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Nanowire Atomic Force Microscopy for Real Time Imaging of Nanoscale Biological Processes (NaMic)
Start date: Dec 1, 2012, End date: Nov 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Short summary:The ability to measure structures with nanoscale resolution continues to transform physics, materials science and life science alike. Nevertheless, while there are excellent tools to obtain detailed molecular-level static structure (for example in biology), there are very few tools to develop an understanding of how these structures change dynamically as they fulfill their biological function. New biologically-compatible, high-speed nanoscale characterization technologies are required to perform these measurements. In this project, we will develop a nanowire-based, high-speed atomic force microscope (NW-HS-AFM) capable of imaging the dynamics of molecular processes on living cells. We will use this instrument to study the dynamic pore-formation mechanisms of novel peptide antibiotics. This increase in performance over current AFMs will be achieved through the use of electron-beam-deposited nanogranular tunneling resistors on prefabricated nanowire AFM cantilevers. By combining these cantilevers with our state of the art high-speed AFM technology, we expect to obtain nanoscale-resolution images of protein pores on living cells at rates of tens of milliseconds per image. This capability will open a whole new arena for seeing nanoscale life in action.
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