JPK Instruments, a world-leading manufacturer of nanoanalytic instrumentation for research in life sciences and soft matter, has released a new handbook of accessories for its family of SPM systems.
Modularity is one of the most important parameters when selecting instrumentation for laboratory use today. Having the ability to add new tools and techniques for relatively low capital outlay while obtaining significant technical improvements is key in the world of SPM as most systems have multiple users, each with his or her own requirements be it in advanced research or in routine analysis.
JPK's family of SPM solutions have been available for over ten years. To keep these functioning and still useful and being able to add new capabilities has always figured prominently in the design process of the newest systems. The latest range of accessories is described in a new 20-page handbook available in both digital and print form. It provides users with unlimited possibilities for their NanoWizard, ForceRobot and CellHesion systems.
Of the new items, four stand out for mention. The Advanced Force Spectroscopy software module provides users with open and flexible software enabling advanced force measurements from single protein unfolding and DNA stretching experiments to the probing of cells and tissues. This links nicely with the ExperimentPlanner software module which allows the user ready-access to design & develop unique experimental protocols by providing full control over all system parameters. For examples the user may master-control items in the system including scanners, motors, light sources, detectors and environmental control capabilities.
The recently-announced QI Advanced software module for NanoWizard systems delivers quantitative mechanical properties from the most difficult-to-image samples. These include the soft, sticky and brittle samples found in applications of biological and polymeric materials. It is straightforward to learn this advanced performance technique and to obtain adhesion, stiffness and dissipation data in real-time while scanning. Operating in ambient conditions or in fluids, it may also deliver electrical conductivity or molecular recognition information (sample dependent).
Electrical measurements require specific sample mounting and the newest imaging methods are even using advanced cover slips coated with materials such as ITO (indium tin oxide). A new CoverslipHolder with electrical sample connections is now available for electrical measurements such as conductive AFM or STM importantly on a coverslip for use in combination with high NA optics. Integrated optical systems have always been a feature of instrumentation from JPK and this accessory is no exception to this offering an insert that may be used for life science applications too.