The direct observation of individual molecules in action is required for a better understanding of the mechanisms of biological reactions. We used a high-speed atomic force microscope (AFM) in solution to visualize short DNA fragments in motion. The technique represents a new approach in analyzing molecular interactions, and it allowed us to observe real-time images of biotinylated DNA binding to/dissociating from streptavidin protein. Our results show that high-speed AFMs have the potential to reveal the mechanisms of molecular interactions, which cannot be determined by analyzing the average value of mass reactions.
- Real-time imaging