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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 18, Iss. 23 — Nov. 8, 2010
  • pp: 23924–23932

Label-free optical imaging of membrane patches for atomic force microscopy

Allison B. Churnside, Gavin M. King, and Thomas T. Perkins  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 23, pp. 23924-23932 (2010)

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In atomic force microscopy (AFM), finding sparsely distributed regions of interest can be difficult and time-consuming. Typically, the tip is scanned until the desired object is located. This process can mechanically or chemically degrade the tip, as well as damage fragile biological samples. Protein assemblies can be detected using the back-scattered light from a focused laser beam. We previously used back-scattered light from a pair of laser foci to stabilize an AFM. In the present work, we integrate these techniques to optically image patches of purple membranes prior to AFM investigation. These rapidly acquired optical images were aligned to the subsequent AFM images to ~40 nm, since the tip position was aligned to the optical axis of the imaging laser. Thus, this label-free imaging efficiently locates sparsely distributed protein assemblies for subsequent AFM study while simultaneously minimizing degradation of the tip and the sample.

© 2010 OSA

OCIS Codes
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(180.0180) Microscopy : Microscopy
(180.3170) Microscopy : Interference microscopy
(180.5810) Microscopy : Scanning microscopy

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: August 9, 2010
Revised Manuscript: October 15, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: October 26, 2010
Published: October 29, 2010

Virtual Issues
Vol. 6, Iss. 1 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Allison B. Churnside, Gavin M. King, and Thomas T. Perkins, "Label-free optical imaging of membrane patches for atomic force microscopy," Opt. Express 18, 23924-23932 (2010)

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