text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
design element
News From the Field
For the News Media
Special Reports
Research Overviews
NSF-Wide Investments
Speeches & Lectures
NSF Current Newsletter
Multimedia Gallery
Search Multimedia
Multimedia in the News
NSF Executive Staff
News Archive

Email this pagePrint this page
SEM image showing biological force microscopy

SEM image showing biological force microscopy

A composite of a scanning electron microscope (SEM) image showing biological force microscopy (BFM), developed by National Science Foundation-funded researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Virginia State University. BFM measures nanoscale forces between a living microorganism and another surface such as a mineral or another cell. Such measurements are critical to understanding how bacteria and other microorganisms interact with their inorganic environments.

This image shows a bacterium (green) that has attached itself to a BFM cantilever (gold). Nanometer by nanometer, the researchers performing the work will bring a mineral crystal (blue) towards the cantilever, make contact and then withdraw the crystal. The cantilever bends due to either attractive or repulsive forces between the cell and mineral. A laser reflecting off the top of the cantilever hits a detector, measuring the nanoscale forces in real time.

Credit: Dr. Steven Lower, Department of Geology, University of Maryland; and Dr. Michael Hochella, Virginia Tech

General Restrictions:
Images and other media in the National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery are available for use in print and electronic material by NSF employees, members of the media, university staff, teachers and the general public. All media in the gallery are intended for personal, educational and nonprofit/non-commercial use only.

Images credited to the National Science Foundation, a federal agency, are in the public domain. The images were created by employees of the United States Government as part of their official duties or prepared by contractors as "works for hire" for NSF. You may freely use NSF-credited images and, at your discretion, credit NSF with a "Courtesy: National Science Foundation" notation. Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.

Also Available:
Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (938 KB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.


Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page