AFM Workshop

This month, AFM Workshop is proud to showcase our newest microscope: the LS AFM for life science applications. It is the first affordable life science AFM with a price point starting at just $55,000, which makes it ideal for researchers with bigger ideas than budgets.


AFM Workshop’s LS AFM is used for applications in which an inverted optical microscope is needed, which is often the case in the life sciences, to locate and measure cells or biomaterials in both liquid and dry environments. Furthermore, the closed loop XY scanner provides a zoom feature with accurate positioning for force/distance curves. The LS AFM can be retrofitted to almost any inverted optical microscope or can be purchased with one included.



In life science applications, researchers often seek to understand the properties of biological materials through the measurement of force/distance curves. With the LS AFM, data regarding properties including elasticity, friction, and charge can be obtained. The LS AFM can also be used to manipulate or modify biological samples to investigate mechanisms at both the cellular and molecular scale.

The LS AFM setup includes everything required to complete AFM scans in standard operating modes: vibrating, non-vibrating, phase, LFM, and advanced force/distance measurements. Some key features include dry and liquid Z scanner, linearized XY scanner, direct drive Z motor, high resolution video camera, and a precision AFM alignment system. For a full list of features and benefits offered by the LS AFM, click here

LS AFM 3 microscope views of ecoli Fig. 1 The LS AFM presents three views of e. coli, from video optical microscope, inverted optical microscope, and atomic force microscope

In biological samples, the most common application is the measurement of intermolecular forces. This can include adhesion forces between cells, cell stiffness as well as direct interaction forces between antigens and antibodies. With the LS AFM, images of cells can be readily scanned in both liquid and dry environments, and the inverted optical microscope facilitates direct placement of the probe onto the area of interest (Fig. 2).

Optical and AFM images Fig. 2 Left: Inverted optical microscope image of neutrophil cells. The dotted outline is the area scanned with the LS AFM. Right: Light shaded AFM image of the cells visualized in the optical microscope image.

Using the force/distance curve, many parameters can be measured including the stiffness of the sample and probe/sample adhesion. The Force/Distance Curve Measurement Software is fully capable of making advanced measurements on a single or on multiple parts of a sample surface with all the control parameters necessary for effective measurements.

The LS AFM is an essential tool for industry and research in the biological sciences. Capable of scanning soft samples as well as hard samples in both liquid and dry environments, the possibilities to what can be uncovered and created are endless. As we move into the future of nanotechnology and biotechnology, AFM accessibility is becoming increasingly important. Our goal with the LS AFM is to provide increased access for researchers to these characterization instruments and techniques, leading to the next generation of scientific discovery and innovation.

To learn more about what the LS AFM can do for your life science research, watch this brief introduction video and check out more details at here


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