WE tested a new approach to cell decapping on rat cerebellar neurones, and observed its effects on cell topography by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The results clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of our decapping approach, and also the ability of AFM to reveal fine details of the decapped cells. Specifically, varying the conditions and duration of the decapping process modifies the extent of the decapping. Such a method can be used to investigate the cytoplasm with surface sensitive techniques.