Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

AFM Related Abstracts

11 An AFM Approach of RBC Micro and Nanoscale Topographic Features During Storage

Authors: K. Santacruz-Gomez, E. Silva-Campa, S. Álvarez-García, V. Mata-Haro, D. Soto-Puebla, M. Pedroza-Montero


Blood gamma irradiation is the only available method to prevent transfusion-associated graft versus host disease (TA-GVHD). However, when blood is irradiated, determine blood shelf time is crucial. Non-irradiated blood has a self-time from 21 to 35 days when is preserved with an anticoagulated solution and stored at 4°C. During their storage, red blood cells (RBC) undergo a series of biochemical, biomechanical and molecular changes involving what is known as storage lesion (SL). SL include loss of structural integrity of RBC, a decrease of 2,3-diphosphatidylglyceric acid levels, and an increase of both ion potassium concentration and hemoglobin (Hb). On the other hand, Atomic force Microscopy (AFM) represents a versatile tool for a nano-scale high-resolution topographic analysis in biological systems. In order to evaluate SL in irradiated and non-irradiated blood, RBC topography and morphometric parameters were obtained from an AFM XE-BIO system. Cell viability was followed using flow cytometry. Our results showed that early markers as nanoscale roughness, allow us to evaluate blood quality since another perspective.

Keywords: roughness, AFM, blood γ-irradiation, storage lesion

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10 Modified Surface Morphology, Structure and Enhanced Weathering Performance of Polyester-Urethane/Organoclay Nanocomposite Coatings

Authors: Gaurav Verma


Organoclay loaded (0-5 weight %) polyester-urethane (PU) coatings were prepared with a branched hydroxyl-bearing polyester and an aliphatic poly-isocyanate. TEM micrographs show partial exfoliation and intercalation of clay platelets in organoclay-polyester dispersions. AFM surface images reveals that the PU hard domains tend to regularise and also self-organise into spherical shapes of sizes 50 nm (0 wt %), 60 nm (2 wt %) and 190 nm (4 wt %) respectively. IR analysis shows that PU chains have increasing tendency to interact with exfoliated clay platelets through hydrogen bonding. This interaction strengthens inter-chain linkages in PU matrix and hence improves anti-ageing properties. 1000 hours of accelerated weathering was evaluated by ATR spectroscopy, while yellowing and overall discoloration was quantified by the Δb* and ΔE* values of the CIELab colour scale. Post-weathering surface properties also showed improvement as the loss of thickness and reduction in gloss in neat PU was 25% and 42%; while it was just 3.5% and 14% respectively for the 2 wt% nanocomposite coating. This work highlights the importance of modifying surface and bulk properties of PU coatings at nanoscale, which led to improved performance in accelerated weathering conditions.

Keywords: Coatings, Ageing, Spectroscopy, AFM

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9 Morphological Characteristic of Hybrid Thin Films

Authors: Azyuni Aziz, Syed A. Malik, Shahrul Kadri Ayop, Fatin Hana Naning


Currently, organic-inorganic hybrid thin films have attracted researchers to explore them, where these thin films can give a lot of benefits. Hybrid thin films are thin films that consist of inorganic and organic materials. Inorganic and organic materials give high efficiency and low manufacturing cost in some applications such as solar cells application, furthermore, organic materials are environment-friendly. In this study, poly (3-hexylthiophene) was choosing as organic material which combined with inorganic nanoparticles, Cadmium Sulfide (CdS) quantum dots. Samples were prepared using new technique, Angle Lifting Deposition (ALD) at different weight percentage. All prepared samples were then characterized by Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) with Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to study surface of samples and determine their surface roughness. Results show that these inorganic nanoparticles have affected the surface of samples and surface roughness of samples increased due to increasing of weight percentage of CdS in the thin films samples.

Keywords: AFM, CDS, FESEM-EDX, hybrid thin films, P3HT

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8 Size Distribution Effect of InAs/InP Self–Organized Quantum Dots on Optical Properties

Authors: Abdelkader Nouri, M’hamed Bouslama, Faouzi Saidi, Hassan Maaref, Michel Gendry


Self-organized InAs quantum dots (QDs) have been grown on 3,1% InP (110) lattice mismatched substrate by Solid Source Molecular Beam Epitaxy (SSMBE). Stranski-Krastanov mode growth has been used to create self-assembled 3D islands on InAs wetting layer (WL). The optical quality depending on the temperature and power is evaluated. In addition, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) images shows inhomogeneous island dots size distribution due to temperature coalescence. The quantum size effect was clearly observed through the spectra photoluminescence (PL) shape.

