Instruments and Methods

Atomic force microscopy (AFM)

  • Several biocompatible setups can be combined with heating/cooling modules and optical observation (brightfield, fluorescence)
  • Ultra speed setup with heating, CO2 incubation system and optical observation (brightfield, fluorescence)
  • Cell adhesion setup with petri dish heater and optical observation
  • High-performance AFM


Optical Microscopy

  • Diverse inverted and upright microscope setups including brightfield, fluorescence and stereo-zoom
  • Confocal laser scanning microscopy with FRAP option (excitation at 405 nm, 488 nm and 561 nm) can be combined with AFM and cell-incubation module
  • Total internal reflection microscopy (wavelengths of 491 nm and 561 nm), can be combined with AFM

Optical Tweezer/Optical Traps

  • Setups with flow system, optical observation and multi-trap mode
  • can be combined with AFM

Cell surface adhesion methods

  • Electrical cell substrate impedance sensing in ambient conditions with wounding option (frequency range from 62.5 Hz to 64 kHz)
  • Giant thickness shear mode quartz resonator (quartz crystal microbalance) with especially low frequencies around 600 kHz to measure the cell’s viscoelastic properties

Electron Microscopy

  • 30kV Scanning electron microscope with environmental-SEM, STEM, and wet-STEM capabilities

Spectroscopy and Rheology

  • Parallel single-molecule force spectroscopy/Acoustic force spectroscopy
  • Plate rotation rheometer
  • Diffusing wave spectroscopy: optical rheometer for contact-free measurements in gels and solution
  • Spectrofluorometer

Membrane Model Systems

  • Small, large, and giant unilamellar vesicles (SUVs, LUVs, GUVs)
  • Solid supported membranes
  • Membrane sheets derived from apical or basal cellular membranes

Cell Culture (S1)

  • Transfection, electroporation
  • Protein expression, -purification and -analysis
  • Incubation system for optical live cell analysis with temperature control (15-40°C) and gas incubation system for CO2 and O2
  • Image-based cytometry for automatic cell viability and cell counting

Cell Manipulation

  • Microinjection system for single-cell manipulation
  • Micropipette aspiration for mechanical analysis of cells (and vesicles)
  • Self-made PDMS-based cell stretcher which is compatible with AFM setups and optical observation
  • Pump system to mimic physiological flow conditions

Surface Preparation and Analysis

  • Plasma cleaner
  • Spin coater
  • UV-lamp (irradiation at 365nm and 254 nm)
  • Ellipsometry setups with spectral range of 380-900 nm