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J Am Chem Soc. 2013 May 1;135(17):6399-402. doi: 10.1021/ja401036t. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

A switchable surface enables visualization of single DNA hybridization events with atomic force microscopy.

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School of Natural Sciences, University of California, Merced, 5200 N Lake Rd., Merced, California 95343, USA.


Here we describe a novel surface that enables direct visualization of the hybridization of single DNA molecules with an unprecedented resolution using atomic force microscopy. The surface consists of single-stranded DNA probes that are covalently anchored to a self-assembled monolayer. The surface satisfies the contradictory requirements for high-resolution imaging and hybridization by switching the DNA-surface interaction between a strong state and a weak state. Our approach opens up unique opportunities in elucidating hybridization at the molecular scale.

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