Encyclopedia of Applied Electrochemistry

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerhard Kreysa, Ken-ichiro Ota, Robert F. Savinell

AFM Studies of Biomolecules

  • Ingrid Tessmer
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-6996-5_245


Atomic force microscopy (AFM) provides a prime approach to study biomolecules. Because the technique does not require modification of the samples, biological particles can be studied under near-physiological conditions. Structural information is obtained either by imaging or by mechanical manipulation of intramolecular bonding. Furthermore, AFM can be used to study intermolecular interactions, for instance of receptor-ligand pairs. The forces accessible to AFM cover the broad range from low picoNewton to microNewton, allowing to resolve even the breaking of single bonds. Resolution capabilities of AFM imaging are in the low nanometer range, sufficient to provide information at the level of the individual molecules. I will introduce the principle of AFM measurements, provide a brief overview of different types of applications on biomolecules including example experiments, and finally give a short outlook on recent developments in the field.

Principle of AFM

Atomic force...
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum, Experimentelle BiomedizinUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany