Actin filament dynamics in living glial cells imaged by atomic force microscopy

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Science  25 Sep 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5078, pp. 1944-1946
DOI: 10.1126/science.1411511


Observation of filamentous actin (F-actin) in living cells is currently limited to the resolution of the light microscope. Higher resolution procedures require sample fixation and preclude dynamic studies. The atomic force microscope (AFM) can image and manipulate samples at very high, sometimes atomic resolution by scanning a fine tip over the surface of interest and detecting physical interactions between the tip and sample. This study demonstrates that F-actin can be readily resolved in living cells with the AFM and that the dynamic properties of F-actin are easily observed.

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