Multidimensional characterisation of biomechanical structures by combining Atomic Force Microscopy and Focused Ion Beam: A study of the rat whisker

Vahidreza Adineh, Boyin Liu, Ramesh Rajan, Wenyi Yan, Jing Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Understanding the heterogeneity of biological structures, particularly at the micro/nano scale can offer insights valuable for multidisciplinary research in tissue engineering and biomimicry designs. Here we propose to combine nanocharacterisation tools, particularly Focused Ion Beam (FIB) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) for three dimensional mapping of mechanical modulus and chemical signatures. The prototype platform is applied to image and investigate the fundamental mechanics of the rat face whiskers, a high-acuity sensor used to gain detailed information about the world. Grazing angle FIB milling was first applied to expose the interior cross section of the rat whisker sample, followed by a lift-out method to retrieve and position the target sample for further analyses. AFM force spectroscopy measurements revealed a non-uniform pattern of elastic modulus across the cross section, with a range from 0.8 GPa to 13.5 GPa. The highest elastic modulus was found at the outer cuticle region of the whisker, and values gradually decreased towards the interior cortex and medulla regions. Elemental mapping with EDS confirmed that the interior of the rat whisker is dominated by C, O, N, S, Cl and K, with a significant change of elemental distribution close to the exterior cuticle region. Based on these data, a novel comprehensive three dimensional (3D) elastic modulus model was constructed, and stress distributions under realistic conditions were investigated with Finite Element Analysis (FEA). The simulations could well account for the passive whisker deflections, with calculated resonant frequency as well as force-deflection for the whiskers being in good agreement with reported experimental data. Limitations and further applications are discussed for the proposed FIB/AFM approach, which holds good promise as a unique platform to gain insights on various heterogeneous biomaterials and biomechanical systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132 - 141
Number of pages10
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Volume21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Rat whisker
  • Biomechanics
  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Focused ion beam
  • Elastic modulus

Cite this

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title = "Multidimensional characterisation of biomechanical structures by combining Atomic Force Microscopy and Focused Ion Beam: A study of the rat whisker",
abstract = "Understanding the heterogeneity of biological structures, particularly at the micro/nano scale can offer insights valuable for multidisciplinary research in tissue engineering and biomimicry designs. Here we propose to combine nanocharacterisation tools, particularly Focused Ion Beam (FIB) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) for three dimensional mapping of mechanical modulus and chemical signatures. The prototype platform is applied to image and investigate the fundamental mechanics of the rat face whiskers, a high-acuity sensor used to gain detailed information about the world. Grazing angle FIB milling was first applied to expose the interior cross section of the rat whisker sample, followed by a lift-out method to retrieve and position the target sample for further analyses. AFM force spectroscopy measurements revealed a non-uniform pattern of elastic modulus across the cross section, with a range from 0.8 GPa to 13.5 GPa. The highest elastic modulus was found at the outer cuticle region of the whisker, and values gradually decreased towards the interior cortex and medulla regions. Elemental mapping with EDS confirmed that the interior of the rat whisker is dominated by C, O, N, S, Cl and K, with a significant change of elemental distribution close to the exterior cuticle region. Based on these data, a novel comprehensive three dimensional (3D) elastic modulus model was constructed, and stress distributions under realistic conditions were investigated with Finite Element Analysis (FEA). The simulations could well account for the passive whisker deflections, with calculated resonant frequency as well as force-deflection for the whiskers being in good agreement with reported experimental data. Limitations and further applications are discussed for the proposed FIB/AFM approach, which holds good promise as a unique platform to gain insights on various heterogeneous biomaterials and biomechanical systems.",
keywords = "Rat whisker, Biomechanics, Atomic force microscopy, Focused ion beam, Elastic modulus",
author = "Vahidreza Adineh and Boyin Liu and Ramesh Rajan and Wenyi Yan and Jing Fu",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1016/j.actbio.2015.03.028",
language = "English",
volume = "21",
pages = "132 -- 141",
journal = "Acta Biomaterialia",
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Multidimensional characterisation of biomechanical structures by combining Atomic Force Microscopy and Focused Ion Beam: A study of the rat whisker. / Adineh, Vahidreza; Liu, Boyin; Rajan, Ramesh; Yan, Wenyi; Fu, Jing.

In: Acta Biomaterialia, Vol. 21, 2015, p. 132 - 141.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Multidimensional characterisation of biomechanical structures by combining Atomic Force Microscopy and Focused Ion Beam: A study of the rat whisker

AU - Adineh, Vahidreza

AU - Liu, Boyin

AU - Rajan, Ramesh

AU - Yan, Wenyi

AU - Fu, Jing

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

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AB - Understanding the heterogeneity of biological structures, particularly at the micro/nano scale can offer insights valuable for multidisciplinary research in tissue engineering and biomimicry designs. Here we propose to combine nanocharacterisation tools, particularly Focused Ion Beam (FIB) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) for three dimensional mapping of mechanical modulus and chemical signatures. The prototype platform is applied to image and investigate the fundamental mechanics of the rat face whiskers, a high-acuity sensor used to gain detailed information about the world. Grazing angle FIB milling was first applied to expose the interior cross section of the rat whisker sample, followed by a lift-out method to retrieve and position the target sample for further analyses. AFM force spectroscopy measurements revealed a non-uniform pattern of elastic modulus across the cross section, with a range from 0.8 GPa to 13.5 GPa. The highest elastic modulus was found at the outer cuticle region of the whisker, and values gradually decreased towards the interior cortex and medulla regions. Elemental mapping with EDS confirmed that the interior of the rat whisker is dominated by C, O, N, S, Cl and K, with a significant change of elemental distribution close to the exterior cuticle region. Based on these data, a novel comprehensive three dimensional (3D) elastic modulus model was constructed, and stress distributions under realistic conditions were investigated with Finite Element Analysis (FEA). The simulations could well account for the passive whisker deflections, with calculated resonant frequency as well as force-deflection for the whiskers being in good agreement with reported experimental data. Limitations and further applications are discussed for the proposed FIB/AFM approach, which holds good promise as a unique platform to gain insights on various heterogeneous biomaterials and biomechanical systems.

KW - Rat whisker

KW - Biomechanics

KW - Atomic force microscopy

KW - Focused ion beam

KW - Elastic modulus

UR - http://goo.gl/SdS2mc

U2 - 10.1016/j.actbio.2015.03.028

DO - 10.1016/j.actbio.2015.03.028

M3 - Article

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EP - 141

JO - Acta Biomaterialia

JF - Acta Biomaterialia

SN - 1742-7061

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