Plasmid DNA (using High-Speed Module)

This is an image of plasmid DNA soft-landed on mica.
Even in high-speed scanning, the top and bottom of the overlapping DNA fibers can be clearly distinguished.



Membrane fusion of POPC
(using the Wide range observation module)

This is an observed image of POPC vesicles drifting in solution.The image shows the fusion of spherical vesicles and POPC membranes by increasing the tactile pressure.

Randomly colliding IgG
(using the Wide range observation module)

This is the collisional motion of IgG molecules in a molecular crowding environment.It is possible to capture molecules in a "live" state, which is impossible to observe using conventional biochemical methods.

=> See more movies and images

Module System High-speed AFM

The High-Speed Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is a microscope that allows you to visualize a nanoscale sample in air or solution condition with a high-resolution movie. 

MS-NEX is based on the SS-NEX (Sample Scan type High-speed AFM) model, but with a much simpler and easier handling. It features a module system which allows you to select only the functions you need. 

Various types of modules are available to be selected to fit your research and budgets.

*The High-Speed AFM was developed by Prof. Ando (Kanazawa Univ.) and commercialized by RIBM.


1. Flexible selection of various functions

MS-NEX which uses a module system make it easier to choose various functions modules that can be customized to fit your needs.
The modules can be added now, or later when needed. New developed function modules will also be in the lineup in the future. 

Example of module selection

2. Guide system

MS-NEX incorporates a guide system. It is feasible even for a beginner to operate the MS-NEX. The guide system will assist from sample preparation to sample observation.

3. [Under development] Scanning speed of up to 50 fps

We are working on improving the High-Speed Module to achieve even higher speed.We have been able to observe plasmid DNA at a scanning speed of 50 fps.

DNA is an easy sample to observe at high speed because it is small in height and relatively fragile.
Currently, we are working on improvements to achieve high-speed observation of protein molecules, which are taller and more fragile than DNA.

Plasmid DNA at 50 fps scanning speed

Scan Speed: 20 ms / frame (50 frame / sec)
Scan Range: 100 nm × 100 nm
Image Resolution: 100 px × 100 px


Standard system specification

Scan Speed

1 s / frame (1 frame / sec)
(Scan range: XY: 500 nm × 500 nm, resolution: 200 px × 200 px)

Scan Range XY: 4 µm × 4 µm,  Z: 0.7 µm
Image Resolution XY: 500 px × 500 px

Observation Environment

In air / In liquid. 
The observation solution can be added during AFM observation.

Observation Solution Volume

150 μL
Sample  Size Φ1.5 mm

Cantilever amplitude detection method

Sample and hold method

Probe Sensing Method

Optical lever method
Scanning Method Sample scan method
Control System PID control, Dynamic PID control
Measurement Mode AC mode (Topography image, Error image, Phase image)


  • Video acquisition (Possible data collection, data storage)
  • Control functions (Scan control, automatic approach control)
  • Frequency characteristics analysis of cantilevers
  • Number of frames: Save 1000 frames per video file
  • File storage method: Formats can be converted to a general-purpose video file format (Including AVI format and MPEG format)


  • Note1:
    Standard equipment specification includes standard scanner.

  • Note2:
    The maximum scanning range for each module is a typical value.
    Scan speed is a value under the conditions determined for each module, and does not guarantee the scanning speed in the maximum scanning range.



High-speed module

Suitable for high-speed observation such as enzyme reactions and protein structure changes.
* Scanner included


  1. Scan speed: 50 ms / frame (20 frames / sec )
  2. Scan range: XY: 0.7 µm×0.7 µm,  Z: 0.4 µm

Wide range observation module

Suitable for relatively large samples with a high scanning rate.
* Scanner included


  1. Scan speed: 10 s / frame (0.1 frames / sec )
  2. Scan range: XY: 30 µm×30 µm,  Z: 0.7 µm

Liquid perfusion module

Possible to change the observation solution during AFM observation.
Eg.: pH value and/or the buffer composition can be gradually changed during the measurement.

Temperature control module

Possible to increase the observation solution temperature from room temperature up to 40℃.

Illumination module

UV, visible and other excitation light is possible to be used.
Example of use: Caged ATP, photoisomerizable molecule

Force measurement module

Pinpoint force measurement: at a specified Position within the imaged area.

Force mapping measurement: Mechanical property distribution at measurement points in a grid.

OTI module

The new scanning method enables higher speed than conventional methods.

The newly developed OTI (Only Trace Imaging) method significantly reduces sample destruction.

Even fragile samples can be imaged approximately 1.6 times faster.

  • Note3:
    The maximum scanning range for each module is a typical value.
    Scan speed is a value under the conditions determined for each module, and does not guarantee the scanning speed in the maximum scanning range.