Scanning Microscopy


The scanning force microscope (SFM) yields the topography of the investigated surface. A procedure was developed which starts from this three-dimensional information to estimate the volume of a biological specimen. The volume of spread human metaphase chromosomes was determined in air and rehydrated in aqueous buffer. A difference of the determined volume of a air-dried metaphase chromosome set was found compared to values from electron microscopic investigations, and could be correlated with differences in the hydration state of the chromosomes. SFM-based relative volumes of air-dried chromosomes resembles literature data regarding volume range and distribution. Possible application of SFM-based relative volume measurements for chromosome classification purposes is discussed.

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