Biomechanics in health and disease:
advanced physical tools for innovative early diagnosis
H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018 n. 812772


Mechanical tests beyond AFM

Duration: months 4-44
Lead beneficiary: O11
Objectives: The main goal of this WP is to use commercial instrumentation other than AFM for the determination of cell and tissue elasticity, and to develop higher-throughput, reliable, clinic-oriented systems and calibration procedure.
Determination of the viscoelastic properties of ECMs, cells, tissues using alternative nano-mechanical techniques.

Task 5.1. Nano-indentation measurements using a commercial nano-indenter (PIUMA Nano-indenter)

Different indenter dimensions, mapping and dynamic ranges will be used. (Lead O11, UMIL, CNRS)

Task 5.2. Determination of the mechanical properties of suspended cells using microfluidics, MEMs tests.


Task 5.3. Comparison of nano-indentation, microfluidics, MEMs measurements on the same samples with AFM.

The results obtained using alternative techniques will be compared to those obtained on the same or related samples by AFM. This will assess the reliability and robustness of the various techniques. (Lead UMIL, O11, CEA-IBS, FAU,INSERM, CNRS, BioMeca)

Task 5.4. To develop novel interferometry-based set-up for the calibration of cantilevers.

Demonstrate that the calibration setup can be designed in an easy-to-use form factor for both standard AFM cantilevers and other formats, such as the fiber-top/ferrule-top cantilevers, at costs that would adapt well to commercial production. (Lead O11, Vmicro,UMIL, UB, INSERM)

Task 5.5. Development of instrumentation based on AFM and other methods towards clinical mechanical tests.

The developed instrument will be robust, high-throughput, easy-of-use, multi-samples, and featuring automatic system calibration, semi-automatic acquisition of mechanical measurements and automatic data processing. The system will be developed and implemented in academic labs and a prototype will be tested in the hospital. The creation of a spinoff company will be evaluated. (Lead INSERM, Vmicro, CNRS,UB,O11, FAU)