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Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a powerful instrument that can generate very high-resolution images at the nanometer to micrometer scale. It allows imaging of nanostructures that cannot be achieved by conventional light microscopes. Usage of AFM in the biological field is rapidly increasing because of its ability to image samples at its natural state such as in liquid environment. AFM is now used as one of the instruments to view bacterial surface features that may provide insight into how some microbes interact with human cells during an infection. The physics department at the University of North Georgia, Gainesville campus is very fortunate to have an AFM. However, the instrument is under-utilized for bacterial research. In addition, students are unfamiliar with its utility and its applications in research. In the present study we propose to study the surface structures of two bacterial species, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. These two bacteria differ in shape, size, cell arrangement and cell wall structures. While both these bacteria have been analyzed using AFM previously, the students at the UNG have never studied it. We intend to standardize methods to analyze bacteria using our AFM so that it can be applied to other novel microbes in the future.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
101 MB



  • Subject
    • Biology

  • Institution
    • Gainesville

  • Event date
    • 17 April 2020

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Hoang Pham, Swapna Bhat