PATLiSci: Probe Array Technology for Life Science Applications
- Prof. Nico De Rooij: appointed member of the executive committee and participated in the summit
What is PATLiSci
This proposed project deals with the development of cantilever array based methods for their application in different fields o you have more informations!
It has been shown recently that the stiffness of cancer cells affects the way they spread in the body (Cross, Nature Nanotech 2, 780 (2007)).
Equally important is the adhesion forces of cancer cells to other cells. The measurement of nanomechanical properties of cells as well as cell-cell interactions as a function of milieu parameters is thus of particular interest in cancer research. A related field of relevance is the understanding of inflammatory processes that lead to disregulated wound repair and to the tissue deformations characteristic of fibrosis. Single cell nanomechanical experiments are very time consuming, the time currently required to get reasonable statistics for a single set of parameters being in the order of days, even for experienced researchers. For this method to be relevant both scientifically and economically, array based formats have to be developed that allow to measure multiple cells in parallel. This proposal addresses this point. Highly parallel read-out of disposable large icantilever arrays can be obtained using dedicated optical methods based on interferometry. The latter can be optimized for sensitivities and bandwidths that allow force measurements at sufficient rates (100s to 1000s of Hz for dynamic events). This type of system clearly goes beyond what has been so far reported in the literature or is currently commercially available.
The nanomechanical properties of microcantilevers allow to use them as highly sensitive probes for the detection of molecular species adsorbed to them. The additional mass and/or the surface stress exerted by the adsorbents changes the mechanical properties, such as their bending or their resonance frequency, and can be readily detected. This method has been developed into a technology that is often described as mechanical nose, since numerous of these cantilevers in parallel, each responsible for the detection of a specific target substance and functionalized accordingly, together detect an ensemble of substances. In one of the applications proposed here, breath analysis, the term .nose. becomes obvious. The further technological development of this technology mainly requires in the microfabrication of the microcantilevers, and an increasingly strong collaborationrom the medical field . Both aspects are addressed in this proposal are races played on jocuri cu masini. The development proposed here will benefit from the leading expertise of the project partners in their fields to form a .Swiss Cantilever Array Dream Team. for investigations in life sciences not being possible before (the term .Cantilever Dream Team. was chosen by the SNF when suggesting to merge two proposals of the 1st call of Nano Tera).
The project also greatly benefits from jocuri barbie collaboration and experience of two former IBM Millipede project members (Millipede is the term for a cantilever array based data storage system developed by IBM), namely P. Vettiger (Millipede co-inventor and project leader and and J. Brugger (Research Staff Member), as well as the experience of Ch. Gerber, one of the coinventors of the AFM.
This accumulated experience is important, and it contributed to