Approaches for determining DNA persistence length using atomic force microscopy

Justin P. Peters, L. James Maher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is widely used to image and study biological molecules. As an example, we have utilized AFM to investigate how the mechanical properties of DNA polymers depend on electrostatics and the strength of DNA base stacking by studying double-stranded DNA molecules incorporating several different neutral and charged base modifications. Here, we describe ten complementary approaches for determining DNA persistence length by AFM imaging. The combination of different approaches provides increased confidence and statistical reliability over existing methods utilizing only a single approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages46
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • DNA mechanics
  • Persistence length
  • Thymidine analogs
  • Wormlike chain model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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