Practical scan speed in atomic force microscopy for live neurons in a physiological solution

Shin Nagayama, Takuro Tojima, Mayumi Morimoto, Shigeo Sasaki, Kazushige Kawabata, Tatsuo Ushiki, Kazuhiro Abe, Etsuro Ito*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


We examined the practical scan speed for the observation of live neurons in a physiological solution using atomic force microscopy (AFM) with a desired vertical resolution of the order of 10-8 m, which was reasonable when taking into account that a flicker of extracellular protein and saccharide on the neurons in the solution occurred during an observation period of a couple of minutes. The practical scan speed was found to be under 40 μm/s, therefore, if we applied AFM using 100 lines and 100 pixels per line to an observation area of 20 μm × 20 μm, the minimum period for acquiring one image was estimated to be about 2 min. This procedure gave us good images that represented the slow three-dimensional dynamics in live neurons, such as the retrograde movement of surface protuberances, but suggested that another approach was required to detect fast structural changes induced by stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3877-3880
Number of pages4
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 1: Regular Papers and Short Notes and Review Papers
Issue number6 SUPPL. B
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Live neurons
  • Lymnaea
  • Nanoscale resolution
  • Neuron
  • Scan speed
  • Three-dimensional observation
  • Time-dependent change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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