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Issue 11, 2013
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Mapping in vitro local material properties of intact and disrupted virions at high resolution using multi-harmonic atomic force microscopy

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Abstract

Understanding the relationships between viral material properties (stiffness, strength, charge density, adhesion, hydration, viscosity, etc.), structure (protein sub-units, genome, surface receptors, appendages), and functions (self-assembly, stability, disassembly, infection) is of significant importance in physical virology and nanomedicine. Conventional Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) methods have measured a single physical property such as the stiffness of the entire virus from nano-indentation at a few points which severely limits the study of structure–property–function relationships. We present an in vitro dynamic AFM technique operating in the intermittent contact regime which synthesizes anharmonic Lorentz-force excited AFM cantilevers to map quantitatively at nanometer resolution the local electro-mechanical force gradient, adhesion, and hydration layer viscosity within individual ϕ29 virions. Furthermore, the changes in material properties over the entire ϕ29 virion provoked by the local disruption of its shell are studied, providing evidence of bacteriophage depressurization. The technique significantly generalizes recent multi-harmonic theory (A. Raman, et al., Nat. Nanotechnol., 2011, 6, 809–814) and enables high-resolution in vitro quantitative mapping of multiple material properties within weakly bonded viruses and nanoparticles with complex structure that otherwise cannot be observed using standard AFM techniques.

Graphical abstract: Mapping in vitro local material properties of intact and disrupted virions at high resolution using multi-harmonic atomic force microscopy

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Dec 2012, accepted on 21 Mar 2013 and first published on 25 Mar 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR34088K
Citation: Nanoscale, 2013,5, 4729-4736
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    Mapping in vitro local material properties of intact and disrupted virions at high resolution using multi-harmonic atomic force microscopy

    A. Cartagena, M. Hernando-Pérez, J. L. Carrascosa, P. J. de Pablo and A. Raman, Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 4729
    DOI: 10.1039/C3NR34088K

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