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Mechanical properties of living cells are important for cell shape, motility, and cellular responses to biochemical and biophysical signals. Although these properties are predominantly determined by the cytoskeleton, relatively little is known about the mechanical organization of cells at a subcellular level. We have studied the cell cortex of bovine(More)
We describe the morphology and mechanical stability of the apical surface of MDCK monolayers by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Living cells could be imaged in physiological solution for several hours without noticeable deterioration. Cell boundaries appear as ridges that clearly demarcate neighboring cells. In some cases the nucleus of individual cells(More)
Microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) are thought to control spacing between microtubules. We propose that the projection domain is largely unstructured and exerts a long-range repulsive force that is predominantly entropic in origin, providing a physical mechanism for maintaining spacing. To test this hypothesis, we developed an experimental system where(More)
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) allows rapid, accurate, and reproducible visualization of DNA adsorbed onto solid supports. The images reflect the lengths of the DNA molecules in the sample. Here we propose a solid-state DNA sizing (SSDS) method based on AFM as an analytical method for high-throughput applications such as finger-printing, restriction mapping,(More)
An atomic force microscope (AFM) was used to study the structure of isolated hepatic gap junctions in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). The thickness of these gap junctions appears to be 14.4 nanometers, close to the dimensions reported by electron microscopy (EM). When an increasing force is applied to the microscope tip, the top membrane of the gap(More)
The extracellular surface of the gap junction cell-to-cell channels was imaged in phosphate-buffered saline with an atomic force microscope. The fully hydrated isolated gap junction membranes adsorbed to mica were irregular sheets approximately 1-2 microns across and 13.2 (+/- 1.3) nm thick. The top bilayer of the gap junction was dissected by increasing(More)
The spatial and temporal changes of the mechanical properties of living cells reflect complex underlying physiological processes. Following these changes should provide valuable insight into the biological importance of cellular mechanics and their regulation. The tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM) can be used to indent soft samples, and the force(More)
The atomic force microscope has the potential to monitor structural changes of a biological system in its native environment. To correlate them with the biological function at a molecular level, high lateral and vertical resolution are required. Here we demonstrate that the atomic force microscope is capable of imaging the surface of the hexagonally packed(More)
A long-range repulsive force near isolated neurofilaments was detected by exclusion of large molecules and by direct force measurements with atomic force microscopy. Adsorption of isolated native neurofilaments to a solid substrate in a high-salt solution (170 mM NaCl), in the presence of coisolating contaminants, shows that the contaminants are excluded(More)