresonant excitation.
Project description:High aspect ratio carbon nanotubes are ideal candidates to improve the resolution and lifetime of atomic force microscopy (AFM) probes. Here, we present simple methods for the preparation of carbon nanotube modified AFM probes utilising solvent evaporation or dielectrophoresis. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of the modified probes shows that the carbon nanotubes attach to the probe apex as fibres and display a high aspect ratio. Many of the probes made in this manner were initially found to exhibit anomalous feedback characteristics during scanning, which rendered them unsuitable for imaging. However, we further developed and demonstrated a simple method to stabilise the carbon nanotube fibres by scanning with high force in tapping mode, which either shortens or straightens the carbon fibre, resulting in stable and high quality imaging AFM imaging.
Project description:Tip-enhanced Raman scattering (TERS) microscopy is a unique analytical tool to provide complementary chemical and topographic information of surfaces with nanometric resolution. However, difficulties in reliably producing the necessary metallized scanning probe tips has limited its widespread utilisation, particularly in the case of cantilever-based atomic force microscopy. Attempts to alleviate tip related issues using colloidal or bottom-up engineered tips have so far not reported consistent probes for both Raman and topographic imaging. Here we demonstrate the reproducible fabrication of cantilever-based high-performance TERS probes for both topographic and Raman measurements, based on an approach that utilises noble metal nanowires as the active TERS probe. The tips show 10 times higher TERS contrasts than the most typically used electrochemically-etched tips, and show a reproducibility for TERS greater than 90%, far greater than found with standard methods. We show that TERS can be performed in tapping as well as contact AFM mode, with optical resolutions around or below 15 nm, and with a maximum resolution achieved in tapping-mode of 6 nm. Our work illustrates that superior TERS probes can be produced in a fast and cost-effective manner using simple wet-chemistry methods, leading to reliable and reproducible high-resolution and high-sensitivity TERS, and thus renders the technique applicable for a broad community.
Project description:Recently developed sub-resonance tapping modes (such as Digital Pulse, Peak Force Tapping, HybriD, etc.) of atomic force microscopy (AFM) allow imaging of compositional contrast of (bio)materials and biological cells down to the nanoscale. Here we report on a powerful extension of those modes, "ringing" mode, which more than doubles the number of non-trivial physical channels that can be collected with a regular sub-resonance tapping. It can simultaneously record five new additional compositional parameters related to adhesive and viscoelastic properties of the sample surface: the restored (averaged) adhesion, adhesion height, pull-off neck height, detachment distance, and detachment energy losses. Ringing mode can be up to 20 times faster and showing fewer artifacts compared to the existing sub-resonance tapping modes. Ringing mode is based on an analysis of ringing signal of the AFM cantilever after detaching the AFM probe from the sample surface (this signal is currently treated as noise, and typically filtered out in the existing modes). We demonstrate that this new mode allows recording robust and unique information on fixed human epithelial cells, corneocyte skin flakes, and polymers used for bioimplants.
Project description:Many long skeletal muscles are comprised of fibers that terminate intrafascicularly. Force from terminating fibers can be transmitted through shear within the endomysium that surrounds fibers or through tension within the endomysium that extends from fibers to the tendon; however, it is unclear which pathway dominates in force transmission from terminating fibers. The purpose of this work was to develop mathematical models to (i) compare the efficacy of lateral (through shear) and longitudinal (through tension) force transmission in intrafascicularly terminating fibers, and (ii) determine how force transmission is affected by variations in the structure and properties of fibers and the endomysium. The models demonstrated that even though the amount of force that can be transmitted from an intrafascicularly terminating fiber is dependent on fiber resting length (the unstretched length at which passive stress is zero), endomysium shear modulus, and fiber volume fraction (the fraction of the muscle cross-sectional area that is occupied by fibers), fibers that have values of resting length, shear modulus, and volume fraction within physiologic ranges can transmit nearly all of their peak isometric force laterally through shearing of the endomysium. By contrast, the models predicted only limited force transmission ability through tension within the endomysium that extends from the fiber to the tendon. Moreover, when fiber volume fraction decreases to unhealthy ranges (less than 50%), the force-transmitting potential of terminating fibers through shearing of the endomysium decreases significantly. The models presented here support the hypothesis that lateral force transmission through shearing of the endomysium is an effective mode of force transmission in terminating fibers.
