A new modular add-on solution brings the world of FluidFM to your AFM!
November 29, 2016 by
Tobias Weber

With its new FluidFM add-on solution Cytosurge presents an innovative upgrade for atomic force microscopes. This new product family gives researchers the possibility to perform innovative FluidFM applications on a regular AFM. A modular approach ensures that specific requirements and budgets are matched thus making FluidFM technology available to an even broader audience.

FluidFM® technology

The innovative FluidFM technology unites the best features of microfluidics and force microscopy by introducing closed microscopic channels into force sensitive probes. Thanks to these channels soluble molecules can be dispensed through a sub-micrometer aperture at the tip. At the same time, sensitive force feedback allows automatic contact and modification of surfaces, in both liquid or ambient environments. It also provides a reliable distinction between gentle contact with a cell membrane and its perforation.

Dr. Jos Quist from the University of Twente in the Netherlands is an experienced FluidFM user. He summarizes its advantages as follows: “The FluidFM technology combines very precise micromanipulation with fluidics and force control. So, you have direct and precise feedback on the probes you want to interface with cells or other micro-objects. With FluidFM, you quite exactly know what you are doing to a cell, mechanically.”  

The FluidFM technology has initially been developed at ETH Zurich and has since seen further expansion in its application portfolio over the years. 

Introducing the bespoke FluidFM® ADD-ON system 

Since 2009 ETH spin-off Cytosurge develops and distributes systems for FluidFM research. Until very recently FluidFM technology has only been accessible through an integrated system solution, requiring a considerable investment by interested research groups.   

Cytosurge has secured the cooperation with leading AFM producers making FluidFM available and affordable for researchers around the globe. Dr. Pascal Behr, CEO of Cytosurge, explains: “We have launched a partnership program with different AFM producers. Within this program, we develop specific add-on options for the most popular AFM systems. These offer the possibility to leverage a lab’s already existing AFM to be compatible with FluidFM applications. Our customers can therefore easily up-value an already made investment.” 

The new add-on solutions are offered in a selection of packages containing different products and services. This modular approach guarantees that researchers’ specific requirements and budgets can be individually matched. As Pascal Behr points out: “This is the start of a new era for Cytosurge as well as for our customers. With the new solutions FluidFM technology will be accessible on multiple AFM systems at highly attractive prices. This means that you can harness the possibilities provided by FluidFM using the AFM you already own. We know that this has been a market need for some time now and we are very happy that we are now able to satisfy this need of our customers.”

The new add-on solutions will be available for pre-order on different AFM systems starting January 2017 with first shipments starting in March 2017.