This event aims to bring together the AFM community to tackle the lack of consensus across the field regarding data analysis and availability. Many research groups spend time and resources designing and creating software for quantitative analysis of AFM data, however these methodologies are rarely used by other research groups.

In this informal meeting we will have two sessions which will focus on developing solutions for quantitative analysis of AFM data. The first will focus on analysis of force spectroscopy data, headed by plenary speaker Dr. Nuria Gavaria. The second will focus on analysis of imaging data, headed by plenary speaker Dr. George Heath. Both sessions will focus on the development of tools to extract useful and quantitative information from raw data.

We encourage contributed presentations from the community to present the range of approaches currently being employed in quantitative analysis of AFM data.

The day will end with a discussion session, where we hope to develop a robust and reproducible open strategy for the field.

Scientific Organisers

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    Dr Alice Pyne

    University of Sheffield
    lice Pyne is a Lecturer in Polymers/Soft Matter & MRC/UKRI Innovation Fellow in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield. Alice has over a decade of experience in scanning probe microscopy, spanning high-speed and high-resolution imaging, probe development and cantilever sensing. Alice’s current research aims to understand how variations in DNA structure can affect fundamental biological processes such as replication and transcription. She uses high-resolution AFM to observe variability in structure and conformation in individual DNA molecules and  to understand how these variations influence interactions with oligonucleotides and proteins, with a long-term view to improved development of therapeutics.

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    Professor Jamie Hobbs

    AFM & Scanning Probe Microscopies Section Deputy Chair

    University of Sheffield
    Jamie received a BSc in Physics from the University of Bristol in 1991, followed by a PhD in polymer physics, also from Bristol. Following work with Peter Barham and Andrew Keller on polymer crystallization, he worked with Mervyn Miles using and developing AFM for studying polymers. He pioneered methods for following polymer crystallization in real time, and then co-developed a new high speed scanning (videoAFM) approach which led to the launch of a spin-out company, Infinitesima Ltd. On moving to Sheffield in 2004 he started to collaborate widely with biologists, as well as further developing AFM approaches for high speed and high resolution imaging. His work is now focused on the development and application of AFM for imaging living systems, in particular bacteria, plants and cancer.

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    Professor Sonia Contera

    AFM & Scanning Probe Microscopies Section Vice Chair

    University of Oxford
    Sonia is an Associate Professor in Biological Physics at the University of Oxford.  She works at the interface of nanomaterials, physics and biology and she is an expert in atomic force microscopy. Currently she collaborates with engineers, biologists, chemists and mathematicians in various multidisciplinary projects that range from understanding the mechanical aspects to plant growth to developing materials for tissue engineering, and developing methods for measuring mechanoelectrical coupling in neurons. She has a special interest in the role of mechanics in linking molecular function with cellular biology and in learning how  this knowledge can be used for creating better materials with applications in healthcare. Sonia often writes pieces for the general press , e.g. in WIRED magazine or the Huffington Post, and also works with international organisations such as the World Economic Forum.  She has just finished a book entitled "Transmateria: Nanotechnology and the future of biology and Medicine" and she is preparing a Soapbox Science "performance" with artist Ellen McAleavey for the Oxford Arts Festival.

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    Dr Ioanna Mela

    University of Cambridge
    Ioanna Mela is a Research associate in the Laser Analytics Group, in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. Ioanna has worked with high-speed and conventional atomic force microscopy (AFM) and she is currently developing and using correlative imaging platforms such as AFM/SIM, AFM/STED and AFM/FLIM. Her research interests are focused on developing DNA nanostructures that can specifically interact with bacterial targets while carrying active antimicrobials and she is bringing together different microscopy techniques to understand, characterise and quantify those interactions, with the view to develop antimicrobial drug delivery vehicles.

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    Dr Laia Pasquina Lemonche

    University of Sheffield
    Laia Pasquina Lemonche is a Research Associate in Professor Jamie Hobbs’ group at University of Sheffield. She graduated from Physics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) in 2015. Then, she received a Master in Nanobiotechnology and Nanoscience  at UAB in 2016. Then, she started her PhD in Biophysics at the University of Sheffield focused on deciphering the molecular architecture of gram-positive bacterial cell wall using AFM (L.Pasquina-Lemonche, J.Burns, et al, 2020, Nature). After her PhD, she keeps working in the Hobbs group focusing on understanding how the bacterial cell wall structure changes upon antibiotic treatments and other environments. Recently, she is developing new approaches to push the limits of resolution of biological material with AFM with the aim to study the peptidoglycan architecture of the cell wall more in detail.