AFM Investigation of Biological Nanostructures
J. Strzeleckia, M. Dąbrowskia, J. Strzeleckab, M. Tszydelc, K. Mikulskaa, W. Nowaka and A. Baltera
aInstitute of Physics, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Grudziądzka 5, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
bMedical Physics Department, Oncology Center, I. Romanowskiej 2, 85-796 Bydgoszcz, Poland
cDepartment of Ecology and Vertebrate Zoology, University of Łódź, S. Banacha 12/16, 90-237 Łódź, Poland
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Nanostructures created by living organisms, optimized through millions of years of evolution, can be a valuable inspiration for nanotechnology. We employ atomic force microscopy to examine such structures in materials created by common organisms - caddisfly and diatoms. Caddisfly larvae are well known for their ability to spin silk, which serves as an "adhesive tape" to glue various materials and collect food in aqueous environment. Atomic force microscopy imaging of caddisfly silk, performed for the first time by our team, has shown that its surface is patterned with 150 nm extensions - a feature related to its exceptional underwater sticking abilities. Results of force spectroscopy of protein structures found on the surface are also shown. A characteristic feature of diatoms is that they are encased within a unique silica cell wall called frustules, patterned with 200 nm pores, which allow cellular interaction with the environment. We perform: atomic force microscopy imaging of frustules in living diatoms as well as adhesion measurements inside pores.
DOI: 10.12693/APhysPolA.122.329
PACS numbers: 87.64.Dz, 81.07.-b