Student-focused development of a next-generation centrifuge force microscope [article]

Kassidy J Tompkins, Elijah T Berscheid, Nitin Venkatesh, Adamek J Andrew, Aaron P Beckman, Mark A Esler, Andrew C Evans, Blake A Everett, Mohamed Houtti, Hyunwoo Koo, Lauren A Litzau, Andrew T Nelson (+4 others)
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
Advanced biological molecule force probing methods such as atomic force microscopy and optical tweezers used to quantify forces at the single-molecule level are expensive and require extensive training and technical knowledge. However, the technologies underlying a centrifuge force microscope (CFM) are relatively straight forward, allowing for construction by labs with relatively low budgets and minimal training. Design ideas from previously constructed CFMs served as a guide in the development
more » ... of this CFM. There were two primary goals: first, to develop an inexpensive, functional CFM using off-the-shelf and 3D printed parts; and second, to do so in the context of providing an educational experience for a broad range of students. The team included high school students and undergraduates from local high schools, the University of Minnesota, and other local higher education institutions. This project created an environment for student-focused development of the CFM that fostered active learning, individual ownership, as well as excellence in research. The instrument discussed herein represents a fully functional CFM designed and built by a postdoctoral researcher and a graduate student who together mentored several high school and undergraduate students.
doi:10.1101/2020.08.30.274373 fatcat:gsqn45wytbhrbaikw5cl2pgrty