Free-standing biomimetic polymer membrane imaged with atomic force microscopy

Langmuir. 2011 Jan 18;27(2):499-503. doi: 10.1021/la103632q. Epub 2010 Dec 14.


Fluid polymeric biomimetic membranes are probed with atomic force microscopy (AFM) using probes with both normal tetrahedrally shaped tips and nanoneedle-shaped Ag(2)Ga rods. When using nanoneedle probes, the collected force volume data show three distinct membrane regions which match the expected membrane structure when spanning an aperture in a hydrophobic scaffold. The method used provides a general method for mapping attractive fluid surfaces. In particular, the nanoneedle probing allows for characterization of free-standing biomimetic membranes with thickness on the nanometer scale suspended over 300-μm-wide apertures, where the membranes are stable toward hundreds of nanoindentations without breakage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomimetic Materials / chemistry*
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Surface Properties


  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Polymers