Force-controlled spatial manipulation of viable mammalian cells and micro-organisms by means of FluidFM technology

Dörig, Pablo; Stiefel, Philipp; Behr, Pascal; Sarajlic, Edin; Bijl, Daniel; Gabi, Michael; Vörös, János; Vorholt, Julia A.; Zambelli, Tomaso
July 2010
Applied Physics Letters;7/12/2010, Vol. 97 Issue 2, p023701
Academic Journal
The FluidFM technology uses microchanneled atomic force microscope cantilevers that are fixed to a drilled atomic force microscope cantilevers probeholder. A continuous fluidic circuit is thereby achieved extending from an external liquid reservoir, through the probeholder and the hollow cantilever to the tip aperture. In this way, both overpressure and an underpressure can be applied to the liquid reservoir and hence to the built-in fluidic circuit. We describe in this letter how standard atomic force microscopy in combination with regulated pressure differences inside the microchanneled cantilevers can be used to displace living organisms with micrometric precision in a nondestructive way. The protocol is applicable to both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells (e.g., mammalian cells, yeasts, and bacteria) in physiological buffer. By means of this procedure, cells can also be transferred from one glass slide to another one or onto an agar medium.


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