Microbubble nano-interrogation using the Atomic Force Microscope

V Sboros, E Glynos, M Butler, C M Moran, J Ross, S D Pye, W N McDicken, V Koutsos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

The Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is a versatile tool that provides spatial and force resolution of the order of Angstroms and subnationewtons, respectively; therefore, it is ideally suited to study morphology and mechanical properties of materials at the nanometer scale. This paper introduces the use of the AFM to study the topography and the mechanical properties of individual biSphere (R) microbubbles (Point Biomedical Corp, San Carlos, CA, USA) microbubbles. The Bioscope AFM (Veeco, Santa Barbara, CA, USA) was used for the measurements: a) Tapping mode AFM was used for imaging, with cantilevers resonating at 5-8 kHz (NP-20, Veeco). b) Contact mode AFM was used for mechanical measurements using tipless cantilevers (NSC-20, MikroMash, Spain) with spring constants ranging from 0.03-15 N/m.

The resolution of the topography of the microbubble was as small as 20 nm. Such figures are comparable with data from electron microscopy, but AFM provides superior flexibility as it can interrogate microbubbles in various chemical and physical environments (in liquid at a range of different temperatures, pressures and viscosities). Optimal measurements of the stiffness of microbubbles ranging in size from 1-10 mu m was provided by cantilevers between 0.3-0.6 N/m as cantilevers with lower spring constant were too soft for the measurements, and higher spring constant would destroy the microbubbles. The stiffness (effective spring constant) of the microbubbles ranged between 1 and 5 N/m. These measurements can be translated to shell properties by using an appropriate model for the shape and structure of the microbubbles.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2005 IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, Vols 1-4
Place of PublicationNEW YORK
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)0-7803-9382-1
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventIEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium - Rotterdam
Duration: 18 Sept 200521 Sept 2005


ConferenceIEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium


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