Thermal methods are indispensable for the characterization of most materials. However, the existing methods require bulk amounts for analysis and give an averaged response of a material. This can be especially challenging in a biomedical setting, where only very limited amounts of material are initially available. Nano- and microelectromechanical systems (NEMS/MEMS) offer the possibility of conducting thermal analysis on small amounts of materials in the nano-microgram range, but cleanroom fabricated resonators are required. Here, we report the use of single drug and collagen particles as micro mechanical resonators, thereby eliminating the need for cleanroom fabrication. Furthermore, the proposed method reveals additional thermal transitions that are undetected by standard thermal methods and provide the possibility of understanding fundamental changes in the mechanical properties of the materials during thermal cycling. This method is applicable to a variety of different materials and opens the door to fundamental mechanistic insights.
Okeyo, P. O., Larsen, P. E., Kissi, E. O., Ajalloueian, F., Rades, T., Rantanen, J., & Boisen, A. (2020). Single particles as resonators for thermomechanical analysis. Nature Communications, 11(1), . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15028-y