Wednesday, January 20, 2010

US Patent 7647848 - Simultaneous inspection and nanomanipulation

This patent is from Drexel University's Cell and Protein Mechanics Lab and teaches a system that integrated an atomic force microscope with a nanomanipulation tool to simultaneously image and strain biological samples. Claim 1 reads:

1. A device for simultaneous inspection and manipulation of a sample, said device comprising:

a base unit;

a sample holder mounted on said base unit;

an inspection device operatively associated with said base unit for inspecting a sample on said sample holder; and

at least one nano-manipulator mounted in an operative position on said base unit to permit manipulation of the sample on said sample holder to deform said sample by exerting a force on said sample using said at least one nano-manipulator;

wherein said at least one nano-manipulator is mounted such that manipulation of the sample does not prevent operative inspection of said sample by said inspection device during or after manipulation of the sample.