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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1193; doi:10.3390/ijms19041193

Atomic Force Microscopy Based Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy in Biology

1
Institute of Photo-biophysics, School of Physics and Electronics, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, China
2
Laboratory of Functional Molecules and Materials, School of Physics and Optoelectronic Engineering, Shandong University of Technology, Xincun West Road 266, Zibo 255000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atomic Force Microscopy for Biological Applications)
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Abstract

Most biological phenomena occur at the nanometer scale, which is not accessible by the conventional optical techniques because of the optical diffraction limitation. Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS), one of the burgeoning probing techniques, not only can provide the topography characterization with high resolution, but also can deliver the chemical or molecular information of a sample beyond the optical diffraction limitation. Therefore, it has been widely used in various structural analyses pertaining to materials science, tissue engineering, biological processes and so on. Based on the different feedback mechanisms, TERS can be classified into three types: atomic force microscopy based TERS system (AFM-TERS), scanning tunneling microscopy based TERS system (STM-TERS) and shear force microscopy based TERS system (SFM-TERS). Among them, AFM-TERS is the most widely adopted feedback system by live biosamples because it can work in liquid and this allows the investigation of biological molecules under native conditions. In this review, we mainly focus on the applications of AFM-TERS in three biological systems: nucleic acids, proteins and pathogens. From the TERS characterization to the data analysis, this review demonstrates that AFM-TERS has great potential applications to visually characterizing the biomolecular structure and crucially detecting more nano-chemical information of biological systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: atomic force microscopy based TERS (AFM-TERS); optical diffraction limitation; proteins; nucleic acids; pathogens atomic force microscopy based TERS (AFM-TERS); optical diffraction limitation; proteins; nucleic acids; pathogens
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Gao, L.; Zhao, H.; Li, T.; Huo, P.; Chen, D.; Liu, B. Atomic Force Microscopy Based Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy in Biology. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 1193.

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