A novel method based on AFM was used to attach individual collagen fibrils between a glass surface and the AFM tip, to allow force spectroscopy studies of these. The fibrils were deposited on glass substrates that are partly coated with Teflon AF®. A modified AFM tip was used to accurately deposit epoxy glue droplets on either end of the collagen fibril that cross the glass-Teflon AF® interface, as to such attach it with one end to the glass and the other end to the AFM tip. Single collagen fibrils have been mechanically tested in ambient conditions and were found to behave reversibly up to stresses of 90 MPa. Within this regime a Young's modulus of 2-7 GPa was obtained. In aqueous media, the collagen fibrils could be tested reversibly up to about 15 MPa, revealing Young's moduli ranging from 0.2 to at most 0.8 GPa.
- collagen fibrils
- Mechanical properties
- Atomic force microscopy (AFM)
- force spectroscopy