A current challenge in the life sciences is to understand how biological systems change their structural, biophysical and chemical properties to adjust functionality. Addressing this issue has been severely hampered by the lack of methods capable of imaging biosystems at high resolution while simultaneously mapping their multiple properties. Recent developments in force-distance (FD) curve–based atomic force microscopy (AFM) now enable researchers to combine (sub)molecular imaging with quantitative mapping of physical, chemical and biological interactions. Here we discuss the principles and applications of advanced FD-based AFM tools for the quantitative multiparametric characterization of complex cellular and biomolecular systems under physiological conditions.
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This work was supported by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) (ALTF 506-2012); Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF); Belgian National Foundation for Scientific Research (FNRS); Université Catholique de Louvain; Belgian Federal Office for Scientific, Technical and Cultural Affairs (Interuniversity Poles of Attraction Programme); and Research Department of the Communauté Française de Belgique (Concerted Research Action).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Dufrêne, Y., Martínez-Martín, D., Medalsy, I. et al. Multiparametric imaging of biological systems by force-distance curve–based AFM. Nat Methods 10, 847–854 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.2602
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