Navigation Links
'Nanodrop' test tubes created with a flip of a switch
Date:4/15/2008

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a new device that creates nanodroplet test tubes for studying individual proteins under conditions that mimic the crowded confines of a living cell. By confining individual proteins in nanodroplets of water, researchers can directly observe the dynamics and structural changes of these biomolecules, says physicist Lori Goldner, a coauthor of the paper* published in Langmuir.

Researchers recently have turned their attention to the role that crowding plays in the behavior of proteins and other biomoleculesthere is not much extra space in a cell. NISTs nanodroplets can mimic the crowded environment in cells where the proteins live while providing advantages over other techniques to confine or immobilize proteins for study that may interfere with or damage the protein. This more realistic setting can help researchers study the molecular basis of disease and supply information for developing new pharmaceuticals. For example, misfolded proteins play a role in many illnesses including Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases. By seeing how proteins fold in these nanodroplets, researchers may gain new insight into these ailments and may find new therapies.

The NIST nanodroplet delivery system uses tiny glass micropipettes to create tiny water droplets suspended in an oily fluid for study under a microscope. An applied pressure forces the water solution containing protein test subjects to the tip of the micropipette as it sits immersed in a small drop of oil on the microscope stage. Then, like a magician whipping a tablecloth off a table while leaving the dinnerware behind, an electronic switch causes the pipette to jerk back, leaving behind a small droplet typically less than a micrometer in diameter.

The droplet is held in place with a laser optical tweezer, and another laser is used to excite fluorescence from the molecule or molecules in the droplet. In one set of fluorescence experiments, explains Goldner, The molecules seem unperturbed by their confinementthey do not stick to the walls or leave the containerimportant facts to know for doing nanochemistry or single-molecule biophysics. Similar to a previous work (see Micro-boxes of Water Used to Study Single Molecules, Tech Beat July 20, 2006), researchers also demonstrated that single fluorescent protein molecules could be detected inside the droplets.

Fluorescence can reveal the number of molecules within the nanodroplet and can show the motion or structural changes of the confined molecule or molecules, allowing researchers to study how two or more proteins interact. By using only a few molecules and tiny amounts of reagents, the technique also minimizes the need for expensive or toxic chemicals.


'/>"/>

Contact: Evelyn Brown
evelyn.brown@nist.gov
301-975-5661
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Tiny tubes and rods show promise as catalysts, sunscreen
2. Using nanotubes to detect and repair cracks in aircraft wings, other structures
3. Another type of nanotube, a how-to guide to making bamboo-structured carbon nanotubes
4. Using carbon nanotubes to seek and destroy anthrax toxin and other harmful proteins
5. Newly created cancer stem cells could aid breast cancer research
6. Natural insecticide re-created in the lab
7. Worlds largest marine protected area created in Pacific Ocean
8. Needle-size device created to track tumors, radiation dose
9. Switching goals
10. Researchers find signal that switches on eye development -- could lead to eye in a dish
11. Researchers identify how to switch off cancer cell genes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
'Nanodrop' test tubes created with a flip of a switch
(Date:8/23/2017)... -- The general public,s help is being enlisted in what,s thought to be ... on the human body –and are believed to affect health.  ... The Microbiome Immunity Project is the largest study ... gut. The project's goal is to help advance scientific knowledge of the ... ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... Today, American Trucking Associations announced Seeing ... and eye tracking software, became the newest member ... "Artificial intelligence and advanced sensing algorithms ... driver,s attentiveness levels while on the road.  Drivers ... fatigue and prevent potential accidents, which could lead ...
(Date:5/23/2017)...  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the rehabilitation and functional motor ... Genoa, Italy . The first 30 robots will be ... USA . The technology was developed and patented at the ... spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million euro investment from entrepreneur ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... States multicenter, prospective clinical study that demonstrates the accuracy of the FebriDx® ... identifying clinically significant acute bacterial and viral respiratory tract infections by testing ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... At its ... announced Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research scientist of ... been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame . ASTER ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ., a data solutions ... “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with Dr. Nicolas Cacciabeve, Managing ... how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase in diagnostic confidence.* ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... A new study published ... frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The multi-center ... success. , After comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer cohorts, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: