Images examples obtained by Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy

Information about SICM

What is SICM?

Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy (SICM) is a state-of-the-art nanometre imaging system. Its main application is to acquire topographic images of surfaces in electrolyte solutions. Images are created by scanning a (glass or quartz) nanopipette probe over the sample whilst measuring the ion current through the pipette. As the probe approaches the sample surface the ion current decreases. This unique feedback mechanism allows the nanopipette to avoid physical contact with the sample – meaning that SICM is particularly well suited for imaging soft samples such as live cells. 

SICM can be integrated with multiple techniques including recording of Young's Modulus surface, targeted patch-clamp, confocal microscopy, optical mapping, localized pharmacological application, or Forster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET), among others. 

Who I should contact?

Dr. Andrew Shevchuk, Centre Management Board:

Dr. Jose Sanchez-Alonso, Deputy Director:

Professor Julia Gorelik, Centre Director:


Selected publications using SICM

Circulation Research (2023) Functional LTCC-β2AR Complex Needs Caveolin-3 and Is Disrupted in Heart Failure Pubmed>

Nature Communications (2022) Intrinsic cell rheology drives junction maturation Pubmed>