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Bacteriorhodopsin imaging with Bruker Dimension FastScan and Peak Force Tapping

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Stephen Minne Posted: Tue, Sep 13 2011 7:40 PM

See this new Nano Letters paper on ultrahigh resolution imaging and mechanical mapping of bacteriorhodopsin.

I thought I would post this link as nice example of the science that can be done using the AFMs high resolution imaging power, coupled with the inherent information available from mechanical tip-sample interaction. In the paper, Rico et. al. study the relation between the structure, function, and mechanics of membrane proteins. In particular, they focus on the study of the quantitative mechanical properties, at nanometer resolution, of purple-membrane (bacteriorhodopsin). Through extraordinarily high resolution images that are correlated to mechanical maps, the authors are able to show which proteins contribute to structure and which contribute to function. I think this is an important and exciting trend in bio AFM applications.

We followed this on a bit using samples provided by the authors to catch some of the dynamic processes and large scales using FastScan. Separately, In collaboration with Izhar Medalsy in Daniel Mueller's group at ETH we have also been able to demonstrate this high speed high resolution imaging using ultra low amplitude Peak Force Tapping on FastScan. You can see both presented in the video here:

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