Atomic force microscopy captures first images of DNA's double helix in water

Aug. 31, 2012
Researchers at the London Centre for Nanotechnology, led by Bart Hoogenboom, Ph.D., have used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to capture the first images of DNA's double helix in water.

Researchers at the London Centre for Nanotechnology, led by Bart Hoogenboom, Ph.D., have used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to capture the first images of DNA's double helix in water.

Hoogenboom's main research interest is where nanotechnology tools could be used to study and manipulate single biomolecules. He has identified AFM as the only instrument that provides ~1 nm spatial resolution on large biomolecules that are still functional and may be studied in the natural environment, such as in aqueous salt solution. To that end, AFM can visualize biological processes while they happen, and at the scale of single molecules. It also enables him to study electrostatic charge and nanomechanical rigidity.

Bart Hoogenboom, Ph.D., with his advanced AFM setup controlled by JPK's Vortis system (inset).

Hoogenboom notes that the AFMs they use (JPK Instruments' NanoWizard AFMs) are compatible with inverted optical microscopes, which enable larger-scale images of what they are viewing at the nanoscale. For experiments at higher spatial and time resolution, they also use home-built microscopes, he says. While using these microscopes, JPK has supplied them with its Vortis AFM controller.

Most current microscopes do not achieve any higher resolution on DNA than was achieved with the first AFM experiments in the early 1990s, says Hoogenboom.

The work has been published in Nano Letters; for more information, please visit http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl301857p.

-----

Follow us on Twitter, 'like' us on Facebook, and join our group on LinkedIn

Laser Focus World has gone mobile: Get all of the mobile-friendly options here.

Subscribe now to BioOptics World magazine; it's free!

Sponsored Recommendations

Request a free Micro 3D Printed sample part

April 11, 2024
The best way to understand the part quality we can achieve is by seeing it first-hand. Request a free 3D printed high-precision sample part.

How to Tune Servo Systems: The Basics

April 10, 2024
Learn how to tune a servo system using frequency-based tools to meet system specifications by watching our webinar!

Motion Scan and Data Collection Methods for Electro-Optic System Testing

April 10, 2024
Learn how different scanning patterns and approaches can be used in measuring an electro-optic sensor performance, by reading our whitepaper here!

How Precision Motion Systems are Shaping the Future of Semiconductor Manufacturing

March 28, 2024
This article highlights the pivotal role precision motion systems play in supporting the latest semiconductor manufacturing trends.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!