Applications of atomic force microscopy in biophysical chemistry of cells

Zhao Deng, Valentin Lulevich, Fu-Tong Liu, Gang-yu Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


This article addresses the question of what information and new insights atomic force microscopy (AFM) provides that are of importance and relevance to cellular biophysical chemistry research. Three enabling aspects of AFM are discussed: (a) visualization of membrane structural features with nanometer resolution, such as microvilli, ridges, porosomes, lamellapodia, and filopodia; (b) revealing structural evolution associated with cellular signaling pathways by time-dependent and high-resolution imaging of the cellular membrane in correlation with intracellular components from simultaneous optical microscopy; and (c) qualitative and quantitative measurements of single cell mechanics by acquisition of force-deformation profiles and extraction of Young's moduli for the membrane as well as cytoskeleton. A future prospective of AFM is also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5971-5982
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 13 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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