Force spectroscopy on single xanthan molecules

H. Li, M. Rief, F. Oesterhelt, H. E. Gaub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The mechanical properties of native and denatured xanthan are measured on the molecular scale using an AFM. The single molecule force spectra of native and denatured xanthan show big differences. For ordered native xanthan, a long plateau at around 400 pN is found, this transition is an irreversible process. However, the plateau disappears for denatured xanthan, only monotonic rising of the force versus extension is observed. The big difference is consistent with the different conformation of native and denatured xanthan. Native xanthan is assumed to exist as an ordered double-stranded helix, however, denatured xanthan is a disordered single strand. The irreversible transition process for native xanthan is attributed to the splitting of the double-strand helix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-410
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1999
Externally publishedYes


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