High-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) is a powerful tool for visualizing the dynamics of individual biomolecules. However, in single-molecule HS-AFM imaging applications, x,y-scanner ranges are typically restricted to a few hundred nanometers, preventing overview observation of larger molecular assemblies, such as 2-dimensional protein crystal growth or fibrillar aggregation. Previous advances in scanner design using mechanical amplification of the piezo-driven x,y-positioning system have extended the size of HS-AFM image frames to several tens of micrometer, but these large scanners may suffer from mechanical instabilities at high scan speeds and only record images with limited pixel numbers and comparatively low lateral resolutions (> 20–100 nm/pixel), complicating single-molecule analysis. Thus, AFM systems able to image large sample areas at high speeds and with nanometer resolution have still been missing. Here, we describe a HS-AFM sample-scanner system able to record large topographic images (≤ 36 × 36 µm2) containing up to 16 megapixels, providing molecular resolution throughout the image frame. Despite its large size, the flexure-based scanner features a high resonance frequency (> 2 kHz) and delivers stable operation even at high scans speeds of up to 7.2 mm/s, minimizing the time required for recording megapixel scans. We furthermore demonstrate that operating this high-speed scanner in time-lapse mode can simultaneously identify areas of spontaneous 2-dimensional Annexin A5 crystal growth, resolve the angular orientation of large crystalline domains, and even detect rare crystal lattice defects, all without changing scan frame size or resolution. Dynamic processes first identified from overview scans can then be further imaged at increased frame rates in reduced scan areas after switching to conventional HS-AFM scanning. The added ability to collect large-area, high-resolution images of complex samples within biological-relevant time frames extends the capabilities of HS-AFM from single-molecule imaging to the study of large dynamic molecular arrays. Moreover, large-area HS-AFM scanning can generate detailed structural data sets from a single scan, aiding the quantitative analysis of structurally heterogenous samples, including cellular surfaces.

An ultra-wide scanner for large-area high-speed atomic force microscopy with megapixel resolution / Marchesi, A.; Umeda, K.; Komekawa, T.; Matsubara, T.; Flechsig, H.; Ando, T.; Watanabe, S.; Kodera, N.; Franz, C. M.. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - ELETTRONICO. - 11:1(2021), p. 13003. [10.1038/s41598-021-92365-y]

An ultra-wide scanner for large-area high-speed atomic force microscopy with megapixel resolution

Marchesi A.
;
2021-01-01

Abstract

High-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) is a powerful tool for visualizing the dynamics of individual biomolecules. However, in single-molecule HS-AFM imaging applications, x,y-scanner ranges are typically restricted to a few hundred nanometers, preventing overview observation of larger molecular assemblies, such as 2-dimensional protein crystal growth or fibrillar aggregation. Previous advances in scanner design using mechanical amplification of the piezo-driven x,y-positioning system have extended the size of HS-AFM image frames to several tens of micrometer, but these large scanners may suffer from mechanical instabilities at high scan speeds and only record images with limited pixel numbers and comparatively low lateral resolutions (> 20–100 nm/pixel), complicating single-molecule analysis. Thus, AFM systems able to image large sample areas at high speeds and with nanometer resolution have still been missing. Here, we describe a HS-AFM sample-scanner system able to record large topographic images (≤ 36 × 36 µm2) containing up to 16 megapixels, providing molecular resolution throughout the image frame. Despite its large size, the flexure-based scanner features a high resonance frequency (> 2 kHz) and delivers stable operation even at high scans speeds of up to 7.2 mm/s, minimizing the time required for recording megapixel scans. We furthermore demonstrate that operating this high-speed scanner in time-lapse mode can simultaneously identify areas of spontaneous 2-dimensional Annexin A5 crystal growth, resolve the angular orientation of large crystalline domains, and even detect rare crystal lattice defects, all without changing scan frame size or resolution. Dynamic processes first identified from overview scans can then be further imaged at increased frame rates in reduced scan areas after switching to conventional HS-AFM scanning. The added ability to collect large-area, high-resolution images of complex samples within biological-relevant time frames extends the capabilities of HS-AFM from single-molecule imaging to the study of large dynamic molecular arrays. Moreover, large-area HS-AFM scanning can generate detailed structural data sets from a single scan, aiding the quantitative analysis of structurally heterogenous samples, including cellular surfaces.
2021
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/296832
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 6
  • Scopus 24
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 21
social impact