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Evaluating the mechanical properties of living cells using atomic force microscopy (AFM) - PHYS 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

INSTRUCTIONS - PROFESSORS: Please print and review this form. Complete or correct the sections, as applicable, from "Supervisor's Name" to "Ethics, safety, and training". Please sign and date near the bottom ("Supervisor's signature").

INSTRUCTIONS - STUDENTS: You may receive this form by email, or you may download it after it has been posted here. Either way, print and review this form. Complete or correct the sections, from "Student's Name" to "Student's Level", and sign ("Student signature"). Ask your supervisor to sign her/his section near the bottom. Take it to the department* corresponding to the course number in Section A; this may or may not be your own department. (* EXCEPTIONS: For NSCI 396 and COGS 396, please bring it to the Interdisciplinary Programs Adviser in Dawson Hall.) Do not register for a '396' course on Minerva until you receive departmental permission. Have a discussion with your supervisor about time/work expectations, keeping in mind that this is a 3-credit course (roughly, 10 hours per week for 12 weeks). Remember that a '396' course is an elective.

INSTRUCTIONS - DEPARTMENTS: After the unit chair/director/designate approves (or not) this project, please notify student. If approved, please give student permission to register on Minerva, and send a copy of this form (with signatures) to the Office for Undergraduate Research in Science (either fax, or internal mail to Dawson Hall 408-A, or PDF scan + email).

QUESTIONS OR FEEDBACK? Contact the Office for Undergraduate Research in Science.

Supervisor's Name: Peter Grutter

Supervisor's Email: grutter [at] physics [dot] mcgill [dot] ca

Supervisor's Phone: 514 398-6483

Supervisor's Website: www.physics.mcgill.ca/~peter

Supervisor's department: Physics

Course number: PHYS 396 (Physics)

Term: Winter 2013-2014

Project start date: Monday, January 6, 2014

Project end date: Friday, April 11, 2014

Project title: Evaluating the mechanical properties of living cells using atomic force microscopy (AFM)

Project description (50-100 words suggested): Mechanical properties of cells play important roles in many biological processes including cell differentiation, regeneration and disease. We propose to measure the elastic modulus of different cell types using AFM. This method consists in indenting a cell with the tip of an AFM cantilever and measuring the applied force from the bending of the cantilever. Fitting the force-indentation curve to the Hertz model can give quantitative measurements of cell stiffness. We intend to combine the Hertz model and compression formulas for different geometries to obtain equations that more precisely express the mechanical properties of cells with different morphological characteristics.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): final report 75%; Lab work 25%.

Project status: This project is taken. The professor has no more '396' projects this term.

Student's Name:

Student's McGill ID:

Student's McGill Email:

Student's Phone:

Student's Program:

Student's Level (U0 / U1 / U2 / U3):

Student's signature - I certify that this course is with a different supervisor and on a different topic than any previous '396' course I have taken. I have not applied for another '396' course in this term:

Supervisor's signature - I give my permission for the student identified above to register for this project under my supervision:


Unit chair/director/designate's name:

Unit chair/director/designate's signature - I certify that this project conforms to departmental requirements for 396 courses: