Force spectroscopy 101: How to design, perform, and analyze an AFM-based single molecule force spectroscopy experiment

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Abstract

Single molecule force spectroscopy presents a deceptively simple approach to probing interaction between molecules and molecular assemblies on the nanoscale by measuring forces that it takes to pull the molecules apart. Yet, a more detailed analysis reveals a wealth of different behaviors and interesting physics. This article aims to explore basic physical concepts behind these experiments from a strictly practical point of using these data to extract meaningful information about the interactions. It also focuses on different loading regimes in these experiments, different kinetics that they cause, and different data interpretation that is required for measurements in those regimes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-718
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

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Physical Phenomena
Physics
Spectrum Analysis
Spectroscopy
Molecules
Experiments
Kinetics
Single Molecule Imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry

Cite this

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abstract = "Single molecule force spectroscopy presents a deceptively simple approach to probing interaction between molecules and molecular assemblies on the nanoscale by measuring forces that it takes to pull the molecules apart. Yet, a more detailed analysis reveals a wealth of different behaviors and interesting physics. This article aims to explore basic physical concepts behind these experiments from a strictly practical point of using these data to extract meaningful information about the interactions. It also focuses on different loading regimes in these experiments, different kinetics that they cause, and different data interpretation that is required for measurements in those regimes.",
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