Nanotech 2011

Scanning Probe Microscopy Study of M13 on Graphite

N. Steinsultz, P. Sharma
Suffolk University, US

Keywords: scanning tunneling microscopy, M13, bacteriophage, atomic force microscopy


In this work, we use a combination of atomic force microscope (AFM) and scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to study the structure and binding of wild-type M13 bacteriophage adsorbed on freshly cleaved graphite in ambient condition. We believe that this is the first reported study of a bacteriophage using the STM. By using both non-contact atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy on the same sample we are able to obtain both the vertical and lateral dimensions of the virus adsorbed onto graphite. We are also able to distinguish between the binding strengths (to graphite) of different phages, and make qualitative observations on the location and strength of graphite-binding motifs along the length of an M13 phage.

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