Below a collection of some of our best images recorded with atomic
force microscopy and simulations performed with finite element analysis.
Static AFM, bio samples
AFM image from a hexagon formed by clathrin proteins. The images
was reconstructed from multiple AFM scans. The width of the hexagon is
30 nm and its height is 12 nm (Dannhauser et al.
actin filaments scanned in
liquid with monomer (4 nm) resolution. With this technique we found
malaria parasite actin assembled with a longer helical repeat than the
mamalian actin (Schmitz et al.
An actin filament simultaneously imaged with total internal reflection
fluorescence microscopy (the inset grey scale image) and AFM. This
combination of techniques allows us to localize and identify our
samples (Iwan Schaap
Reconstituted collagen filament showing the typical 68 nm banded
pattern, imaged in air (Paula Sánchez 2013).
One of the first high resolution
images of a microtubule imaged with AFM in liquid, single
are visible (Schaap et al.
decorated with kinesin
motors in presence of AMP-PNP. The motors are vissible as blobs on the
microtubule. Both heads of individual motors can just be distinguished
(Schaap et al. 2007).
decorated with kinesin
motors in presence of AMP-PNP imaged at higher resolution. The right
image shows a single kinesin motor bound with both heads onto one
protofilament. (Schaap et
Left: A 30 x 30 μm scan in air of a
scale of a butterfly wing which rests on a glass surface (Mitja Platen
Right: Zooming in reveals a 168 nm vertical
periodicity, which is in part responsible for the apparent colour of
the wing (Bodo Wilts 2009).
the left an atomic prediction of a DNA tetrahedron with a rib-length of
6 nm. At the right an AFM scan in liquid of the same structure obtained
with a 2 nm sharp AFM tip (Goodman et
DNA + nucleosomes on mica in liquid
& Szabolcs Soeroes 2010).
assembling 2D protein crystal on a lipid bilayer. The image size is 250
x 250 nm and the lattice periodicity ~5 nm (Frédéric Eghiaian 2012).
Static AFM, non-bio samples
Microscope coverslip before and
after cleaning (Eghiaian & Schaap 2011).
A 3 x 3 μm
a HOPG surface. The single layers are clearly visible
(Iwan Schaap 2011).
Nano porous alumina formed by
anodization, the spacing is 100 nm (Iwan Schaap 2007)
A 15 x 15 μm
segment of a
filter membrane (Iwan Schaap & Sai
tip mounted at the end of an cantilever (Olympus BL150) as seen through
a 100x, 1.49NA objective. The 7 μm long tip was touching the
microscope coverslip and is pointing towards the viewer (Kai Bodensiek
Single kinesin motor moving along
the microtubule at 1 µM ATP. Both heads of the motor are clearly
visible (Schaap et al. 2011).
Two single kinesin motors moving
along a single protofilament (Schaap et al. 2011).
An influenza virus that gets damaged during AFM imaging (
Dynamics of DNA loosely bound to a
mica surface (Sebastian Hanke 2011).
Sub-second imaging of DNA
(Sebastian Hanke 2011).
local elasticity of a fibroblast is measured by pushing a 800 nm
diameter bead against the cell (Paula Sánchez
bacterium is held by the laser trap, its flagella are just visible at
the left. The motion of the whole bacterium is recorded at 16 kHz, the
rotational frequency of the flagella is visible as a peak at 250 Hz in
the power spectrum (Sai Li 2009).
Finite element analysis
Finite element simulation of a
deformed liposome that was used to compute the membrane bending
rigidity (Li et al. 2011).
element simulation of the
radial indentation of a hollow cylinder, this was the initial model
that was used to understand the indentation of microtubules by AFM (de
Pablo et al.
A more advanced model of the microtubule in which also the
protofilaments are included (Schaap et
Finite element simulation of the
stiffness of a phi29 virus in different orientations, with and without
defects (Carrasco et al. 2011).
animation of the deformation of the phi29 virus. The height is 42 nm,
and the elastic modulus of the spherical end-caps is 6x higher than
that of the cylindrical part (Schaap 2012).
model of the protein shell of the icosahedral parvo virus. The pink
circles represent the local reinforcemenst made out of DNA. These DNA
patches increase the stiffness of the virus up to a 2-fold (Carrasco et al
simulation that was used to understand the deformation of the DNA
tetrahedron under load. The length of the ribs is 6 nm (Goodman et al