Nanosurf is a company based in Liestal which has been developing and manufacturing unique scanning probe microscopes for almost two decades. They help professionals capture, analyse, and present material surface information with subnanometer resolution. Even the NASA approached Nanosurf in order to get a small atomic force microscope for the 2008 Phoenix mission to Mars where the tiny AFM measured dust particles in search for water traces.
The three founders of Nanosurf are Dominik Brändlin, Lukas Howald and Robert Sum, current CEO is Urs Matter. They had been part of a research group from the University of Basel, headed by Professor Joachim Güntherodt, one of the leading Nanoscientists in Switzerland who sadly passed away recently.
In collaboration with the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (Group of Prof. Roderick Lim), Nanosurf developed «ARTIDIS» (Automated Reliable Tissue DIagnosticS). The method provides nanomechanical investigations of tissues such as Breast, Cartilage or Retina to understand and diagnose diseases like osteoarthritis and cancer. It can provide a characteristic nanomechanical «fingerprint» that allows automatic classification in case of cancer into healthy tissue, benign material, or malignant tumor. The potential seems great as Robert Sum explains: «The University group tested over 200 patients for cancer with this minimal-invasive method. The results were 100% in compliance with the compared conventional methods but much faster and more specific – so far very encouraging and a good benefit for patients.»
The picture is an eye catcher and a wonderful visualisation of the small nano world. «Micronaut» Martin Oeggerli took it, he is a Swiss science photographer based in Allschwil (BL). Early in 2014, he was awarded with «Best Scientific Cover Image» for the fourth time in six years. Since 2005 his works are published by big players in science and media such as BBC, CELL. VOGUE and National Geographic. To the Micronaut homepage