An artists depiction shows an atomic force microscope probe (not to scale) fishing for molecular sites recognized by an antibody tethered to the probe by a fine polymer thread. The new technique promises to vastly improve the capabilities of atomic force microscopy.
A team of researchers have developed a method that could vastly improve the ability of atomic force microscopes to "see" the chemical composition of a sample, follow variations of the sample, as well as map its topographic structure.
The advance could have significant implications for drug development by allowing scientists to monitor the effects of potential drugs on an ever-smaller scale, according to Stuart Lindsay, director of the Center for Single Molecule Biophysics at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University and a lead researcher on the project.
Lindsay, an ASU professor in the department of physics and astronomy said the new technique allows an atomic force microscope to "see," on a nanometer scale, the chemical composition of molecules.
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