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Utilization of Simple Scaling Laws for Modulating Tip-Sample Interaction Forces in Aqueous Environment AFM Characterization: Application to the Self-Assembly of Protein Polymers

[+] Author Affiliations
Santiago D. Solares, Jonathan Chang, Joonil Seog, Adam U. Kareem

University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, MD

Paper No. DETC2011-47199, pp. 469-473; 5 pages
doi:10.1115/DETC2011-47199
From:
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 5th International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems; 8th International Conference on Design and Design Education; 21st Reliability, Stress Analysis, and Failure Prevention Conference
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5484-6
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME

abstract

We have recently reported on experimental observations of silk-elastin-like protein polymers (SELPs) that self-assembled into 1-dimensional nanofibers on mica surfaces upon application of a mechanical stimulus with atomic force microscopy (AFM) in water. SELPs are genetically engineered block co-polymers made of silk-like blocks (Gly-Ala-Gly-Ala-Gly-Ser) from Bombyx mori (silkworm) and elastin-like blocks (Gly-Val-Gly-Val-Pro) from mammalian elastin. The experiment consisted of adsorbing the protein polymer onto a freshly cleaved mica surface, followed by AFM characterization under different sets of imaging parameters, each of which led to different nanofiber coverage rates. In order to gain further understanding of the factors governing the self-assembly process, we utilized multimodal AFM simulation to formulate and guide the implementation of a suitable force modulation strategy, which allowed us to observe trends of the surface coverage rate as a function of the applied peak forces. The simulations suggest that a nearly linear control of the peak tapping forces can be achieved by following simple scaling laws based on the harmonic oscillator model.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME

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