Over the last 15 years, the use of atomic force microscopy (AFM) has spread from the materials science of hard matter to the fields of biology and biomolecular research. Nowadays, AFM can be used not only as a high-resolution imaging tool for precise cytogenetic studies, but also for the mechanical measurement and manipulation of genetic material. This combination allows, for the first time, identification of sample area, microdissection, and nanoextraction of genetic material for further biomedical and biochemical studies. Here, we show combined AFM and laser-based microscopy techniques, like cutting, gripping, and extracting at the submicron scale, under high-resolution image control and their potential applications in cytogenetics.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(05)00894-1