Unlimited capabilities for material researchers


Designed to measure the micro-mechanical properties of the most complex materials in challenging environments, the Piuma and Chiaro Nanoindenters deliver uncompromised performance for a broad range of applications. Whether you need to analyze cells, hydrogels or tissues or define material performance parameters such as adhesion, swelling or degradation, the Piuma and Chiaro Nanoindenters deliver you the data you are looking for!

Cells and microtissues

Explore the micromechanical properties of cells and elucidate cell-force relations in static or dynamic experiments.

Soft materials

Define the micro-mechanics of soft matter including thin films and particles.

Download App Note


Characterize the softest hydrogels non-destructively and while immersed in liquids.

Download App Note

Tissues and cell cultures

Measure local micro-mechanical properties of tissues at the cell level.

Download App Note

Polymers and microstructures

Obtain mechanical data on any polymer with any shape in any environment.

Download App Note

How it works

Our nanoindenter instruments provide highly accurate and precise measurements of many samples in any environment with great speed and ease of use. These unique capabilities are enabled by making use of the Optics11 patented micro-machined fiber-optical sensors. The Piuma and Chiaro nanoindenters use this sensor to gently push a spherical glass tip on the surface of the sample. By closely monitoring the resulting sample deformation, the nanoindenter can rapidly provide all mechanical details of the indented spot, both under static and dynamic operation.



Our data is good , but the machine is excellent!

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Werner E. G. Müller
Institut für Physiologische Chemie, Universitat Mainz, Germany

We now are able to perform measurements on very low stiffness tissues, with a precision that allows us to study embryos. Colleagues are impressed and come with other challenges that the Piuma easily meets.

Prof. Dr. Ir. Smit
Dept. Orthopedic Surgery, VU University Medical Centre Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Piuma is a very powerful, reliable, and use-friendly instrument to assess the mechanical properties of both living tissue (eg. tissue explants) and in vitro developing engineered tissue. Furthermore, due to the possibility to perform non-destructive mechanical testing, I found Piuma a very powerful instrument to follow-up mechanical properties of growing in-vitro tissues, giving the possibility to study tissue evolution over culture time.

Dr. Francesco Urciuolo
Research Technologist at Instituto Italiano Tecnologia, Napoli, Italy

We are always looking for new ways of being less intrusive to the systems we create while still providing meaningful characterization results. The Piuma not only allows us to test the same hydrogel samples before and after testing their functionality, but allows us the ability to probe spatial characteristics. This opens up new capabilities not only for characterization, but also for further understanding of our system's mechanisms, thus aiding in our design process.

Dr. Jason Kahn
PostDoctoral researcher at the Willner lab, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Many research groups have been able to benefit from the unique capabilities of the Piuma and Chiaro instruments and published new research using our instruments. Below you can find an overview of recent publications:

Created with Sketch.

Related products

The Optics11 Nanoindenter instruments come in two variants: the Piuma Nanoindenter for atand-alone operation and the Chiaro Nanoindenter for operation with other instruments, such as an inverted microscope.

Ernst Breel

Curious to explore how our instruments can enable your research?

There are many ways to experience if our instruments can help you move forward. Please contact us to schedule for a conference meet-up, a remote or local demonstration or shipping over a sample for a trial measurement.

ernst.breel [at] optics11.com +31 20 598 8326