Continuous detection of extracellular ATP on living cells by using atomic force microscopy

Stefan W. Schneider, Marie E. Egan, Bhanu P. Jena, William B. Guggino, H. Oberleithner, John P. Geibel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Atomic force microscopy is a powerful technique used to investigate the surface of living cells under physiological conditions. The resolution of the instrument is mainly limited by the softness of living cells and the interactions with the scanning tip (cantilever). Atomic force microscopy, in combination with myosin-functionalized cantilevers, was used in the detection of ATP concentrations in solution and on living cells. Functionally active tips were used to scan the surface of cells in culture and to show that the CFTR+ cell line (S9) had a basal surface ATP concentration that could be detected with atomic force microscopy (n = 10). ATP-dependent signals were not detectable in cells scanned with noncoated or heat-inactivated enzyme- coated tips (n = 9). Enzymatically active tips may serve as a model for future development of atomic force microscopy biosensors that can simultaneously detect topographical and biologically important compounds at the surface microenvironment of living cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12180-12185
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
StatePublished - Oct 12 1999


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • CFTR cell line

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Continuous detection of extracellular ATP on living cells by using atomic force microscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this