Mechanical Characterization of Microalgae

Microalgae are photosynthetic micro-organisms that grow in water and sunlight and can be used in a plethora of applications. Like many other cells, understanding their mechanical properties requires detailed probing of these soft materials in fluids. In collaboration with a cellular mechanics lab, the PFTL is employing a variety of characterization techniques to ascertain the mechanical behavior of these solid materials which primarily live in water. Single-celled
Scenedesmus dimorphus
scenedesmus dimorphus    microalgae
PFTL Research Assistant(s):   Kristin M. Warren; Jeremiah N. Mpagazehe
Co-Advisor:   Prof. Philip LeDuc, Ph.D. (CMU)
Method(s) Employed:   Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) imaging and force probing; optical density absorption and transmission;
algae cultivation and analysis.
Rig(s) and/or Software(s) Employed:   Park Systems XE-70 AFM, Asylum Research MFP-3D-BIO AFM, Tecan Safire II Spectometer
Sponsor(s):   Gates Millennium Scholarship

Sample Results:

time graph scale  image


Select PFTL References:

Warren, K., Mpagazehe, J., LeDuc, P., Higgs III, C. F., "Understanding the Mechanical Properties of Microalgae using Atomic Force Microscopyā€¯, Proceedings of the ASME 2013 Summer Bioengineering Conference.