A new atomic force microscopy technique for the measurement of the elastic properties of biological materials

W. Xu, P. J. Mulhern, B. L. Blackford, M. H. Jericho, I. Templeton, D. C. Dahn, V. Moy, D. A. Chernoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

We developed a new technique to measure elastic properties by using the atomic force microscope (AFM) tip to press samples into grooves etched in a GaAs substrate. We measured the Young's modulus of β-chitin fibres with cross-sections less than 40 nm x 20 nm to be 1-2 x 1011 N/m2. In the isotropic approximation, the Young's modulus of the S-layer sheath of the archaeobacterium Methanospirillum hungatei was 1-3 x 1010 N/m2. By testing the sheath to breaking strength we estimated the bacterium can sustain an internal pressure as high as 100-200 atmospheres (1-2 x 107 N/m2).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-506
Number of pages8
JournalScanning Microscopy
Volume8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Atomic force microscopy (AFM)
  • Methanospirillum hungatei
  • chitin
  • elasticity
  • force
  • internal pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation

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  • Cite this

    Xu, W., Mulhern, P. J., Blackford, B. L., Jericho, M. H., Templeton, I., Dahn, D. C., Moy, V., & Chernoff, D. A. (1994). A new atomic force microscopy technique for the measurement of the elastic properties of biological materials. Scanning Microscopy, 8(3), 499-506.