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Simultaneous Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy with Microchanneled Cantilevers

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2015
Author Ossola Dario, Dorwling-Carter Livie, Demutz Harald, Behr Pascal, Vörös Janos, Zambelli Tomaso,
Project Force-controlled patch clamp (pc-FluidFM)
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Physical Review Letters
Volume (Issue) 115
Page(s) 238103
Title of proceedings Physical Review Letters


We combined scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) into a single tool using AFM cantilevers with an embedded microchannel flowing into the nanosized aperture at the apex of the hollow pyramid. An electrode was positioned in the AFM fluidic circuit connected to a second electrode in the bath. We could thus simultaneously measure the ionic current and the cantilever bending (in optical beam deflection mode). First, we quantitatively compared the SICM and AFM contact points on the approach curves. Second, we estimated where the probe in SICM mode touches the sample during scanning on a calibration grid and applied the finding to image a network of neurites on a Petri dish. Finally, we assessed the feasibility of a double controller using both the ionic current and the deflection as input signals of the piezofeedback. The experimental data were rationalized in the framework of finite elements simulations.