Atomic Force Microscopy and Related Techniques Lab

Enter the Nanoworld with Atomic Force Microscopy

The Atomic Force Microscopy and Related Techniques (AFMaRT) Lab is a research laboratory dedicated to the exploration of the Nanoworld. Our main area of research is condensed matter physics, including soft matter, molecular biology, fluidics, magnetism, tribology and several other domains, at the nanoscale. We are part of Biosystems and Integrative Sciences Institute (BioISI), group Bio-PhysNano, allowing us to be involved in several investigations coupling different areas of research, where interdisciplinarity is a keyword. Here, the potential of the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) for probing all sorts of interactions plays a central role.

  • bioisi
  • fcul

News

New master projects available!

21/05/2020

afmrt projects

We have updated our available master projects for Physics and Physics Engineering students, in areas ranging from sensor development to nanofluidics. If you wish to apply or learn more about our proposals send us an email to fcul.afm.lab@gmail.com

Mechanical Properties of Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells Expressing Wt- and Mutant CFTR

21/04/2020

afmrt logo

As part of our collaboration with the Functional Genomics and Proteostasis group of BioISI, we have just published our latest work. Together with our colleagues from BioISI, we established a link between the mechanical state of human epithelial cells and the expression of the CFTR protein. Mutations of the gene encoding this protein cause Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening, hereditary disease.

Miguel Vitorino obtains his PhD!

17/02/2020

MVitorino

Dr. Miguel Vitorino has just defended his PhD thesis "Development of a Force Feedback Microscope", which addressed the development and application of the FFM technique in the study of soft systems. For the time being he will continue his scientific career in the AFMaRT Laboratory. We wish him luck!

Zinc Binding to Tau Influences Aggregation Kinetics and Oligomer Distribution

27/11/2019

afmrt tau

As part of our collaboration with the Functional Genomics and Proteostasis group of BioISI, we have just published our latest work. Tau is a zinc metal ion binding protein which forms toxic amyloid fibrils in Alzheimer’s Disease. This paper establishes a model that explains how zinc influences Tau protein aggregation, providing new clues into the mechanisms of neurodegeneration.

Variation of Burkholderia cenocepacia cell wall morphology and mechanical properties during cystic fibrosis lung infection, assessed by atomic force microscopy

06/11/2019

afmrt bcc

As part of our collaboration with the Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences of Instituto Superior Técnico, we have just published our latest work. Together with our biologist colleagues, we have studied the long-term evolution of Burkholderia cenocepacia bacteria during infection on human patients. We verified that these bacteria (seen on the left) progressively change their shape and elastic properties, a possible adaptation to severe oxygen depletion during the infection.

Ana Carapeto starts her Junior Researcher position.

15/09/2019

ACarapeto

Dr. Ana Carapeto has just started her FCT Junior Researcher position in our lab to investigate physical interactions in cystic fibrosis disease. In this context, she will address relevant mechanical properties and protein-protein interactions.

A role for Diacylglycerol Kinase 4 in signaling crosstalk during Arabidopsis pollen tube growth

23/01/2019

afmrt polen ara

As part of our collaboration with the Plant Functional Genomics group of BioISI, we have just published our latest work. Together with our biologist colleagues, we have studied the alteration of Arabidopsis thaliana pollen tubes when subject to genetic mutations. We verified that mutated cells exhibit higher elasticity and adhesion, which might explain their lower reproductive capabilities.

nanoCafé - Thank you

05/11/2018

openday

Thank you to all who came to our laboratory giving us the possibility to show what we do here while drinking a nanoCafé. From students to teachers, some more knowledgeable about the subject (who had the possibility to deepen their knowledge) and others less, which we hope they have learned a lot. Whether it's the tasting of a coffee or not, we believe that in Science it is important to share and show, so we will continue to stimulate this kind of events!

AFMaRTLab nanoCafé

28/10/2018

afmrt openday

We will have our second "AFMaRTLab Open Day" and there is a free coffee for everyone! In the event we will have the oportunity to showcase our recent projects in the fields of nanophysics, biological physics and instrumentation, as well as to meet new prospective students interested in developing a master project or internship here in the lab. Come visite us!

AFMaRT Lab is hiring!

22/10/2018

AFMRTLogo

Are you interested in joining our lab and take part in our exploration of the nanoworld? We have just opened a position (click here for the application announcement), for students with a bachelor or a master degree in Physics or related areas. If you are interested and motivated send us your application by email!

