Optics11 Chiaro Nanoindenter

Chiaro Nanoindenter

The Optics11 Chiaro is the only Nanoindenter in Australia. It measures force and displacement to investigate the micro-mechanical properties of biomaterials ranging in stiffness between 10 Pa and 1 GPa. These include single cells, native or engineered tissues, spheroids/organoids, hydrogels, biofilms and other non-organic specimens.

The Chiaro is combined to the LSM700 Inverted Confocal Microscope, allowing high-resolution imaging of mechanically characterized material which enables structure-stiffness analysis or more advanced mechanobiology experiments such as mechanically stimulate cells to induce calcium waves or measure cardiac cell beating amplitude.

System Specifications

Chiaro Nanoindenter

  • Load, indentation-depth, or displacement-controlled experiments
  • Quasi-static indentation and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA)
  • Mechanical mapping of 12x12mm area at 1um step size
  • In-suite modelling of Young's Modulus
  • Dynamic indentation and cyclical force application (0.01 - 10 Hz)
  • Optics11Life Chiaro Nanoindentation software with automated find-surface function and fully customisable experiments
  • Optics11Life Dataviewer software to easily review load-indentation curves and mechanical maps and to optimize mechanical model parameters:
    • Hertz
    • Oliver-Phar
    • JKR mechanical models for elastic
    • elastic-plastic and adhesive materials
    • DMA analysis for viscoelastic characterization


See LSM700 Inverted Confocal Microscope

Technical Specifications

Chiaro Nanoindenter Specifications


Assess stiffness and viscoelastic properties of biological or inorganic specimens to compare mechanical properties. For example;

  • injured vs healthy heart tissue
  • corneal stiffness over time
  • viscoelasticity of different brain regions, and more

Acquisitions post-processing

DataViewer analysis


Stiffness/viscoelasticity of [specimen] was tested using a CHIARO nanoindenter system (Optics11, Amsterdam, The Netherlands). A colloidal probe with a spring constant of [x] N/m and a diameter of [n] μm was used. Before testing, the sensitivity calibration of the cantilever was conducted by indenting a hard surface (i.e. a glass Petri dish).

Micro Imaging Facility Support

  • Full training on the Chiaro Nanoindenter
  • Full training for fixed and live imaging on the LSM700 Inverted confocal microscope
  • Reusable probes to be purchased by users
  • Fee for service


Dr Scott Page, BSc, PhD
Head, Micro Imaging Facility

Discover more instruments from the Micro Imaging Facility Visit other Innovation Centre Facilities

Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land, the Gadigal of the Eora nation, on which we meet, work, and discover.
Our Western Australian laboratories pay their respect to the Whadjuk Noongar who remain as the spiritual and cultural custodians of their land.