BioMAT™ Workstation - combining AFM and upright optical microscopy with uncompromised performance for opaque samples

The main problem limiting correlative microscopy on non-transparent samples has been providing simultaneous access for both techniques at the sample surface. In order to achieve the full capabilities of optical microscopy, objective lenses with an extremely short working distance are required, which leaves no space for AFM to access the same location. JPK’s BioMAT™ workstation now provides a solution which integrates the specific advantages of both upright optical microscopy and AFM.

JPKs NanoWizard® AFM provides outstanding performance. As well delivering high resolution imaging, unmatched characterization of the nano-mechanical and nano-electrical sample properties can also be achieved. With the BioMAT™ workstation, the AFM possibilities can be enhanced by nearly all upright microscopy techniques (brightfield, DIC, fluorescence, confocal laser scanning, FLIM FRET, FRAP, FCS, IR, Raman …)

The video shows the BioMAT™ design principle.

BioMAT™ shuttle stage – flexibility meets precision

The key element of the BioMAT™ Workstation design is a portable shuttle stage that carries the actual sample. The transfer of the shuttle stage from AFM to the microscope, or vice versa, allows precise transport of the sample between the field of view of the optics and the AFM scan range without losing position. This transfer can be repeated as often as necessary, allowing the sequential measurement of optics and AFM for time lapse studies. By using dipping lenses for the upright microscope, the setup is compatible with in-fluid operation.


The image shows the shuttle stage with the BioMAT™ PetriDishHeater™.

Biology and engineering: a whole new world of applications

The JPK BioMAT™ Workstation provides the ideal solution for the investigation of samples on non-transparent substrates, for example bacterial growth studies on metallic surfaces or studies on tissue sections. Even beyond biological investigations, the combination with optics provides added value for applications in surface chemistry and polymer sciences, nano-electrical measurements on semiconductors, or micromechanical (MEMS/NEMS) systems.

Investigation of two gram negativ Paracoccus Seriniphilus bacteria [1] and living CHO cells on gold electrode measured in the BioMAT™ PetriDishHeater™ [2] (click on the images for details).

Fields of application

Non-transparent samples
  • Biochips such as DNA or protein chips
  • Cell-electronics interfaces, cell chips or patterned substrates for cell growth
  • Tissue engineering and implants
  • Bacterial or yeast studies on non-transparent substrates like metals or plastics biofouling
  • Bionics studies
  • Plant biology
  • Nanostructured surfaces from PDMS or other imprints
  • Micromechanical (MEMS/NEMS) systems
  • Nanoparticles, powders, foams, paintings or thin films
  • Organic coatings on metals, plastics or silicone substrates for biocompatible surfaces
  • Nano-electrical measurements of electrical devices


Combination with confocal laser scanning microscopy

The combination of cutting edge optical microscopes, such as the Olympus LEXT OSL4100 [5], with high resolution AFM employs novel, experimental schemes in which quick and precise sample surveys may be combined with nm-scale, quick testing of geometry and secondary sample properties such as mechanical, electrical and magnetic characteristics.


The example shows an overview 3D profile of doped (p, n) semiconductor structure [1] acquired by LEXT. Corresponding AFM topography [2] and EFM image [3] of the marked region in (a). [4] Overlay of 3D AFM topography and EFM .
For details see the product note.

Key features

  • Completely integrated system together with an upright optical microscope and an AFM
  • Developed for the investigation of opaque samples in life and materials sciences with 100% performance of both techniques
  • Outstanding reproducibility of the focussed position (ROI) with both systems
  • Unique capability to investigate the ROI precisely with optics and AFM
  • Also perfect during operation in liquids
  • Wide range of applications: Biochips, cell chips or patterned substrates for cell adhesion, nanostructured surfaces from PDMS or other imprints, lipid bilayers, biomarkers such as quantum dots, rods, CNT ...
  • Flexible concept with shuttle stage
  • Both techniques can be operated even in different laboratory rooms
  • Now also compatible with the Olympus LEXT confocal laser scanning microscope, see the product note


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Setup Image Bio Mat