Seeing atoms in biological materials - a new frontier for atomic-scale tomography
In this project we try to expand the possibilities of using atom probe tomography (APT) to investigate proteins, their structures and binding to ligands. The project is funded by Volkswagenstiftung "Experiment" (Seeing atoms in biological materials - a new frontier for atomic-scale tomography)
Amyloid proteins are involved in a number of neurodegenerative diseases. Notably, it plays an important role in the progress of Alzheimer's. The protein forms fibrills and assemble forming extracellular plaques in inner organs and especially the brain. Our first attempt was to deposit the fibrils to electropolished aluminium tips. The fibrills are very robust and well suited for development of several methods of preparation biological samples for atom probe tomography. With this approach, we managed to get first results showing proteins by atom probe tomography. Further studies will focus on the binding of metal ions to the protein.
Moreover we analyze the composition und behavior in APT of a various number of different embedding media for cells and other biological samples.