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:2/3/2016)... 2016 Vigilant Solutions announces today that the ... Missouri solved two recent hit-and-run cases ... from Vigilant Solutions. Brian Wenberg explains, ... victim was walking out of a convenience store and witnessed an elderly male ... vehicle, striking his vehicle and leaving the scene.  In ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2, 2016 This BCC Research report ... by reviewing the recent advances in high throughput ... the field forward. Includes forecast through 2019. ... challenges and opportunities that exist in the bioinformatic ... developers, as well as IT and bioinformatics service ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... RESTON, Va. , Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... contract award from the U.S. Army Research Office ... extend the range and sensitivity of the company,s ... DoD,s Past Accounting Mission and, more generally, defense-related ... its DNA phenotyping capabilities (predicting appearance and ancestry ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... - BioAmber Inc. (NYSE: BIOA ), a leader ... & Co. Ltd., its partner in the ... an additional CDN$25 million in the joint venture for ... to 40%.  Mitsui will also play a stronger role ... Sarnia , providing dedicated resources alongside BioAmber,s ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016  The Maryland House of Delegates and ... that University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean ... of Maryland Medical System President and CEO Robert ... the highest honor given to the public by the ... Dean Reece and Mr. Chrencik for their contributions ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... WASHINGTON , Feb.10, 2016 ASAE is ... and Association Management Companies (AMC) the option of joining ... flat annual fee determined by staff size, every employee ... to join ASAE and reap all available member benefits.   ... CAE. "Our new organizational membership options will allow organizations ...
(Date:2/10/2016)...  IsoRay, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ISR), a medical technology ... applications for the treatment of prostate, brain, lung, head ... results for the second quarter and six months of ... --> --> Revenue was ... which ended December 31, 2015, a 12% increase compared ...
Breaking Biology Technology: