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Scanning Kelvin Probe Microscopy: Challenges and Perspectives towards Increased Application on Biomaterials and Biological Samples

1
Materials Characterization Facility, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, via Morego 30, 16163 Genova, Italy
2
Department of Nanoscopy & NIC, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, via Morego 30, 16163 Genova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(6), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11060951
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 1 June 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Materials Science in Italy 2017)
We report and comment on the possible increase of application of scanning Kelvin probe microscopy (SKPM) for biomaterials, biological substrates, and biological samples. First, the fundamental concepts and the practical limitations of SKPM are presented, pointing out the difficulties in proper probe calibration. Then, the most relevant literature on the use of SKPM on biological substrates and samples is briefly reviewed. We report first about biocompatible surfaces used as substrates for subsequent biological applications, such as cultures of living cells. Then, we briefly review the SKPM measurements made on proteins, DNA, and similar biomolecular systems. Finally, some considerations about the perspectives for the use of SKPM in the field of life sciences are made. This work does not pretend to provide a comprehensive view of this emerging scenario, yet we believe that it is time to put these types of application of SKPM under focus, and to face the related challenges, such as measuring in liquid and quantitative comparison with other techniques for the electrical potential readout. View Full-Text
Keywords: surface potential; biomaterials; living cells substrates; electrical cues; biomolecules surface potential; biomaterials; living cells substrates; electrical cues; biomolecules
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Salerno, M.; Dante, S. Scanning Kelvin Probe Microscopy: Challenges and Perspectives towards Increased Application on Biomaterials and Biological Samples. Materials 2018, 11, 951.

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