We have used the atomic force microscope (AFM) to measure the local rigidity modulus at points on the surface of a section of hydrated cow tibia. These data are obtained either from contrast changes that occur as the contact force is altered, or from force versus distance curves obtained at fixed points. These two methods yield the same values for rigidity modulus (at a given point). At low resolution, the elastic morphology and topography mirror the features seen in optical and electron micrographs. At high resolution we see dramatic variations in elastic properties across distances as small as 50 nm.
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