Near-field scanning optical microscopy: a tool for nanometric exploration of biological membranes

Dickenson, Nicholas E.; Armendariz, Kevin P.; Huckabay, Heath A.; Livanec, Philip W.; Dunn, Robert C.
January 2010
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Jan2010, Vol. 396 Issue 1, p31
Academic Journal
Near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) is an emerging optical technique that enables simultaneous high-resolution fluorescence and topography measurements. Here we discuss selected applications of NSOM to biological systems that help illustrate the utility of its high spatial resolution and simultaneous collection of both fluorescence and topography. For the biological sciences, these attributes seem particularly well suited for addressing ongoing issues in membrane organization, such as those regarding lipid rafts, and protein–protein interactions. Here we highlight a few NSOM measurements on model membranes, isolated biological membranes, and cultured cells that help illustrate some of these capabilities. We finish by highlighting nontraditional applications of NSOM that take advantage of the small probe to create nanometric sensors or new modes of imaging.


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