Atomic force microscopy of living cells in vitro.

Project Details


After the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope by Binnig in 1981, two additional scanning probe microscopes (SPM) were developed, i.e. the atomic force microscope (AFM) and the scanning near field optical microscope (SNOM). In these microscopes, the specimen iS approached by a sharp tip ( radius 5 - 50 nm). The forces and distances between the the tip and the specimen are measured and depicted in greyscale images during scanning of the tip over the specimen. This can take place in dry or wet, even physiological conditions. Image resolution is in the order of 10 nm. We are going to use the AFM for the study of isolated, cultured liver endothelial cells. These cells are flat, smooth, strong, thin and well attached to the substratum and therefore seem to be ideal objects of study. We will investigate the dynamic changes of endothelial fenestrae after the application of ethanol, serotonin and cytochalasin. By coating of the tip with specific molecules, it must be possible in the future to study the ligand/receptor, antibody/antigen or substrate/enzyme interactions on the surface or the cytoskeleton of cells.
Effective start/end date1/01/9631/12/99


  • biology

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Basic sciences


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