Project description:We introduced and validated a method to miniaturize graded-index (GRIN) fiber-based optical coherence tomography (OCT) probes down to 70???m in diameter. The probes consist in an assembly of single-mode (SM), coreless (CL), and graded-index (GRIN) fibers. We opted for a probe design enabling controlled size reduction by hydrogen fluoride etching. The fabrication approach prevents nonuniform etching for both the GRIN and SM fiber components, while it requires no probe polishing postetching. We found that the miniaturized probes present insignificant loss of sensitivity (?1??dB) compared to their thicker (125???m) counterparts. We also showed that their focusing capabilities remain tunable and highly predictable. The fabrication process is simple and can be carried out by using inexpensive telecom equipment. Both the fabrication process and the developed probes can benefit the prototyping of minimally invasive endoscopic tools.
Project description:The application of photonic biosensor assays to diagnose the category-A select agent Francisella tularensis was investigated. Both interferometric and long period fiber grating sensing structures were successfully demonstrated; both these sensors are capable of detecting the optical changes induced by either immunological binding or DNA hybridization. Detection was made possible by the attachment of DNA probes or immunoglobulins (IgG) directly to the fiber surface via layer-by-layer electrostatic self-assembly. An optical fiber biosensor was tested using a standard transmission mode long period fiber grating of length 15 mm and period 260 μm, and coated with the IgG fraction of antiserum to F. tularensis. The IgG was deposited onto the optical fiber surface in a nanostructured film, and the resulting refractive index change was measured using spectroscopic ellipsometry. The presence of F. tularensis was detected from the decrease of peak wavelength caused by binding of specific antigen. Detection and differentiation of F. tularensis subspecies tularensis (type A strain TI0902) and subspecies holarctica (type B strain LVS) was further accomplished using a single-mode multi-cavity fiber Fabry-Perot interferometric sensor. These sensors were prepared by depositing seven polymer bilayers onto the fiber tip followed by attaching one of two DNA probes: (a) a 101-bp probe from the yhhW gene unique to type-A strains, or (b) a 117-bp probe of the lpnA gene, common to both type-A and type-B strains. The yhhW probe was reactive with the type-A, but not the type-B strain. Probe lpnA was reactive with both type-A and type-B strains. Nanogram quantities of the target DNA could be detected, highlighting the sensitivity of this method for DNA detection without the use of PCR. The DNA probe reacted with 100% homologous target DNA, but did not react with sequences containing 2-bp mismatches, indicating the high specificity of the assay. These assays will fill an important void that exists for rapid, culture-free, and field-compatible diagnosis of F. tularensis.
Project description:It is unknown if a lower size limit exists for human blood coagulation under flow over physiological vessel wall triggers as small as a single collagen fiber. Prior determinations of the smallest sized surface stimuli necessary for clotting of human blood, defined as the patch size threshold, have not deployed whole blood, hemodynamic flow, and platelet adhesive stimuli. For whole blood perfused in microfluidic devices, we report that steady venous flow (wall shear rate, 100 s(-1)) was sufficient to drive platelet deposition on 20 micron long zones of collagen fibers or on a single fiber. With tissue factor (TF)-coated collagen, flowing blood generated robust platelet deposits, platelet-localized thrombin, and fibrin on a single collagen fiber, thus demonstrating the absence of a physiological patch size threshold under venous flow. In contrast, at arterial wall shear rate (1000 s(-1)) with TF present, essentially no platelet or fibrin deposition occurred on 20 micron collagen zones or on a single collagen fiber, demonstrating a patch threshold, which was overcome by pre-coating the collagen with von Willebrand factor (vWF). For venous flows, human blood can clot on one of the smallest biological units of a single collagen fiber presenting TF. For arterial flows, vWF together with TF allows human blood to generate thrombin and fibrin on a patch stimulus as limited as a single collagen fiber. vWF-dependent platelet adhesion represents a particle-based sensing mechanism of micron-scale stimuli that then allows amplification of the molecular components of TF-driven thrombin and fibrin production under arterial flow.