Direct measurement of the capillary condensation time of a water nanobridge

14/09/2018

afmrt capilar water

We have just published our most recent article, concerning the nanoscale behaviour of water and the formation of capillary bridges, or nanomeniscus. This phenomenon directly influences a diversity of systems, including sand castles, protein folding, insect attachment mechanisms, surface chemistry or friction and, due to the strong adhesion forces it produces, it also has an impact on micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems. Using the Force Feedback Microscope we have directly measured the capillary condensation time of one of these water meniscus!

Arthur and Ricardo go on with their PhDs!

31/08/2018

afmrt RF and AV

Congratulations to both Arthur and Ricardo, who have finished their work in the AFMaRTLab, and go on to do their PhD in Aalto University (Finland) and IST (Portugal), respectively. Arthur says: "The work I made at AFM-RT lab was a key opportunity for my professional/academic career. I was privileged to be able to work with this talented and good-mood team. Thanks to them I am able to pursue my dreams as an Physics Engineer." We wish them both good luck!

Ser Cientista 2018 - a summer school for High School students

23/07/2018 to 27/07/2018

sercientista

Sofia Batista, Mariana Teigão and Mariana Pereira were scientists for a week in our lab. Besides looking and feeling graphite atoms, they were able to observe Alzheimer proteins, inspect the surface of common table salt and understand how the information is stored the common CDs. They worked alongside the scientists of our lab revealing excellent qualities for a scientific way of life!

Tiago Robalo and Ricardo Ferreira have joined our lab.

01/03/2018

Newmembers

Tiago and Ricardo have just joined our lab to help us in the study of physical properties of biological systems. Tiago will address the problem of mechanical properties of cells, and how to extract them accurately from an AFM or FFM, while Ricardo will focus on the measurement of the interaction between specific proteins, using both instruments.

AFMaRT Lab is hiring!

15/02/2018

AFMRTLogo

Are you interested in joining our lab and take part in our exploration of the nanoworld? We have just opened two positions (click here and here for the application announcement), for students with a bachelor and/or a master degree in Physics or related areas, concerning our research on physical interactions in biological systems. If you are interested and motivated send us your application by email!

Arthur and Paulo defended their master thesis.

29/11/2017

arthur thesis

Paulo and Arthur have finished their master! After working on the construction of our new custom-made AFM, both students presented their thesis at their respective universities. They got excellent classifications, and have followed on with their careers. While Paulo will go into the private sector, Arthur will stay with us to progress with a post-grad internship. We wish them both good luck!

AFMaRTLab Open Day

27/10/2017

afmrt openday

After much anticipation, we have finally had our first "AFMaRTLab Open Day". The event, in which about 20 students participated, allowed us to showcase our recent projects in the fields of nanophysics, biological physics and instrumentation, as well as to meet new prospective students interested in developing a master project or internship here in the lab. We hope you had as much funa as we did and look forward to see you again in the lab!

We are looking for students!

31/08/2017

afmrt projects

The AFMaRT Lab is now looking for new students who want to develop investigation projects in the framework of nanophysics, instrumentation or physics applied to biology or biomedicine. If you are interested take a look at our projects and send us an email!

Carolina goes to Scotland for her PhD

31/08/2017

afmrt carolina

Carolina has finished her internship in the AFMaRTLab, and we are happy that she goes on to do her PhD in St. Andrews, Scotland! "Working in the AFMaRT lab showed me what good teamwork looked like, where I was given the time to find my place within the group and space to grow as a researcher and physicist." We wish you all the best, and hope to work with you again in the future!

Construction of a new enclosure box for the FFM

27/07/2017

afm isolating box

Carolina and Miguel have been working on assembling a new enclosure box for the custom-made FFM (part of Miguel's phd). This is a low-cost solution to improve the performance of custom-made and commercial instruments, by isolating the noise from outside sources. The box isolates the instrument from acoustic, mechanic and electromagnetic noise, features noise cancelling materials and a faraday cage (pictured).

Ser Cientista Summer school for High School students

24/07/2017 to 28/07/2017

sercientista

Beatriz Costa and Beatriz Botequilha, two high school students, worked on a project in our laboratory entitled Olhando os átomos ( Looking at the atoms ). The spec of this Ser Cientista summer school was to allow the students to experience the challenges a true scientist faces daily.

DAEPHYS Summer school for PhD students

18/07/2017 and 19/07/2017

daephys

The DAEPHYS PhD program students came to the AFMaRT Lab of FCUL, as part of their summer school. The students had the opportunity to image nanoscopic samples with the AFM and probed magnetic domains using magnetic force microscopy. They also learned key steps to make super-low cost AFMs, which, we hope, can provide them the tools to build their own microscopes in their own labs!

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