Comments by Manfred Radmacher,University of California, Santa Barbara
The development of such high-resolution visualization instruments as the atomic force microscope (AFM) has played an important role in the study of cellular and macromolecular structures, notes biophysicist Manfred Radmacher, currently a postdoctoral scientist in the physics department at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
With resolution capabilities comparable to those of electron microscopes, the AFM--which gives information on surface topography of a sample--can be operated in native environments without the need for fixing samples, he explains. In this paper, the authors have described a technique called force modulation and extended the applications of the AFM to incorporate information on elasticity.
"Besides looking at the shape of a surface, we can now find out the...