Chromosome structure investigated with the atomic force microscope

Bart G. de Grooth, Constant A.J. Putman, Kees O. van der Werf, Niek F. van Hulst, Geeske van Oort, Jan Greve

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


We have developed an atomic force microscope (AFM) with an integrated optical microscope. The optical microscope consists of an inverted epi-illumination system that yields images in reflection or fluorescence of the sample. With this system it is possible to quickly locate an object of interest. A high-resolution image of the object thus selected can then be obtained with the AFM that is built on top of the optical microscope. In addition, the combined microscopes enable a direct comparison between the optical image and the topography of the same object. The microscope is used to study the structure of metaphase chromosomes of eukaryotic cells. The topography of metaphase chromosomes reveal grooved structures that might indicate spiral structure of the chromatin. High resolution images reveal structures that can be ascribed to the end loops of the chromatin. The resolution of the AFM images was improved by using sharper tips obtained by carbon deposition on the Si3N4 cantilevers using a scanning electron microscope. Chromosomes which are treated to reveal the G- banding pattern in the optical microscope display a similar pattern when viewed with the AFM, as is shown by a direct comparison.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScanning Probe Microscopies
EditorsSrinivas Manne
Place of PublicationLos Angeles, CA
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)0-8194-0785-2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 1992
EventSPIE OE/LASE 1992 - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: 19 Jan 199224 Jan 1992

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE


ConferenceSPIE OE/LASE 1992
Abbreviated titleOE/LASE
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles


  • IR-25715
  • METIS-130518


Dive into the research topics of 'Chromosome structure investigated with the atomic force microscope'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this