Nature Article: Imaging Single Glycans
Carbohydrates are the predominant biopolymer on Earth, responsible for many structural and modulatory roles all across biology from mammals to plants. They are complex, flexible and many biologically important oligosaccharides are relatively small.
A collaborative between Rauschenbach group (Univ. Oxford), Seeberger group (MPI Potsdam) and Kern group (MPI Stuttgart) shows the direct spatial imaging of glycan molecules. Isolated by mass-selective, soft-landing electrospray ion-beam deposition individual glycan molecules were imaged by low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) at sub-nanometer resolution revealing connectivity and allowing for discrimination between regio-isomers.