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Nanocharacterization of Soft Biological Samples in Shear Mode with Quartz Tuning Fork Probes

SIC-BIO, Bioelectronics and Nanobioengineering Group, Department of Electronics, University of Barcelona, Marti i Franques, 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2012, 12(4), 4803-4819;
Received: 16 February 2012 / Revised: 29 March 2012 / Accepted: 30 March 2012 / Published: 12 April 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing at the Nano-Scale: Chemical and Bio-Sensing)
PDF [1839 KB, uploaded 21 June 2014]


Quartz tuning forks are extremely good resonators and their use is growing in scanning probe microscopy. Nevertheless, only a few studies on soft biological samples have been reported using these probes. In this work, we present the methodology to develop and use these nanosensors to properly work with biological samples. The working principles, fabrication and experimental setup are presented. The results in the nanocharacterization of different samples in different ambients are presented by using different working modes: amplitude modulation with and without the use of a Phase-Locked Loop (PLL) and frequency modulation. Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria are imaged in nitrogen using amplitude modulation. Microcontact printed antibodies are imaged in buffer using amplitude modulation with a PLL. Finally, metastatic cells are imaged in air using frequency modulation. View Full-Text
Keywords: tuning fork; atomic force microscopy; nanocharacterization tuning fork; atomic force microscopy; nanocharacterization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Otero, J.; Gonzalez, L.; Puig-Vidal, M. Nanocharacterization of Soft Biological Samples in Shear Mode with Quartz Tuning Fork Probes. Sensors 2012, 12, 4803-4819.

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