Atomic force microscopy imaging of ice crystal surfaces formed in aqueous solutions containing ice-binding proteins

Michael Chasnitsky, Sidney R. Cohen, Yinon Rudich, Ido Braslavsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ice-binding proteins (IBPs) allow organisms to survive below the freezing point by modulating ice crystal growth. These proteins act by binding to ice surfaces, thus inhibiting ice growth. Until now, high-resolution imaging of ice growing in the presence of IBPs has not been possible. We developed a unique in-situ technique that enables atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging of ice formation and growth in the ice-IBP system. The new technique enables controlling the growth of ice crystals under a strong and focused thermal gradient. We present images of ice crystals with sub-ten nanometer resolution. Ice was grown in the presence of two different IBPs that exhibit specific and unique structures. This development opens the path for fine elucidation of the interaction of IBPs with growing ice surfaces as well as with other frozen systems at unprecedented high resolution. Furthermore, with the exception of crystals growing in thin films, this is the first demonstration for imaging a growing crystal immersed in its own melt with AFM.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number126961
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
Volume601
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Antifreeze proteins
  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Crystal morphology
  • Gradient freeze technique
  • Ice
  • Ice binding proteins

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