Technology ID

AFMAnalyze: Software Automation and Analysis of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) Data

Lead Inventor
Shoelson, Brett (NIDCD)
Development Status
Late stage
Lead IC
AFMAnalyze is a software package that is designed to significantly enhance the analysis and application of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) data. This software automates AFM data collection and analysis, and is equipped with a Graphical User Interface (GUI)-intensive computational tool that is capable of replacing the manual or algorithmic methods for reconstructing, analyzing and interpreting large AFM data sets. AFMAnalyze provides a more robust, objective, and automated method for collecting and interpreting AFM results. A user, for example, can compute the Young’s modulus of a sample at the press of a button located on the software interface.

The software also enables “reverse fitting” of the data in order to calibrate AFM cantilevers using materials (such as reference gels) with known properties. This ability can significantly enhance the sensitivity, interpretation, and use of AFM measurements which depend on accurate determinations of cantilever properties. In a demonstration of the capabilities of AFMAnalyze, the software was successfully used to map the elasticity of the tectoral membrane (TM) by incorporating the analysis of over 500 force-distance curves. Generating such a map without automation would be prohibitively expensive and time consuming.

AFMAnalyze is also flexibly designed for expansion, and incorporates modular programs for additional data analysis. Further modifications to the software could enable the analysis of force-volume data. This type of data has been, so far, difficult to analyze, but has significant use as a tool for distinguishing the different mechanical properties of materials including metals, polymers, semiconductors, ceramics, and biological specimens on the sub-nanometer scale.
Commercial Applications
  • Automated, objective, and efficient AFM measurements of the nano-scale properties of materials
  • Efficient AFM cantilever calibration
  • Potential for AFM force-volume measurements
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