Micromechanics redefined


Any sample, any environment

Designed to measure the micro-mechanical properties of the most complex materials in challenging environments, the Piuma and Chiaro instruments deliver uncompromised performance for a broad range of applications.

Key features:

  • Capture complex mechanical behavior over-time
  • Accurate, fast, and easy to use
  • Measure in air or liquids
  • Bridge the gap from nano to macro

Whether you are looking to analyze cell mechanics, tissue properties or biomaterial performance, the Piuma and Chiaro instruments deliver you the data you are looking for.

Cells and microtissues

Elucidate cell-force relations in static or dynamic force experiments.

Soft materials

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

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

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Tissues and cell cultures

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

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Polymers and microstructures

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

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How it works

Our Piuma and Chiaro instruments provide highly accurate and precise measurements of any sample in any environment with high 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 instruments use this sensor to gently push a spherical glass tip on the surface of the sample. By closely monitoring the resulting sample deformation, the instrument 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 user-friendly instrument to assess the mechanical properties of living tissue (eg. tissue explants) and engineered tissue in-vitro. Also I found Piuma a very powerful instrument to follow the mechanical properties of growing in-vitro tissues, and study tissue culture evolution over-time.

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

The Piuma not only allows us to test the same hydrogel samples before and after testing their functionality, but also provides us the ability to probe spatial characteristics. This opens up new capabilities 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 use our instruments today. Find a brief overview of some recent publications below:

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Two versions of our micromechanical instruments exist: the Piuma and the Chiaro. Discover their applications below.

Ernst Breel

Curious to explore how our instruments can enable your research?

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