Atomic force microscopy imaging of living cells: Progress, problems and prospects

Hong Xing You, Lei Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Recent development of atomic force microscopy (AFM) applications in imaging living cells is reviewed, focusing on technical progress and application advancements made in the following major areas: (i) high-resolution imaging of cellular structures, (ii) real-time monitoring of cellular dynamic processes, and (iii) detecting micromechanical properties of the cell. Technical and experimental difficulties frequently encountered in AFM applications in above areas are presented and possible strategies for overcoming these obstacles are discussed. Significant advances in the AFM study of living cells can be achieved from further development of AFM technology, sample preparation, and innovative applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalMethods in Cell Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology


  • Cellular dynamic processes
  • Cellular micromechanical properties
  • Living cells
  • Scanning force microscopy
  • Scanning probe microscopy
  • Submembrane structure

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Atomic force microscopy imaging of living cells: Progress, problems and prospects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this