The Microscopy & Imaging Facility (MIF) at the University of Calgary is using NanoWizard AFM systems to improve its medical research.
Single cell force spectroscopy at the MIF has now attracted high profile research with three NanoWizard AFM systems from JPK, one of which is equipped with the CellHesion module.
Describing the work of the Calgary group, Professor Amrein says “While we do some work for the energy sector (to predict behaviour of nanoparticles injected into oil reservoirs) our main focus is medicine.
“We delve into very fundamental problems such as “how does a malaria red blood cell attach itself to a blood vessel” or “how does binding of a ligand to a cell surface receptor or contact of a crystalline surface with the plasma membrane drive lipid sorting and how will this lead to signalling?
“We want to understand disease processes at a very fundamental level so we know how to intervene in the best possible way.”
Before developing their use of AFM in this way, their user community attempted solving their problems using flow assays (cell adhesion) and flow cytometry among other methods.
While these are still in use, now they have discovered the versatility and power of AFM and made this their central tool.