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Imaging Proteins in Membranes of Living Cells by High-Resolution Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy


  • This work was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UK). The development of the high-resolution scanning ion conductance microscopy instrument was performed in collaboration with Ionscope Limited (UK).


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Do not touch! The surface of a living cell is soft and responsive and therefore high-resolution imaging of the cell membrane has not been possible to date. Now noncontact imaging of protein complexes in the plasma membrane of living cells has been demonstrated (see picture) and has been used to follow the cells' structural reorganization. This breakthrough opens up a wealth of new experiments in membrane and cell biology.

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