Robust and artifact-free mounting of tissue samples for atomic force microscopy

Joshua T. Morgan, Vijay Krishna Raghunathan, Sara M Thomasy, Christopher J Murphy, Paul Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Immobilization of tissue-samples for atomic for microscopy (AFM) is typically done using either semi-dry tissue or by gluing the tissue sample down, both of which can introduce artifacts. Here, we describe the design of a Soft-Clamping Immobilizing Retainer of Tissue (SCIRT) for consistent and nondestructive immobilization of tissues for AFM analysis. We compare the performance of our SCIRT method with glue-immobilization for two difficult to handle tissue types: human trabecular meshwork (HTM) and rabbit cornea (RC). Our results demonstrate that the SCIRT method has several advantages, including: (i) allowing for small sample sizes, (ii) enabling continuous hydration, (iii) eliminating contact with glue or associated solvents, (iv) permitting sample recovery following measurement, and (v) ease of use. In conclusion, the SCIRT method is a simple and effective means of immobilizing soft, hydrated tissue samples consistently and without artifacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-42
Number of pages3
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Cornea
  • Sample preparation
  • Tissue mechanics
  • Trabecular meshwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biotechnology


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