Scanning Probe Microscopy Unit

The Scanning Probe Microscopy Unit of the BEPS Shared Resource specializes in the following:

  • Sub-nm resolution imaging of molecular complexes, supported lipid bilayers, cells, and tissues
  • Molecular recognition, protein unfolding
  • Force spectroscopy, visco-elastic properties
  • Simultaneous, co-localized AFM and fluorescence (including TIRF and confocal) microscopy
  • Mathematical modeling, finite element analysis

We are located in Building 13 on the NIH campus.

Atomic Force Imaging and Spectroscopy


  • Sub-nm resolution imaging of macromolecular complexes (including protein-protein, protein-DNA, and/or RNA), supported lipid bilayers, cells and tissues under ambient conditions
  • Force spectroscopy:  nano-indentation strategies to map viscoelastic, adhesion and other properties at nm resolution (including single molecules, lipid bilayers, live cells and tissues)
  • Studies of protein unfolding

Molecular Recognition: Antigen recognition by binding events with antibody-functionalized probes. Immuno-AFM: Molecular recognition of protein-antibody complexes by direct AFM imaging. Co-localized immuno-fluorescence and immuno-AFM.

Mathematical Modeling: Mathematical modeling of biophysical systems, image analysis methodologies, finite element analysis.

Auditory Mechanics:

Project examples

Nucleus mechanical properties of HMGN5 over-expressing cells (Dr. M. Bustin, CCR, NCI)

Microscopic image of a cell and a figure with results next to it

Cell visco-elastic properties were measured on live cells with the AFM

Novel DNA-RNA complexes (Dr. S. Adhya, CCR, NCI)

Images of DNA RNA complexes

Novel bacterial RNA binds and bridges DNA double-strands

Bui MDimitriadis EKHoischen CAn EQuénet DGiebe SNita-Lazar ADiekmann SDalal Y
2012 Jul 20

Qian ZDimitriadis EKEdgar REswaramoorthy PAdhya S
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
2012 Jul 10

Chandran PLDimitriadis EKBasser PJHorkay F
J Polym Sci B Polym Phys
2010 Dec 15

Dimitriadis EKWeber CGill RKDiekmann SDalal Y
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
2010 Nov 23

Kotova SVijayasarathy CDimitriadis EKIkonomou LJaffe HSieving PA
2010 Aug 24

Sinha GPSabri FDimitriadis EKIwasa KH
Pflugers Arch.
2010 Feb

Grundy GJRamón-Maiques SDimitriadis EKKotova SBiertümpfel CHeymann JBSteven ACGellert MYang W
Mol. Cell
2009 Jul 31

Manoussaki DDimitriadis EKChadwick RS
Phys. Rev. Lett.
2006 Mar 03

Shoelson BDimitriadis EKCai HKachar BChadwick RS
Biophys. J.
2004 Oct

Dimitriadis EKHorkay FMaresca JKachar BChadwick RS
Biophys. J.
2002 May