Viruses and virus-related processes have been good targets for imaging with AFM especially in the early phase of its biological applications. In such studies AFM complements electron microscopy and diffraction techniques. One of the advantages of AFM over other microscopic methods like electron microscopy is its ability to directly give information on the height of the specimens thus allowing quantification of virus dimensions.

Fig. 1. AFM height image of TMV obtained with a HQ:NSC14 AFM. Image courtesy of Prof. Yaminskii, MSU (Mocsow)
AFM height image, tobacco mosaic virus, HQ:NSC14 AFM probe, p.c. Prof.Yaminskii, MSU


Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV or Satellite TMV) is the most popular among the large number of mosaic viruses investigated so far. Fig. 1 shows an AFM height image of TMV, which was obtained with a HQ:NSC14 AFM probe. Colloidal solutions of TMV behave similarly to those of commonly studied protein ones and can therefore be studied the same way.


Tapping Mode

Ambient conditions
HQ:NSC AFM probes with medium force constant

Aqueous conditions
HQ:NSC AFM probes with stable reflective coating

Agressive liquid environment
HQ:NSC AFM probes with chemically inert backside coating