Ultra-high resolution imaging of DNA and nucleosomes using non-contact atomic force microscopy

Emma Davies, Kar Seng Teng, Robert Steven Conlan, Stephen Patrick Wilks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Visualisation of nano-scale biomolecules aids understanding and development in molecular biology and nanotechnology. Detailed structure of nucleosomes adsorbed to mica has been captured in the absence of chemical-anchoring techniques, demonstrating the usefulness of non-contact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) for ultra-high resolution biomolecular imaging. NC-AFM offers significant advantages in terms of resolution, speed and ease of sample preparation when compared to techniques such as cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography. In the absence of chemical modification, detailed structure of DNA deposited on a gold substrate was observed for the first time using NC-AFM, opening up possibilities for investigating the electrical properties of unmodified DNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1702-1706
Number of pages5
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 14 2005


  • Atomic force
  • MeSH: DNA
  • Microscopy
  • Molecular biology
  • Molecular structure
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nucleosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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