Tomoyuki Kawase is an associate professor at the Institute of Medicine and Dentistry at Niigata University. His field of expertise is tissue engineering about which he has published several key papers*. Professor Kawase is interested to determine the optimal stiffness or elasticity of cell scaffolding materials. In addition, it is also important to demonstrate dynamic changes in cytoskeletal fiber formation in response to the mechanical property of scaffolds.
Prior to learning about JPK’s instrumentation, Professor Kawase used fluorescence microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. However, these instruments cannot determine the elasticity of materials and cells. Under the overall banner of atomic force microscopy, AFM, it is possible to study multiple properties of soft materials under aqueous conditions. Speaking about his choice of the NanoWizard®3 BioScience AFM system with the unique Quantitative Imaging, QI™, mode, Professor Kawase said his motivation was definitely the scanning speed. “For me, the QI mode seems technically easier than other modes especially in terms of softer materials such as living cells. I find that the JPK AFM is organized simply, and so is tough enough for a heavy user load. It is nd trouble-free and easy to maintain.”
QI™ is the new quantitative imaging mode from JPK which was developed to make AFM imaging easier than ever before. With QI™, a force curve based imaging mode, the user has full control over the tip-sample interaction force at every pixel of the image. There is no longer a need for setpoint or gain adjustment while scanning. It is particularly powerful when imaging soft, sticky or loosely attached samples or samples with steep edges. QI™ comes as standard with the NanoWizard®3 family of AFMs.