Atomic Force Microscopy: Build your own AFM
Using a new mode of atomic force microscopy, researchers at EPFL have found a way to see and measure protein assembly in real time and with unprecedented detail (more).
Interested in this instrument? Come and make your own!
To share their new atomic force microscope (AFM) instrument in the spirit of open science, Georg Fantner, Adrian Nievergelt and co-workers decided to try something new. They designed a workshop for scientists from around the world who come to EPFL to learn how to build it.
Over 3 days, participants assemble their own device, and then test it to make sure it works fine. For the costs of a trip to EPFL and the microscope spare parts, they will leave with their own instrument. They can then start using it right away when they are back in their laboratory. The latest edition took place on campus in March with four participants from the UK, the USA and the Netherlands.
For Laia Pasquina Lemonche, a doctoral student at the University of Sheffield, having the opportunity to meet the inventors in person was of incredible value. “There is a real transfer of know-how. It’s amazing what we could do in 3 days. Even the best instruction manual cannot contain all the details we could get first-hand. Now I know exactly how it’s built, how it works and I will be able to fix it. I had never built anything before; I didn’t even know I loved building things!”