Biosensors and Force Measurements in Living Cells

Ninth Offering:  May 16th – 19th, 2017

Presented by: Computer Integrated Systems for Microscopy and Manipulation (CISMM)


Course Content:

Above: RhoA FRET biosensor in a moving fibroblast cell: Nature. 2009 Sep 3; 461(7260): 99–103.
  • Theory and use of the application of forces to cells, and the measurement of responses to forces, using fluorescence-based biosensors, a combined Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) – optical microscope system combined with vertical light sheet, and UNC’s magnetic tweezers system
  • Tuesday/Wednesday morning lectures: overview of mechanisms of force generation in cells, and analysis of applied forces at the molecular and cellular level; optical microscopy using FRET based biosensors and light activated signaling molecules
  • Tues/Wed/Thursday afternoon labs: hands on experiments using AFM, total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy, and magnetic force systems on live biological samples
  • Thursday/Friday Morning Lectures: Image Analysis using ImageJ/FIJI for quantifying microscope data (presented by Teng-Leong Chew, HHMI Janelia Research Campus)

KEY NOTE TALK: Brent Hoffman from Duke University


Who Should Come?

  • Students, post docs, faculty or industry personnel with some experience with Biology and Microscopy. No force measurement experience required

Instructors: Richard Superfine, Klaus Hahn, Teng-Leong Chew, Michael Falvo & Tim O’Brien

Fee: $300  (includes lab supplies, light breakfasts and snacks, and Keynote Dinner)


Location: Chapel Hill, NC (served by Raleigh-Durham Airport)

Above: The nucleus of a SKOV 3 ovarian cancer cell labeled with SYTO orange being compressed with an AFM tip. The cell is viewed with an inverted microscope from the side via PRISM (Pathway Rotated Imaging for Sideways Microscopy) and illuminated with our vertical light sheet system

Register Here

NOTE: Applications will be kept in order and we will notify you of acceptance based on space availability. There are 18 seats available for this year of the workshop.

Hotel information can be found here.
Hampton Inn & Suites – Carolina Workshop
A block of rooms has been set up at the Hampton Inn & Suites downtown Chapel Hill / Carrboro with a special rate of $114. The rate includes a full deluxe hot breakfast, Wi-Fi and parking. To reserve a room online please visit and use the Group Code CWK. To reserve a room by phone call the hotel @ 919 969 6988, press 0 and provide the name “Carolina Workshop”. To receive the special rate reservations must be made no later than May 1, 2017.

Please contact Cassandra Houston at or (919) 962-4057 with questions.

Directions and local information can be found here.




2012 Carolina Workshop on Forces andMeasurement and Manipulation in Biological Microscopy