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Atomic force microscopy and other scanning probe microscopies Helen G Hansma and Lía Pietrasanta
The highlight of the past year is the unfolding and refolding of the muscle protein titin in the atomic force microscope. A related highlight in the intersection between experiment and theory is a recent review of the effects of molecular forces on biochemical kinetics. Other advances in scanning probe microscopy include entropic brushes, molecular sandwiches and applications of atomic force microscopy to gene therapy.
Address Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA Current Opinion in Chemical Biology 1998, 2:579–584 http://biomednet.com/elecref/1367593100200579 © Current Biology Ltd ISSN 1367-5931 Abbreviations AFM atomic force microscopy/microscope SFM scanning force microscopy/microscope SICM scanning ion conductance microscopy/microscope SPM scanning probe microscopy/microscope STM scanning tunneling microscopy/microscope

A new journal, Probe Microscopy, was launched in 1997 as a forum specifically devoted to the science and technology of SPM. AFM and SFM have been also newsworthy items in Science and Nature in the past year [14••,15•–17•,18••,19]. An introduction to AFM is covered well in a recent issue of Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, which describes and illustrates the design and mode of operation of AFM [4••]. The AFM images sample surfaces by raster-scanning a sharp tip back and forth over the surface. The tip is on a cantilever that responds to height changes on the sample surface in a way that generates a topographical map of the surface. We build on this excellent introduction by presenting some of the many advances in SPM that have occurred since that review was written. (The accompanying images are from AFM research in the authors’ lab).

Atomic force microscopy imaging
Proteins Entropic brush…...

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