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Biochemistry. 1997 Jun 17;36(24):7457-63.

Detection of antigen-antibody binding events with the atomic force microscope.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Nottingham, U.K.


An atomic force microscope (AFM) has been used to directly monitor specific interactions between antibodies and antigens employed in an immunoassay system. Results were achieved using AFM probes functionalized with ferritin, and monitoring the adhesive forces between the probe and anti-ferritin antibody-coated substrates. Analysis of the force distribution data suggests a quantization of the forces, with a period of 49 +/- 10 pN. This periodic force may be attributed to single unbinding events between individual antigen and antibody molecules. These results demonstrate that the AFM could be employed as an analytical tool to study the interactions between the molecules involved in biosensor systems. The potential of the technique to provide information relating to the manner in which the antibody molecule binds to its specific antigen is also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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