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:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% ... Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market ... landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... -- Today HYPR Corp. , leading innovator in ... the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® Certified . ... that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 enterprises and ... 15 million users across the financial services industry, however ... suites and physical access represent a growing portion of ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... HONG KONG , March 30, 2017 ... developed a system for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground ... technology into a new realm of speed and accuracy for use ... applications at an affordable cost. ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... spending the past two years building a state-of-the-art technology which consolidates ... this platform to healthcare stakeholders (hospitals, foundations, biopharma companies etc.) who ... vis a vis their members, under their own brand. Three recent ... ... ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Pittcon is pleased to ... and scientific instruments. This year’s symposium, organized by the Pittcon 2018 program chair, ... Bioanalytical Applications.” This dynamic presentation will discuss novel ionization processes, high throughput IMS-MS ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum and ... programming through a series of upcoming panels and events. The partnership culminates with the ... Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. , “With our experience in producing the Immuno-Oncology ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... , ... August 14, 2017 , ... ... and performing antibodies. Key researchers in the antibody community have recently come together ... consistency for antibodies in the laboratory. , The team at ...
Breaking Biology Technology: