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A look at membrane patches with a scanning force microscope

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Mosbacher,  Johannes
Department of Cell Physiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Ruppersberg,  J. Peter
Department of Cell Physiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Sakmann,  Bert
Department of Cell Physiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Hörber, J. K. H., Mosbacher, J., Häberle, W., Ruppersberg, J. P., & Sakmann, B. (1995). A look at membrane patches with a scanning force microscope. Biophysical Journal, 68(5), 1687-1693. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7612812.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-5658-4
Abstract
We combined scanning force microscopy with patch-clamp techniques in the same experimental setup and obtained images of excised membrane patches spanning the tip of a glass pipette. These images indicate that cytoskeleton structures are still present in such membrane patches and form a strong connection between the membrane and the glass wall. This gives the membrane patch the appearance of a tent, stabilized by a scaffold of ropes. The lateral resolution of the images depends strongly on the observed structures and can reach values as low as 10 nm on the cytoskeleton elements of a (inside-out) patch. The observations suggest that measurements of membrane elasticity can be made, opening the way for further studies on mechanical properties of cell membranes.