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Unsay J.D.,Interfaculty Institute for Biochemistry | Unsay J.D.,Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (Stuttgart) | Unsay J.D.,German Cancer Research Center | Cosentino K.,Interfaculty Institute for Biochemistry | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Visualized Experiments | Year: 2015

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a versatile, high-resolution imaging technique that allows visualization of biological membranes. It has sufficient magnification to examine membrane substructures and even individual molecules. AFM can act as a force probe to measure interactions and mechanical properties of membranes. Supported lipid bilayers are conventionally used as membrane models in AFM studies. In this protocol, we demonstrate how to prepare supported bilayers and characterize their structure and mechanical properties using AFM. These include bilayer thickness and breakthrough force. The information provided by AFM imaging and force spectroscopy help define mechanical and chemical properties of membranes. These properties play an important role in cellular processes such as maintaining cell hemostasis from environmental stress, bringing membrane proteins together, and stabilizing protein complexes. © 2015 Journal of Visualized Experiments. Source

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