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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2014 Feb;61(2):547-56.

Probabilistic estimation of mechanical properties of biomaterials using atomic force microscopy.


Nanoindentation using contact-mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) has emerged as a powerful tool for effective material characterization of a wide variety of biomaterials across multiple length scales. However, the interpretation of force-indentation experimental data from AFM is subject to some debate. Uncertainties in AFM data analysis stems from two primary sources: The exact point of contact between the AFM probe and the biological specimen and the variability in the spring constant of the AFM probe. While a lot of attention has been directed toward addressing the contact-point uncertainty, the effect of variability in the probe spring constant has not received sufficient attention. In this paper, we report on an error-in-variables-based Bayesian change-point approach to quantify the elastic modulus of human breast tissue samples after accounting for variability in both contact point and the probe spring constant. We also discuss the efficacy of our approach to a wide range of hyperparameter values using a sensitivity analysis.

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