Keywords: AFM, InAs QDs, SSMBE

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7 AFM Probe Sensor Designed for Cellular Membrane Components

Authors: Sarmiza Stanca, Wolfgang Fritzsche, Christoph Krafft, Jürgen Popp


Independent of the cell type a thin layer of a few nanometers thickness surrounds the cell interior as the cellular membrane. The transport of ions and molecules through the membrane is achieved in a very precise way by pores. Understanding the process of opening and closing the pores due to an electrochemical gradient across the membrane requires knowledge of the pore constitutive proteins. Recent reports prove the access to the molecular level of the cellular membrane by atomic force microscopy (AFM). This technique also permits an electrochemical study in the immediate vicinity of the tip. Specific molecules can be electrochemically localized in the natural cellular membrane. Our work aims to recognize the protein domains of the pores using an AFM probe as a miniaturized amperometric sensor, and to follow the protein behavior while changing the applied potential. The intensity of the current produced between the surface and the AFM probe is amplified and detected simultaneously with the surface imaging. The AFM probe plays the role of the working electrode and the substrate, a conductive glass on which the cells are grown, represent the counter electrode. For a better control of the electric potential on the probe, a third electrode Ag/AgCl wire is mounted in the circuit as a reference electrode. The working potential is applied between the electrodes with a programmable source and the current intensity in the circuit is recorded with a multimeter. The applied potential considers the overpotential at the electrode surface and the potential drop due to the current flow through the system. The reported method permits a high resolved electrochemical study of the protein domains on the living cell membrane. The amperometric map identifies areas of different current intensities on the pore depending on the applied potential. The reproducibility of this method is limited by the tip shape, the uncontrollable capacitance, which occurs at the apex and a potential local charge separation.

Keywords: Sensor, Proteins, Membrane, AFM, pores

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6 The Effect of Tip Parameters on Vibration Modes of Atomic Force Microscope Cantilever

Authors: Mehdi Shekarzadeh, Pejman Taghipour Birgani


In this paper, the effect of mass and height of tip on the flexural vibration modes of an atomic force microscope (AFM) rectangular cantilever is analyzed. A closed-form expression for the sensitivity of vibration modes is derived using the relationship between the resonant frequency and contact stiffness of cantilever and sample. Each mode has a different sensitivity to variations in surface stiffness. This sensitivity directly controls the image resolution. It is obtained an AFM cantilever is more sensitive when the mass of tip is lower and the first mode is the most sensitive mode. Also, the effect of changes of tip height on the flexural sensitivity is negligible.

Keywords: Vibration analysis, atomic force microscope, AFM, cantilever, flexural vibration

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5 Biodegradation Ability of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAHs) Degrading Bacillus cereus Strain JMG-01 Isolated from PAHs Contaminated Soil

Authors: Momita Das, Sofia Banu, Jibon Kotoky


Environmental contamination of natural resources with persistent organic pollutants is of great world-wide apprehension. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are among the organic pollutants, released due to various anthropogenic activities. Due to their toxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic properties, PAHs are of environmental and human concern. Presently, bioremediation has evolved as the most promising biotechnology for cleanup of such contaminants because of its economical and less cost effectiveness. In the present study, distribution of 16 USEPA priority PAHs was determined in the soil samples collected from fifteen different sites of Guwahati City, the Gateway of the North East Region of India. The total concentrations of 16 PAHs (Σ16 PAHs) ranged from 42.7-742.3 µg/g. Higher concentration of total PAHs was found more in the Industrial areas compared to all the sites (742.3 µg/g and 628 µg/g). It is noted that among all the PAHs, Naphthalene, Acenaphthylene, Anthracene, Fluoranthene, Chrysene and Benzo(a)Pyrene were the most available and contain the higher concentration of all the PAHs. Since microbial activity has been deemed the most influential and significant cause of PAH removal; further, twenty-three bacteria were isolated from the most contaminated sites using the enrichment process. These strains were acclimatized to utilize naphthalene and anthracene, each at 100 µg/g concentration as sole carbon source. Among them, one Gram-positive strain (JMG-01) was selected, and biodegradation ability and initial catabolic genes of PAHs degradation were investigated. Based on 16S rDNA analysis, the isolate was identified as Bacillus cereus strain JMG-01. Topographic images obtained using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) at scheduled time intervals of 7, 14 and 21 days, determined the variation in cell morphology during the period of degradation. AFM and SEM micrograph of biomass showed high filamentous growth leading to aggregation of cells in the form of biofilm with reference to the incubation period. The percentage degradation analysis using gas chromatography and mass analyses (GC-MS) suggested that more than 95% of the PAHs degraded when the concentration was at 500 µg/g. Naphthalene, naphthalene-2-methy, benzaldehyde-4-propyl, 1, 2, benzene di-carboxylic acid and benzene acetic acid were the major metabolites produced after degradation. Moreover, PCR experiments with specific primers for catabolic genes, ndo B and Cat A suggested that JMG-01 possess genes for PAHs degradation. Thus, the study concludes that Bacillus cereus strain JMG-01 has efficient biodegrading ability and can trigger the clean-up of PAHs contaminated soil.

