EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C51355X/1
Title: Pico-Newton MEMS Technology For Biological Force Measurement
Principal Investigator: Tendler, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Roberts, Professor C Davies, Professor M Williams, Professor PM
Allen, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Pharmacy
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 August 2005 Ends: 31 July 2008 Value (£): 344,407
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Biology Instrumentation Eng. & Dev.
Microsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Force measurements on or between single biological molecules have attracted considerable scientific interest over the past five years, and have begun to impact on our understanding of processes such as protein folding and biomolecular recognition. There are several methods which are able to perform such measurements, but often the atomic force microscope (AFM) is the method of choice. However, while AFM instruments are widely available and inexpensive, for force-measurement the technology is presently hindered by the irreproducibility of the force sensing AFM cantilever.There is much need for a reliable method of accurately and precisely quantifying nano- and pico-newton forces. The existing methods at best have an uncertainty of 10-15%, and are thus imprecise and inaccurate, some of them also being destructive and time consuming. These disadvantages have hindered the take-up of AFM for more than simple topographic imaging, particularly by the industrial sector. Within the proposed project we propose to address such issues through the development and application of new micro-fabricated electromechanical (MEMS) devices; the ultimate aim being the development of a self-calibrating AFM cantilever. Specifically, through the careful design of such devices we will seek to reduce the uncertainty in nano and pico-Newton force measurements t o 0.5% i n a it a nd 1 % i n I iquid. T he improvements in data quality afforded by the developed technology will be relevant not only for single biomolecular force measurements, but also for the characterization of materials, pharmaceuticals and many other interfacial processes in which forces play a critical role.
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Impacts
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Summary
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk