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Samples of supported planar lipid-protein membranes and actin filaments on mica were
imaged by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The samples were fully submerged in buffer
at room temperature during imaging. Individual proteins bound to the reconstituted
membrane were distinguishable; some structural details could be resolved. Also, surface-induced,
self-assembling of actin filaments on mica could be observed. Monomeric subunits were
imaged on individual actin filaments. The filaments could be manipulated on or removed
from the surface by the tip of the AFM. The process of the decoupling of the filamentous
network from the surface upon changing the ionic conditions was imaged in real time.