Microscopy Investigations of Biopolymers
Interfacial Engineering, University of Minnesota
187 Shepherd Laboratories, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
Scanning force microscopy (SFM) has opened doors to
fundamentally new kinds of biopolymer characterization.
Three-dimensional structural imaging down to the molecular scale
in important fluid environments is now possible. Dynamic
phenomena such as protein crystal growth, and the response to
nanomanipulations by the SFM probe, have been imaged in real
time. Biologically-specific adhesion measurements at the level of
single bonds have been reported, and two-dimensional adhesion
images obtained. Viscoelastic and frictional behavior in
condensed biopolymer systems have been probed down to the 10 nm
scale. This article provides an overview of these novel SFM
capabilities, as well as state-of-the-art structural imaging