Navigation Links
New nanochemistry technique encases single molecules in microdroplets
Date:9/22/2009

Inventing a useful new tool for creating chemical reactions between single molecules, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have employed microfluidicsthe manipulation of fluids at the microscopic scaleto make microdroplets that contain single molecules of interest. By combining this new microfluidic "droplet-on-demand" method with "optical tweezers" that could merge multiple droplets and cause their molecular contents to react, the research may ultimately lead to a compact, integrated setup for obtaining single-molecule information on the structure and function of important organic materials, such as proteins, enzymes, and DNA.

With the aid of NIST's Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, physicists Carlos Lpez-Mariscal and Kristian Helmerson created a tiny microfluidic device with a channel through which water can flow. Squeezed into a narrow stream by a mixture of oils whose viscosity, or resistance to flow, exerts pressure on it, the water then enters a narrow constriction. The water's abrupt pressure dropaccompanied by a dash of detergentbreaks its surface tension, splitting it into small droplets. (This same effect occurs when a thin stream of water falling from a faucet breaks up into small drops.)

The droplet sizes are highly uniform and can be tuned by adjusting the width of the constriction. With this technique, the researchers made droplets about a micrometer in diameteror half an attoliter (half a billionth of a billionth of a liter) in volume.

In the microfluidic channel, the water is laced with desired molecules of just the right concentration, so that resulting droplets each pick up on average just one molecule of interest. Inside each droplet, the individual molecules of interest slosh around freely in the relatively roomy sphere, along with the water molecules that make up the bulk of every droplet.

By using laser beams, the researchers can move two or more single-molecule-containing droplets, cause them to coalesce, and observe the reactions through optical methods. For their initial reactions, the researchers are mixing fluorescent molecules that emit different colors, but in the future, they envision more interesting chemical reactions, such as those between an infectious agent and an antibody, or a chromosome and a drug. The researchers can shape a laser beam into any desired pattern and thereby trap not only single drops, but arrays of them, opening up new possibilities for single-molecule spectroscopy.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ben Stein
bstein@nist.gov
301-975-3097
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Breathing technique can reduce frequency, severity of asthma attacks
2. ORNL scientists hone technique to safeguard water supplies
3. Ben-Gurion U. developing new computer techniques to analyze historic Hebrew and Arabic documents
4. Scary ancient spiders revealed in 3-D models, thanks to new imaging technique
5. New advance in revolutionary bullet fingerprinting technique
6. New technique can fast-track better ionic liquids for biomass pre-treatments
7. New MRI technique could mean fewer breast biopsies in high-risk women
8. Can a new implant coating technique create a new six million dollar man?
9. Ovarian transplantation: First baby is born after a new technique
10. Ovarian transplantation: New technique gives greatly improved results in this delicate operation
11. Colon cancer screening technique shows continued promise in new study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New nanochemistry technique encases single molecules in microdroplets
(Date:6/9/2016)... TURKU, Finland , June 9, 2016 ... French National Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure ... France during the major tournament ... and data communications systems and services, announced today that its ... Police Prefecture to back up public safety across ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, ... Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  The latest ... comprehensive analysis of the global Border Security market ... of $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: In ... in software and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... -- WearablesResearch.com , a brand of Troubadour Research ... the Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. A ... to a program where they would receive discounts for ... "We were surprised to see that so ... , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there are ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Cancer experts from Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, and ... new and helpful biomarker for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just published ... , Biomarkers are components in the blood, tissue or body fluids that ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Newly created 4Sight Medical Solutions ... healthcare market. The company's primary focus is on new product introductions, to include ... are necessary to help companies efficiently bring their products to market. , The ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of ... from cancer patients.  The funding will be used ... with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a ... be employed to support the design of a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Regular discussions on a range of subjects including policies, ... entities said Poloz. Speaking at a lecture to ... he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which is set ... "In certain areas there needs ... economic goals, why not sit down and address strategy together?" ...
Breaking Biology Technology: