Membrane associated folate receptors (FR) is gaining importance in cancer research. Understanding the FR density, distribution, and the strength of its interaction with ligands is crucial in cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. Here we reported the enhanced phase contrast image of FR by scanning with properly functionalized atomic force microscope (AFM) tips over live cell lines. The choice of the ligand was made for better interaction of tip with FR, expressed in the cell lines. The selectively enhanced force of interaction at the receptor molecule produced a considerable enhancement in the phase contrast between a receptor site and a nonreceptor site. © 2009 American Institute of Physics.
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C. M. Girish, Binulal, N. S., Anitha, V. C., Nair, S., Dr. Ullas Mony, and Prasanth, R., “Atomic force microscopic study of folate receptors in live cells with functionalized tips”, Applied Physics Letters, vol. 95, 2009.