Veeco Instruments Inc., a leading provider of instrumentation to the nanoscience community, today announced that its new BioScope(TM) II Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is aiding in advanced biophysics research at the University of Pennsylvania. The university's Nano-Bio Interface Center, based in Philadelphia, focuses on research at the intersection of biology and nanotechnology - how the science of "small" can have a positive impact on human disease and treatment.
Dennis E. Discher, Ph.D., a professor in the university's Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, was one of the first customers to receive Veeco's BioScope II when it was introduced last year. Since that time, his group has found it to be a particularly useful instrument in their study of neurons, the long branched cells that make up much of the nervous system.
"The BioScope II mounts directly on an inverted optical microscope, so we were able to get high-resolution images of a neuron's growth cone using AFM that complement and extend the information from fluorescence microscopy," commented Dr. Discher. "The marriage of high-resolution structural data with fluorescence immuno-staining that can identify the location of specific proteins of interest is opening new avenues of research in cell biology. Since AFM can also be used to sensitively probe a cell's stiffness and the stiffness of the matrix it sits on, this kind of combined instrument is sure to have an increasing impact in cell biology and biophysics, especially as the link between mechanics and cell function is strengthened."
The innovative, high-performance BioScope II AFM has been engineered specifically to facilitate advanced bioscience. The revolutionary design of the BioScope II enables novel in-situ techniques for measuring biological samples in three dimensions, while integrated with an inverted optical or confocal microscope. It is ideal for a wide-array of cutting-edge bioscience applications, such as spatial identification of protein molecules and cellular structures, investigations of cell response to mechanical stimulation and nano-manipulation, and in-situ pharmacological studies of live cells.
Steve Minne, Senior Director of Worldwide Applications, Veeco Metrology & Instrumentation, commented, "Veeco's BioScope II AFM integrated with an optical microscope offers users new capabilities of simultaneous fluorescence and atomic force microscopy, enabling scientific breakthroughs and tremendous flexibility for biological and nano-medicine research. By being able to mechanically probe and manipulate cellular samples without complicated preparation, our users have a unique view into cell functionality and are able to conduct experiments which were impossible with traditional microscopy techniques. We are pleased to see the early successes that Dr. Discher's group at the University of Pennsylvania is having with our instrument."
Veeco is the world leader in atomic force and scanning probe microscopy, with an installed base of over 8,000 systems at university and research/nanotechnology centers worldwide.