Todd Sulchek, Ph.D. (Chair and PI), ME, (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Oliver Brand, Ph.D., ECE, (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Peter Hesketh, Ph.D., ME, (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Wilber A. Lam, MD, Ph.D., BME, (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Hang Lu, Ph.D., ChBE, (Georgia Institute of Technology)
“Toward an Aspirating Force Probe: Microfabrication of a high sensitivity fluidic AFM probe”
This work presents significant advancements toward the development of an aspirating force probe or "AFP". The technology is an elaboration on the canonical AFM probe, targeting added capacity to physically manipulate both adhesive and nonadhesive cells by fluid pressure controlled aspiration at the cantilever terminus. We demonstrate a low stiffness design of a fully integrated fluidic probe. This may be combined with the dynamic loading and high spatial resolution capabilities of any AFM system, as the design requires no modification to a mounting unit. We developed three key microfabrication techniques to achieve this: a low stiffness (k < 100 pN/nm) nano-fluidic cantilever via a thermally decomposable polynorborne sacrificial layer, fully integrated fluidic system that requires no modification to an AFM probe mount, and two micro to nano-fluidic interfaces for connecting the latter.