Stretching single molecules into novel conformations using the atomic force microscope
Nat Struct Biol
A dense network of interconnected proteins and carbohydrates forms the complex mechanical scaffold of living tissues. The recently developed technique of single molecule force spectroscopy using the atomic force microscope(AFM) has enabled a detailed analysis of the force-induced conformations of these molecules and the determinants of their mechanical stability. These studies provide some of the basic knowledge required to understand the mechanical interactions that define all biological organisms.