High-Resolution AFM-Based Force Spectroscopy
Methods in molecular biology, January 2018
Krishna P. Sigdel, Anna E. Pittman, Tina R. Matin, Gavin M. King
Atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based force spectroscopy is a powerful technique which has seen significant enhancements in both force and time resolution in recent years. This chapter details two AFM cantilever modification procedures that yield high force precision over different temporal bandwidths. Specifically, it explains a fairly straightforward method to achieve sub-pN force precision and stability at low frequencies (<50 Hz) by removing the metal coatings from a commercially available cantilever. A more involved procedure utilizing a focused ion beam milling machine is required to maintain high force precision at enhanced bandwidths. Both modification methods allow site-specific attachment of biomolecules onto the apex area of the tips for force spectroscopy. The chapter concludes with a comparative demonstration using the two cantilever modification methods to study a lipid-protein interaction.
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