Atomic force microscopy study of living diatoms in ambient conditions

I. C. Gebeshuber, J. H. Kindt, J. B. Thompson, Y. Del Amo, H. Stachelberger, M. A. Brzezinski, G. D. Stucky, D. E. Morse, P. K. Hansma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present the first in vivo study of diatoms using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Three chain-forming, benthic freshwater species - Eunotia sudetica, Navicula seminulum and a yet unidentified species - are directly imaged while growing on glass slides. Using the AFM, we imaged the topography of the diatom frustules at the nanometre range scale and we determined the thickness of the organic case enveloping the siliceous skeleton of the cell (10 nm). Imaging proved to be stable for several hours, thereby offering the possibility to study long-term dynamic changes, such as biomineralization or cell movement, as they occur. We also focused on the natural adhesives produced by these unicellular organisms to adhere to other cells or the substratum. Most man-made adhesives fail in wet conditions, owing to chemical modification of the adhesive or its substrate. Diatoms produce adhesives that are extremely strong and robust both in fresh- and in seawater environments. Our phase-imaging and force-pulling experiments reveal the characteristics of these natural adhesives that might be of use in designing man-made analogues that function in wet environments. Engineering stable underwater adhesives currently poses a major technical challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-299
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Volume212
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Diatoms
Atomic Force Microscopy
algae
Adhesives
adhesives
Atomic force microscopy
atomic force microscopy
Biomineralization
Imaging techniques
pulling
Chemical modification
Seawater
Fresh Water
cells
musculoskeletal system
organisms
chutes
Skeleton
Topography
Cell Movement

Keywords

  • AFM
  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Biogenic glass
  • Biomimetics
  • Diatoms
  • Natural adhesives
  • Natural lubricants
  • Naturally nanostructured biomaterials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation

Cite this

Gebeshuber, I. C., Kindt, J. H., Thompson, J. B., Del Amo, Y., Stachelberger, H., Brzezinski, M. A., ... Hansma, P. K. (2003). Atomic force microscopy study of living diatoms in ambient conditions. Journal of Microscopy, 212(3), 292-299. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2818.2003.01275.x

Atomic force microscopy study of living diatoms in ambient conditions. / Gebeshuber, I. C.; Kindt, J. H.; Thompson, J. B.; Del Amo, Y.; Stachelberger, H.; Brzezinski, M. A.; Stucky, G. D.; Morse, D. E.; Hansma, P. K.

In: Journal of Microscopy, Vol. 212, No. 3, 12.2003, p. 292-299.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gebeshuber, IC, Kindt, JH, Thompson, JB, Del Amo, Y, Stachelberger, H, Brzezinski, MA, Stucky, GD, Morse, DE & Hansma, PK 2003, 'Atomic force microscopy study of living diatoms in ambient conditions', Journal of Microscopy, vol. 212, no. 3, pp. 292-299. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2818.2003.01275.x
Gebeshuber IC, Kindt JH, Thompson JB, Del Amo Y, Stachelberger H, Brzezinski MA et al. Atomic force microscopy study of living diatoms in ambient conditions. Journal of Microscopy. 2003 Dec;212(3):292-299. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2818.2003.01275.x
Gebeshuber, I. C. ; Kindt, J. H. ; Thompson, J. B. ; Del Amo, Y. ; Stachelberger, H. ; Brzezinski, M. A. ; Stucky, G. D. ; Morse, D. E. ; Hansma, P. K. / Atomic force microscopy study of living diatoms in ambient conditions. In: Journal of Microscopy. 2003 ; Vol. 212, No. 3. pp. 292-299.
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