YD_abstract - AFM BioMed Conference

Nanoscale surface properties of microbial cells:
from structure to function
Yves F. Dufrêne
Unité de Chimie des Interfaces – Université catholique de Louvain – Croix du Sud 2/18
– 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve – Belgium; Yves.Dufrene@uclouvain.be
The nanoscale surface analysis of microbial cells represents a significant
challenge of current microbiology and is critical for developing new biotech and
biomed applications. Using atomic force microscopy (AFM) topographic
imaging, researchers can visualize the ultrastructure of live cells under
physiological conditions and their subtle modifications upon cell growth or
treatment with drugs (1). Chemical force microscopy, in which AFM tips are
modified with specific functional groups, allows investigators to measure
molecular forces and chemical properties of cell surfaces on a scale of only 25
functional groups (2). Molecular recognition imaging using AFM offers a means
to localize specific receptors on cells, such as cell adhesion proteins or
antibiotic binding sites (3-5). Here, I will survey the different options offered by
AFM for the nanoscale analysis of microbes, emphasizing the potential of the
technique in biomedicine, e.g. for understanding pathogen-drug and pathogenhost interactions.
(1) Dufrêne Y. F., Nature Rev. Microbiol. 2 (2004), 451.
(2) Dague E., et al., Nanoletters, 7 (2007), 3026.
(3) Dupres V., et al., Nature Methods 2 (2005), 515.
(4) Hinterdorfer P., and Dufrêne, Y. F. Nature Methods, 3 (2006), 347.
(5) Gilbert Y., et al., Nanoletters, 7 (2007), 796.