Nanoindentation and Nanomechanics

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Paul H. Davis


Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a nanoscale characterization technique that at its most basic level employs a nanometer-scale probe tip to physically trace a surface, generating a topographical map of the sample. However AFM has many applications beyond topography, including nanomechanical property analysis via cantilevered nanoindentation. In this project, tipless AFM probes functionalized with a 10 µm diameter glass bead have been used to measure the elastic modulus of live multipotent stromal stem cell nuclei before and after vibration treatments and/or structural component knockouts. The goal of these nanoindentation measurements of nuclear stiffness is to gain a better understanding of how mesenchymal stem cells respond to mechanical (in addition to chemical) signals in their environment to guide differentiation into osteoblasts, chondrocytes, or other cell types.

This document is currently not available here.