The nanoscale analysis of living cells using atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based techniques is an exciting, rapidly evolving research field. During the past years, there has been tremendous progress in using AFM to observe cell surfaces at high resolution, to study cellular mechanics, to localize cell surface receptors, and to measure the forces involved in cellular interactions. This timely book provides a comprehensive overview of the use of AFM and related scanning probe microscopies for cell surface analysis, from the basics to the applications. The book will appeal to anyone involved in cell biology, microbiology, biophysics, biochemistry, or nanobiosciences. It covers all cell types, from viruses and protoplasts to bacteria and animal cells, and discusses a range of advanced AFM modalities, including high-resolution imaging, nanoindentation measurements, recognition imaging, as well as single-molecule and single-cell force spectroscopy. The different chapters are authored by cutting-edge experts, each representing his or her specialized areas. Each chapter covers methodologies for sample preparation and analysis, and highlights recent examples to illustrate the power of AFM techniques in life sciences and nanomedicine.
"Atomic force microscopy (AFM) began as a topographical surface imaging technique, but its ability to measure the tiny forces experienced and exerted by cells and the molecules therein has made it an indispensible method for biological research. These forces are central to cell function, and no optical microscopy technique yet surpasses AFM methods for investigating these physical processes at the level of molecules and cells. Now, in this book devoted to the use of AFM in biology, leading scientists using these methods in their own research discuss the great variety of biological applications that have been developed and the many unique discoveries they have allowed. Accessible but informative descriptions and stunning images offer biologists an excellent introduction to this powerful but underexploited methodology. Any biologist considering the use of AFM in their own research is certain to find inspiration in this unique resource."
~Dr. Daniel Evanko, Chief Editor, Nature Methods
"Life at the Nanoscale provides a state-of-the-art overview about how atomic force microscopy (AFM) can be used to image living cells, to probe their attachment to substrates or to other cells, to measure their mechanical properties, and to assess the forces in single-molecule interactions. Experts in the field have contributed chapters that summarize their hands-on experience in concise, and hence most useful, reviews. So many insightful experiments have been achieved over the last decade, and many of them are now presented in this resourceful book, which comes timely for students and experts who have an interest in the interdisciplinary field of cell biology and in the application of tools that address single molecules."
~Prof. Andreas Engel, Case Western Reserve University, USA