Keywords: SEM, degradation, AFM, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, Bacillus cereus strain JMG-01

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4 Nanoscale Mapping of the Mechanical Modifications Occurring in the Brain Tumour Microenvironment by Atomic Force Microscopy: The Case of the Highly Aggressive Glioblastoma and the Slowly Growing Meningioma

Authors: Gabriele Ciasca, Tanya E. Sassun, Eleonora Minelli, Manila Antonelli, Massimiliano Papi, Antonio Santoro, Felice Giangaspero, Roberto Delfini, Marco De Spirito


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an extremely aggressive brain tumor, characterized by a diffuse infiltration of neoplastic cells into the brain parenchyma. Although rarely considered, mechanical cues play a key role in the infiltration process that is extensively mediated by the tumor microenvironment stiffness and, more in general, by the occurrence of aberrant interactions between neoplastic cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM). Here we provide a nano-mechanical characterization of the viscoelastic response of human GBM tissues by indentation-type atomic force microscopy. High-resolution elasticity maps show a large difference between the biomechanics of GBM tissues and the healthy peritumoral regions, opening possibilities to optimize the tumor resection area. Moreover, we unveil the nanomechanical signature of necrotic regions and anomalous vasculature, that are two major hallmarks useful for glioma staging. Actually, the morphological grading of GBM relies mainly on histopathological findings that make extensive use of qualitative parameters. Our findings have the potential to positively impact on the development of novel quantitative methods to assess the tumor grade, which can be used in combination with conventional histopathological examinations. In order to provide a more in-depth description of the role of mechanical cues in tumor progression, we compared the nano-mechanical fingerprint of GBM tissues with that of grade-I (WHO) meningioma, a benign lesion characterized by a completely different growth pathway with the respect to GBM, that, in turn hints at a completely different role of the biomechanical interactions.

Keywords: Nanomedicine, Brain Tumors, AFM, glioblastoma, nano-mechanics

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3 Raman, Atomic Force Microscopy and Mass Spectrometry for Isotopic Ratios Methods Used to Investigate Human Dentine and Enamel

Authors: Nicoleta Simona Vedeanu, Rares Stiufiuc, Dana Alina Magdas


A detailed knowledge of the teeth structure is mandatory to understand and explain the defects and the dental pathology, but especially to take a correct decision regarding dental prophylaxis and treatment. The present work is an alternative study to the traditional investigation methods used in dentistry, a study based on the use of modern, sensitive physical methods to investigate human enamel and dentin. For the present study, several teeth collected from patients of different ages were used for structural and dietary investigation. The samples were investigated by Raman spectroscopy for the molecular structure analysis of dentin and enamel, atomic force microscopy (AFM) to view the dental topography at the micrometric size and mass spectrometry for isotopic ratios as a fingerprint of patients’ personal diet. The obtained Raman spectra and their interpretation are in good correlation with the literature and may give medical information by comparing affected dental structures with healthy ones. AFM technique gave us the possibility to study in details the dentin and enamel surface to collect information about dental hardness or dental structural changes. δ¹³C values obtained for the studied samples can be classified in C4 category specific to young people and children diet (sweets, cereals, juices, pastry). The methods used in this attempt furnished important information about dentin and enamel structure and dietary habits and each of the three proposed methods can be extended at a larger level in the study of the teeth structure.

Keywords: Raman spectroscopy, enamel, AFM, dentine

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2 Controlling Excitons Complexes in Two Dimensional MoS₂ Monolayers

Authors: Arslan Usman, Abdul Sattar, Hamid Latif, Afshan Ashfaq, Muhammad Rafique, Martin Koch


Two-dimensional materials have promising applications in optoelectronic and photonics; MoS₂ is the pioneer 2D material in the family of transition metal dichalcogenides. Its optical, optoelectronic, and structural properties are of practical importance along with its exciton dynamics. Exciton, along with exciton complexes, plays a vital role in realizing quantum devices. MoS₂ monolayers were synthesized using chemical vapour deposition (CVD) technique on SiO₂ and hBN substrates. Photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL) was used to identify the monolayer, which also reflects the substrate based peak broadening due to screening effects. In-plane and out of plane characteristic vibrational modes E¹₂g and A₁g, respectively, were detected in a different configuration on the substrate. The B-excitons and trions showed a dominant feature at low temperatures due to electron-phonon coupling effects, whereas their energies are separated by 100 meV.

Keywords: Photoluminescence, AFM, excitons

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1 Analysis of Some Produced Inhibitors for Corrosion of J55 Steel in NaCl Solution Saturated with CO₂

Authors: Ambrish Singh


The corrosion inhibition performance of pyran (AP) and benzimidazole (BI) derivatives on J55 steel in 3.5% NaCl solution saturated with CO₂ was investigated by electrochemical, weight loss, surface characterization, and theoretical studies. The electrochemical studies included electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), potentiodynamic polarization (PDP), electrochemical frequency modulation (EFM), and electrochemical frequency modulation trend (EFMT). Surface characterization was done using contact angle, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques. DFT and molecular dynamics (MD) studies were done using Gaussian and Materials Studio softwares. All the studies suggested the good inhibition by the synthesized inhibitors on J55 steel in 3.5% NaCl solution saturated with CO₂ due to the formation of a protective film on the surface. Molecular dynamic simulation was applied to search for the most stable configuration and adsorption energies for the interaction of the inhibitors with Fe (110) surface.

Keywords: Corrosion, dft, AFM, EFM, inhibitor

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