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Advances in scanning force microscopy of biological structures


Clark, Steven Manning (1993) Advances in scanning force microscopy of biological structures. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/0vhp-pk35.


A multifacted approach to the imaging of biological structures by scanning force microscopy is described. The major problems addressed are the distortion of biological samples by excessive forces applied by the cantilever stylus and sample motion relative to the imaging substrate.

The first two chapters discuss the design of digital signal processor based scanning force microscope control electronics and a novel microscope head that eliminates the application of excessive forces to the sample caused by electronic or vibrational noise.

The third chapter presents a novel use of chemical vapor deposition for application of heterofunctional alkoxysilanes to scanning force microscopy imaging subsrates. This technique provides imaging substrates which have chemical groups that can be used for sample immobilization without compromising substrate smoothness. The use of the chemically derivatized substrates for scanning force microscopy is also explored.

The final chapter presents high resolution images of bovine liver catalase micro-crystals. The images of the protein micro-crystals show resolution on the order of 2 to 3 nanometers allowing the visualization of individual catalase tetramers. To our knowledge this is the first report of images of protein micro-crystals taken by scanning force microscopy which have resolution comparable to that of electron microscopy.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Biology
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Major Option:Biology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Bjorkman, Pamela J.
Thesis Committee:
  • Revel, Jean-Paul
  • Baldeschwieler, John D.
  • Rees, Douglas C.
  • Hood, Leroy E.
  • Fraser, Scott E.
  • Wold, Barbara J.
Defense Date:23 November 1992
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:11192012-103302776
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7275
Deposited By: Dan Anguka
Deposited On:19 Nov 2012 19:12
Last Modified:08 Nov 2023 00:16

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