Asylum Research


Petri Dish Holder and Heater

Accessories for the MFP-3D™ AFM

The MFP-3D Petri Dish accessories are ideal sample holders for mammalian cells that are cultured and imaged in Petri dishes. They are available in two configurations: the Petri Dish Holder, which provides a modified plate for Petri dishes, and the Petri Dish Heater, which provides heating to the sample from ambient to 45°C. The Heater is ideal for sensitive cell experiments that require near-native conditions. Both options accommodate a variety of Petri dish models.

Petri Dish Holder
The Petri Dish Holder is specifically designed for researchers who prefer to grow and image cells in culture dishes with minimal handling of their samples. The Holder is a modified sample plate that easily fits on the MFP-3D scanner. The kit includes a magnetic clamp to secure the dish to the plate, and a membrane to minimize evaporation. The Petri Dish Holder accepts a variety of glass-bottom and polystyrene dishes as well as typical 1" x 3" glass slides. The Petri Dish Holder comes standard with MFP-3D-BIO systems, and as an option for MFP-3D-SA systems.

Petri Dish Heater
The Petri Dish Heater is a version of the Petri Dish Holder which provides the additional capability of heating temperature-sensitive biological samples, specifically living cells, at physiologically-relevant temperatures ranging from ambient to 45°C.

Environmental Controller
The Petri Dish Heater requires the Environmental Controller (sold separately), which features closed loop temperature control of the sample to within 0.05°C in a steady state, with less than 0.1°C overshoot. Temperature is set from within the MFP-3D software. Sample temperature is recorded with each AFM image file and the temperature vs. time graph can be exported as text or in graphic file formats such as jpg, tiff, png, etc.


Petri Dish Holder

  • Provides open access to the cells inside the Petri dish when the head, with attached cantilever holder and membrane, is removed.
  • Includes a membrane that minimizes evaporation which fits over the magnetic clamp to form a soft seal.
  • The Dish Holder and Heater are compatible with high NA objectives.
  • The Dish Holder and Heater are also compatible with a number of glass-bottom and polystyrene dishes, as shown in the table on next page.

Petri Dish Heater
Same features/benefits as the Petri Dish Holder discussed above, plus:

  • The temperature of the scanner top plate can be controlled from ambient to 45°C with a resolution of approximately 0.05°C. Overshoot is less than 0.1°C.
  • Excellent temperature uniformity (see specifications).

Petri Dish Models
Both the Petri Dish Holder and Heater accommodate a variety of Petri dish models.

Glass-Bottom Culture Dishes (flush bottoms)
WillCo Wells WillCo-dish™ –
sterile, untreated, individually packaged
GWSt-5030 50 x 7mm, 30mm dia.
0.17mm thick glass well
GWSt-5040 50 x 7mm, 40mm dia.
0.17mm thick glass well
World Precision Instruments (WPI) Fluorodish –
sterile, untreated, individually packaged
FD5040-100 50 x 7mm, 35mm dia.
0.17mm thick glass well
Clear wall
FD5040B-100 50 x 7mm, 35mm dia.
0.17mm thick glass well
Black wall
Polystyrene Culture Dishes
BD Falcon 351006 50 x 9mm
Tight-Fit Lid
*Corning® 430165 35 x 10mm
Cell Culture Treated
*Corning 430166 60 x 15mm
Cell Culture Treated

*Requires vacuum grease for mounting.


More MFP-3D Environmental Accessories
The Petri Dish Holder and Heater are just two accessories in a suite of fluid imaging environmental accessories that can be used with the MFP-3D AFM depending on your experimental needs.

Closed Fluid Cell
This Closed Fluid Cell allows fluid imaging in a completely sealed and closed environment. The fluid cell includes ten inlet/outlet ports for fluid and gas exchange. It can also be operated in an open configuration where a soft seal membrane is used to minimize evaporation and contamination.

Fluid Cell Lite
Fluid Cell Lite is the economical choice for fluid imaging with a portless fluid dish and evaporation shield. Because there are no ports to be plugged, accidental leakage is prevented. It is ideal for multi-user facilities where each user can have their own dish.

Based on the Closed Fluid Cell, the BioHeater accessory allows heating fluids to 80°C in a completely sealed and closed environment. The BioHeater requires the Environmental Controller (sold separately).

See our web site for a complete list of all MFP-3D environmental accessories and additional product information.




Petri Dish Holder – Model PETRI-HDLR

The Petri Dish Holder includes the modified holder plate and a full Accessory Kit for installation and imaging.

Petri Dish Holder Accessory Kit

Petri dish holder plate 1
WPI cover glass dish #5040 1
Corning dish #430166 1
Falcon dish #351006 1
FKM (Viton® equivalent) and silicone closed cellmembrane/bellows, one each 1
Magnetic dish clamp 1
A variety of assembly tools  

Bottom optical access

For use with high NA objectives

Supported sample holders (dishes, slides)
- A variety of Petri dishes (see table above)
- 1" x 3" glass slides

Sample size/volume
- Liquid sample volume 1.5-2.5cc (dish dependent)
- 10mm maximum coarse sample translation

Petri Dish Heater – Model PETRI-HTR

The Petri Dish Heater includes the Heater plate and a full Accessory Kit for installation and imaging. Requires the Environmental Controller (purchased separately).

Petri Dish Heater Accessory Kit

Petri dish heater plate 1
WPI cover glass dish #5040 1
Corning dish #430166 1
Falcon dish #351006 1
FKM and silicone closed cell membrane/bellows, two each 2
Magnetic dish clamp 1
A variety of assembly tools  

Same specifications as Petri Dish Holder

Temperature control
- Ambient to 45°C temperature range
- 0.05°C resolution
- 0.1°C maximum overshoot

Temperature uniformity
Better than 0.1°C. Center hole is approximately 0.5°C cooler than the dish perimeter for a covered dish (dish must contain liquid to ensure temperature uniformity).

Requires Environmental Controller

Environmental Controller – Model ENVIRO

• Closed loop operation
• SmartStart for plug and play operation
• Operates at 110 or 220 VAC
• CE tested
• Built-in microprocessor for temperature control
• Fully programmable through the MFP-3D software


MFP-3D, BioHeater, and SmartStart are trademarks of Asylum Research. Other trademarks are those of their respective owners. Specifications and kit items subject to change without notice.



Download Petri Dish Holder and Heater PDF


Petri Dish Holder pictured with a WPI Petri dish secured by the magnetic clamp.



Top view of the Petri Dish Heater plate.



Temperature vs. time graph showing sensor (sample) temperature (black line), and heater output (red line). Temperature setpoint is 37°C.



The Environmental Controller, used in conjunction with the Petri Dish Heater, provides precise closed loop temperature control.



Schematic of the Petri Dish Heater assembly.



The Heater plate easily fits on the MFP-3D scanner.



Live MRC-5 fibroblasts. Phase contrast optical image of an AFM cantilever positioned over a cell (above, inset box) and 3D rendering of the AFM amplitude channel (below). The image was acquired in culture medium using AC mode, 80µm scan.



Fixed breast adenocarcinoma cells (MCF7 cell line) acquired in PBS using AC mode. The image is of a fairly continuous monolayer of cells. The cell margins between neighboring cells are clearly visible. 90µm scan.





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