Navigation Links
Nonstick and laser-safe gold aids laser trapping of biomolecules
Date:6/17/2009

Biophysicists long for an ideal materialsomething more structured and less sticky than a standard glass surfaceto anchor and position individual biomolecules. Gold is an alluring possibility, with its simple chemistry and the ease with which it can be patterned. Unfortunately, gold also tends to be sticky and can be melted by lasers. Now, biophysicists at JILA have made gold more precious than everat least as a research toolby creating nonstick gold surfaces and laser-safe gold nanoposts, a potential boon to laser trapping of biomolecules.

JILA is a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

JILAs successful use of gold in optical-trapping experiments, reported in Nano Letters,* could lead to a 10-fold increase in numbers of single molecules studied in certain assays, from roughly five to 50 per day, according to group leader Tom Perkins of NIST. The ability to carry out more experiments with greater precision will lead to new insights, such as uncovering diversity in seemingly identical molecules, and enhance NISTs ability to carry out mission work, such as reproducing and verifying piconewton-scale force measurements using DNA, Perkins says. (A one-kilogram mass on the Earths surface exerts a force of roughly 10 newtons. A piconewton is 0.000 000 000 001 newtons. See JILA Finds Flaw in Model Describing DNA Elasticity NIST Tech Beat, Sept. 13, 2007.)

Perkins and other biophysicists use laser beams to precisely manipulate, track and measure molecules like DNA, which typically have one end bonded to a surface and the other end attached to a micron-sized bead that acts as a handle for the laser. Until now, creating the platform for such experiments has generally involved nonspecifically absorbing fragile molecules onto a sticky glass surface, producing random spacing and sometimes destroying biological activity. Its like dropping a car onto a road from 100 feet up and hoping it will land tires down. If the molecule lands in the wrong orientation, it wont be active or, worse, it will only partially work, Perkins says.

Ideally, scientists want to attach biomolecules in an optimal pattern on an otherwise nonstick surface. Gold posts are easy to lay down in desired patterns at the nanometer scale. Perkins group attached the DNA to the gold with sulfur-based chemical units called thiols (widely used in nanotechnology), an approach that is mechanically stronger than the protein-based bonding techniques typically used in biology. The JILA scientists used six thiol bonds instead of just one between the DNA and the gold posts. These bonds were mechanically strong enough to withstand high-force laser trapping and chemically robust enough to allow the JILA team to coat the unreacted gold on each nanopost with a polymer cushion, which eliminated undesired sticking. Now you can anchor DNA to gold and keep the rest of the gold very nonstick, Perkins says.

Moreover, the gold nanoposts were small enoughwith diameters of 100 to 500 nanometers and a height of 20 nanometersthat the scientists could avoid hitting the posts directly with lasers. Like oil and water, traditionally laser tweezers and gold dont mix. By making very small islands of gold, we positioned individual molecules where we wanted them, and with a mechanical strength that enables more precise and additional types of studies, Perkins says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Ost
laura.ost@nist.gov
303-497-4880
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. How nonstick bugs evade natural fly paper
2. LaserCard Corporation Announces Expansion of Middle East Project
3. Silicon Valley Technology Leaders LaserCard Corporation and Tesla Motors Sign LaserPass Secure Access Deal
4. New insights into how lasers cut flesh
5. Fine-tuning lasers to destroy blood-borne diseases like AIDS
6. Laser can spot illness before symptoms appear
7. Cleaner diesels thanks to laser light
8. Detecting dangerous chemicals with lasers, exploring the brains circuitry with light and more
9. Argonne scientists use lasers to align molecules
10. Laser fluorescence could find life on Mars
11. Life under the laser
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Nonstick and laser-safe gold aids laser trapping of biomolecules
(Date:3/31/2016)... March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed ... Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to the ... original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and ... company. Dr. Bready served as CEO of ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... March 22, 2016 ... Sensors Market for Consumer Industry by Type (Image, ... Application (Communication & IT, Entertainment, Home Appliances, ... Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the ... to reach USD 26.76 Billion by 2022, ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... --> --> Competitive Landscape Analysis ... Physical infrastructure and Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems ... and the continuing migration crisis in the Middle ... led visiongain to publish this unique report, which is crucial ... & security companies in the border security market and the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... by Medistem Panama Inc. at the City of Knowledge in Panama, ... mesenchymal stem cells in the US earlier this year following FDA approval of ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Bangkok, Thailand (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 ... ... the participation of a Thai delegation at BIO 2016 in San Francisco. Located ... private sector will be available to answer questions and discuss the Thai biotechnology ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Scientists at the University of ... tried for mesothelioma may be hampering the research that could lead to one good ... here to read it now. , The team evaluated 98 mesothelioma patients ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... and traumatic injuries, will be accelerated by research at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) ... of wound healing and tissue regeneration. , The novel method, developed by WPI ...
Breaking Biology Technology: