Navigation Links
Iowa State, Ames Lab researchers invent new tool to study single biological molecules
Date:8/3/2012

AMES, Iowa By blending optical and atomic force microscope technologies, Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers have found a way to complete 3-D measurements of single biological molecules with unprecedented accuracy and precision.

Existing technologies allow researchers to measure single molecules on the x and y axes of a 2-D plane. The new technology allows researchers to make height measurements (the z axis) down to the nanometer just a billionth of a meter without custom optics or special surfaces for the samples.

"This is a completely new type of measurement that can be used to determine the z position of molecules," said Sanjeevi Sivasankar, an Iowa State assistant professor of physics and astronomy and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory.

Details of the technology were recently published by the journal Nano Letters. Co-authors of the study are Sivasankar; Hui Li, an Iowa State post-doctoral research associate in physics and astronomy and an associate of the Ames Laboratory; and Chi-Fu Yen, an Iowa State doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering and a student associate of the Ames Laboratory.

The project was supported by lab startup funds from Iowa State University and a $120,075 grant from the Grow Iowa Values Fund, a state economic development program.

Sivasankar's research program has two objectives: to learn how biological cells adhere to each other and to develop new tools to study those cells.

That's why the new microscope technology called standing wave axial nanometry (SWAN) was developed in Sivasankar's lab.

Here's how the technology works: Researchers attach a commercial atomic force microscope to a single molecule fluorescence microscope. The tip of the atomic force microscope is positioned over a focused laser beam, creating a standing wave pattern. A molecule that has been treated to emit light is placed within the standing wave. As the tip of the atomic force microscope moves up and down, the fluorescence emitted by the molecule fluctuates in a way that corresponds to its distance from the surface. That distance can be compared to a marker on the surface and measured.

"We can detect the height of the molecule with nanometer accuracy and precision," Sivasankar said.

The paper reports that measurements of a molecule's height are accurate to less than a nanometer. It also reports that measurements can be taken again and again to a precision of 3.7 nanometers.

Sivasankar's research team used fluorescent nanospheres and single strands of DNA to calibrate, test and prove their new instrument.

Users who could benefit from the technology include medical researchers who need high-resolution data from microscopes. Sivasankar thinks the technology has commercial potential and is confident it will advance his own work in single molecule biophysics.

"We hope to use this technology to move that research forward," he said. "And in doing that, we'll continue to invent new technologies."


'/>"/>
Contact: Sanjeevi Sivasankar
sivasank@iastate.edu
515-294-1220
Iowa State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Wayne State researchers working to improve genetic analysis, disorder detection
2. Superbird stuns researchers
3. Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers discover elusive gene that causes a form of blindness from birth
4. Researchers monitor red tides in Chesapeake Bay
5. BUSM researchers find link between childhood abuse and age at menarche
6. Researchers dig through the gene bank to uncover the roots of the evolutionary tree
7. Researchers find new gene mutation associated with congenital myopathy
8. NASA and university researchers find a clue to how life turned left
9. To understand childhood obesity, researchers look to inactive, fat rats
10. Researchers study knee stress at tissue, cellular levels
11. UConn researchers discover that red tide species is deadlier than first thought
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Iowa State, Ames Lab researchers invent new tool to study single biological molecules
(Date:6/23/2017)... N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy research, ... with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances that ... With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell University ... Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a food ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 2017   Bridge Patient Portal , an ... MD EMR Systems , an electronic medical record ... have established a partnership to build an interface ... GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution (CPS), ... These new integrations will allow healthcare delivery networks ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... -- Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, ... which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ... will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big ... Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/20/2017)... and PLYMOUTH, Minn., July 20, 2017   KCNQ2 ... personalized genetic evaluations company, today announced that they ... investigating a genetic mutation implicated in KCNQ2 epileptic ... partnership for a second case involving an additional ... KCNQ2 Cure Alliance and Pairnomix entered into a ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... ... make clinical trial sites and study participants truly unified. TrialKit, a native mobile ... 21 CFR Part 11) research studies entirely on mobile devices. With TrialKit, clinical ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... ... Sourcing custom glass or quartz parts can be a daunting task. Finding ... your job can take many hours of emails, phone calls and on-line research. Wilmad-LabGlass’ ... the company’s capabilities and core custom categories, and enables you to start the quoting ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... G-CON today announced that ... Office for its Patent Applications 14/858,857 and 13/669,785 both entitled Modular, Self-Contained, Mobile ... further expand the protection of G-CON’s R&D investments and validate the G-CON platform ...
Breaking Biology Technology: