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Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy (SICM)

SICM setup for websitePicture1

To achieve the sensitivity demonstrated in bioinspired scanning ion conductance microscopy (Bio-SICM), a minimal amount of background noise is required because even the slightest electromagnetic and kinetic aberrations in the surrounding environment of the experiment can greatly obscure any signals denoting a protein binding event. The probe also must be moved microscopically small distances so it can be in the correct position relative to the substrate to accurately measure the conductance of the ions in solution.

  • IsoStation vibration isolation table dampens vibrations and other small movements.
  • Low-noise Dagan Chem-Clamp potentiostat exhibits high sensitivity while minimizing noise
  • Sutter Instruments ROE-200 Micromanipulator moves experimental probes near the substrate surface in three dimensions
  • Data acquisition facilitated by National Instruments DAQ system
  • Programs for data acquisition written in LABVIEW


We perform several voltammetric and amperometric techniques, so state-of-the-art instrumentation plays an essential role for accurately and efficiently performing these techniques. The CHI Electrochemical Workstation lets us accomplish this, and because this instrument is also outfitted with a multiplexer, multiple electrochemical experiments can be run in sequence to maximize efficiency without sacrificing sensitivity.

  • Dagan Chem-Clamp potentiostat offers low limit of detection while also greatly reducing background noise
  • CHI Electrochemical Workstation potentiostat offers multiplexing capabilities, allowing multiple electrochemical experiments to be run in sequence
  • Ametek VersaSTAT 3 galvanostat capable of performing multiple types of electrochemical experiments

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Optical Microscopy

The Carl Zeiss Axio Observer 3 is an inverted microscope that we use for single cell measurements and imaging, and its accompanying software and camera enables high resolution imaging. Its high resolution is also utilized to characterize our probes and electrochemical sensors. Various benchtop light microscopes are also frequently used for observation of probes and other more routine characterizations.

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