Project description:At sites of vascular injury, thrombin is an important mediator in thrombus growth and stability. Using microfluidic flow devices as well as patterned surfaces of collagen and tissue factor (TF), we sought to determine the role that fibrin plays in clot stability without interfering with the production of thrombin.We deployed an 8-channel microfluidic device to study coagulation during corn trypsin inhibitor-treated (XIIa-inhibited) whole blood perfusion over lipidated TF linked to a fibrillar collagen type 1 surface. Clot growth and embolization were measured at initial inlet venous (200 s(-1)) or arterial (1000 s(-1)) wall shear rates under constant flow rate or pressure relief mode in the presence or absence of Gly-Pro-Arg-Pro (GPRP) to block fibrin polymerization. Numerical calculations for each mode defined hemodynamic forces on the growing thrombi. In either mode at inlet venous flow, increasing amounts of TF on the surface led to a modest dose-dependent increase (up to 2-fold) in platelet deposition, but resulted in massive fibrin accumulation (>50-fold) only when exceeding a critical TF threshold. At a venous inlet flow, GPRP led to a slight 20% increase in platelet accumulation (P<0.01) in pressure relief mode with thrombi resisting ?1500 s(-1) before full channel occlusion. GPRP-treated thrombi were unstable under constant flow rate, where shear forces caused embolization at a maximum shear rate of ?2300 s(-1) (69 dynes/cm2). In constant flow rate mode, the nonocclusive platelet-fibrin deposits (no GPRP) withstood maximum shear rates of ?29 000 s(-1) (870 dyne/cm2) at ?95% of full channel occlusion. For arterial inlet shear rate, embolization was marked for either mode with GPRP present when shear forces reached 87 dynes/cm2 (?2900 s(-1)). Under constant flow rate, platelet-fibrin deposits (no GPRP) withstood maximums of 2400 dynes/cm2 (80,000 s(-1)) at ?90% of full channel occlusion prior to embolization.Fibrin increased clot strength by 12- to 28-fold. Under pressure relief mode, ?2-fold more fibrin was produced under venous flow (P<0.001). These studies define embolization criteria for clots formed with surface TF-triggered thrombin production (±fibrin) under venous and arterial flows.
Project description:The selectin family of leukocyte adhesion receptors is principally recognized for mediating transient rolling interactions during the inflammatory response. Recent studies using ultrasensitive force probes to characterize the force-lifetime relationship between P- and L-selectin and their endogenous ligands have underscored the ability of increasing levels of force to initially extend the lifetime of these complexes before disrupting bond integrity. This so-called "catch-slip" transition has provided an appealing explanation for shear threshold phenomena in which increasing levels of shear stress stabilize leukocyte rolling under flow. We recently incorporated catch-slip kinetics into a mechanical model for cell adhesion and corroborated this hypothesis for neutrophils adhering via L-selectin. Here, using adhesive dynamics simulations, we demonstrate that biomembrane force probe measurements of various P- and L-selectin catch bonds faithfully predict differences in cell adhesion patterns that have been described extensively in vitro. Using phenomenological parameters to characterize the dominant features of molecular force spectra, we construct a generalized phase map that reveals that robust shear-threshold behavior is possible only when an applied force very efficiently stabilizes the bound receptor complex. This criteria explains why only a subset of selectin catch bonds exhibit a shear threshold and leads to a quantitative relationship that may be used to predict the magnitude of the shear threshold for families of catch-slip bonds directly from their force spectra. Collectively, our results extend the conceptual framework of adhesive dynamics as a means to translate complex single-molecule biophysics to macroscopic cell behavior.
Project description:Myosin 2 is the molecular motor in muscle. It binds actin and executes a power stroke by rotating its lever arm through an angle of approximately 70 degrees to translate actin against resistive force. Myosin 2 has evolved to function optimally under crowded conditions where rates and equilibria of macromolecular reactions undergo major shifts relative to those measured in dilute solution. Hence, an important research objective is to detect in situ the lever arm orientation. Single-molecule measurements are preferred because they clarify ambiguities that are unavoidable with ensemble measurements; however, detecting single molecules in the condensed tissue medium where the myosin concentration exceeds 100 muM is challenging. A myosin light chain (MLC) tagged with photoactivatable green fluorescent protein (PAGFP) was constructed. The recombinant MLC physically and functionally replaced native MLC on the myosin lever arm in a permeabilized skeletal muscle fiber. Probe illumination volume was minimized using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, and PAGFP was sparsely photoactivated such that polarized fluorescence identified a single probe orientation. Several physiological states of the muscle fiber were characterized, revealing two distinct orientation populations in all states called straight and bent conformations. Conformation occupancy probability varies among fiber states with rigor and isometric contraction at extremes where straight and bent conformations predominate, respectively. Comparison to previous work on single rigor cross-bridges at the A-band periphery where the myosin concentration is low suggests molecular crowding in the A-band promotes occupancy of the straight myosin conformation [Burghardt, T. P., et al. (2007) Biophys. J. 93, 2226]. The latter may have a role in contraction because it provides additional free energy favoring completion of the cross-bridge power stroke.