AFM Force measurements - from Single Molecules to Highly Parallel Applications

Filipp Oesterhelt

Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Am Fassberg 11, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany




The AFM as a tool to manipulate single molecules has opened a new sight to the nature of matter at the molecular level. The world of inter- and intramolecular forces. Forces can not be measured in an ensemble experiment and thus requiire single molecule techniques. Meanwhile many different systems were analysed according to their mechanical stability. Binding forces of specific molecular interactions are measured, the elasticity of single polymers was studied and the folding and unfolding of individual proteins under load is observed. Optical tweezers extend the range to sub pN forces. But until now, force measurements could not be done in a parallel manner, which would be required for industries high-throughput applications. After an overview is given on single molecule force experiments, a technique developed by the Munic based startup "nanotype" is introduced that allows to determine intermolecular forces in a very high parallel manner.