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EPFL Research on the Use of AFM Based Nanoscale IR Spectroscopy for the Study of Single Amyloid Molecules Wins Poster Competition at Swiss Physics Society Meeting

publication date: Aug 13, 2014
author/source: Anasys Instruments

Anasys Instruments reports on EPFL’s Francesco Simone Ruggeri success winning a poster award at the recent annual meeting of the Swiss Physics Society held at the University of Fribourg. 

anasysFrancesco Simone Ruggeri is a member of the Doctoral Program in the group of Professor Giovanni Dietler, head of the Laboratory of the Physics of Living Matter at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The research activity of the laboratory of physics of living matter is mainly devoted to the study of DNA topology, cellular machines, protein mechanics and high-resolution low temperature Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). 

Mr. Ruggeri’s poster recently won an award at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Swiss Physics Society. Entitled “AFM Nanoscale Infrared Spectroscopy: Chemical Characterization of Single Amyloid Molecules,” the poster showed that an AFM-IR tool is most important to measure the chemical properties of amyloids at the sub-micrometer scale. The understanding of mechanism of amyloids formation can provide the basis for establishing approaches to prevention and treatment of these diseases. 

After initial characterization using FTIR, nanoscale chemical analysis, known as nanoIR (Anasys Instruments, USA), was used to generate nanoscale chemical IR maps. One of the many advantages of nanoIR is that it enables the study of the aggregation of these amyloid proteins which may be directly linked to the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s. 

Dr Andrzej Kulik, the main researcher behind this work at EPFL, has described AFM-IR as “one of the most important breakthroughs in the AFM technique since it adds chemical composition information to nanoscale morphology. Its ease of use will ensure its wide adoption given the crucial importance of nanoscale chemical composition in most research applications.” 

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