Direct AFM visualization of the nanoscale dynamics of biomolecular complexes

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22 Scopus citations


High-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) is an advanced technique with numerous applications in biology, particularly in molecular biophysics. Developed as a time-lapse AFM technique for direct imaging fully hydrated biological molecules, HS-AFM is currently capable of visualizing the dynamics of biological molecules and their complexes at a video-data acquisition rate. Spatial resolution at the nanometer level is another important characteristic of HS-AFM. This review focuses on examples of primarily protein-DNA complexes to illustrate the high temporal and spatial resolution capabilities of HS-AFM that have resulted in novel models and/or the functional mechanisms of these biological systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number403001
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number40
StatePublished - Aug 20 2018


  • AFM
  • chromatin dynamics
  • nanoscale dynamics
  • protein-DNA interactions
  • time-lapse imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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