Multiparametric imaging of biological systems by force-distance curve-based AFM

Nat Methods. 2013 Sep;10(9):847-54. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2602.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / cytology
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force / instrumentation
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force / methods*
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Nanotechnology / methods
  • Proteins / analysis
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Viruses / metabolism


  • Proteins