Navigation Links
'Micro-boxes' of water used to study single molecules

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated the use of water droplets as minuscule "boxes" for small numbers of biomolecules. The unusually simple containment method may enable easier experiments on single molecule dynamics and perhaps lead to the development of molecule-sorting devices that might be used for medical screening or biotechnology research. The work was reported in the July 3 issue of Applied Physics Letters.

The NIST team creates the boxes by briefly shaking a mixture of water, the biomolecules to be studied, and a fluorocarbon medium. Water droplets form in the oily fluorocarbon and naturally encapsulate one to several biomolecules. The researchers then watch through a microscope while using infrared lasers as "optical tweezers" to manipulate and combine the droplets (dubbed "hydrosomes") inside a tiny chamber on a slide.

A green laser is then used to excite the molecules in individual droplets, and the light emissions over several seconds are analyzed to count the molecules and observe other phenomena. The researchers use two sets of optical tweezers to move droplets together to fuse them and mix their contents (see accompanying video). The team demonstrated the technique by trapping and manipulating droplets encapsulating various molecules (including a delicate protein that survived the shaking process), detecting the fluorescence signal from dye and protein molecules, and observing the transfer of energy from one end of a specially treated DNA molecule to the other.

Water offers several advantages over other methods for containing single molecules, such as attaching them to surfaces or placing them inside liposomes (artificial cells). The water droplets can be held far from any surface that might interfere, can readily encapsulate biomolecules (which prefer being in water as opposed to the fluorocarbon medium), and can readily fuse together to mix molecules or rapidly change th eir chemical environment. The water droplets currently average about 300 nanometers in diameter and contain volumes measured in quadrillionths of liters; research is continuing to improve methods for controlling droplet size for different applications.


'"/>

Source:National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)


Related biology news :

1. Anti-bacterial additive widespread in U.S. waterways
2. Unprecedented water level rise in Somalia
3. Microbial fuel cell: High yield hydrogen source and wastewater cleaner
4. Survey finds silver contamination in North Pacific waters
5. Researchers discover underwater volcano
6. Too much water may be as dangerous as too little during long-distance athletic events
7. Radio-tracking associated with dramatic shift in water vole sex ratio
8. Major new UNC-based drinking water study suggests pregnancy fears may be overstated
9. Newly discovered genetic disease sheds light on bodys water balance
10. Beetle-inspired switch uses water for bonding
11. UNC computer, marine scientists collaborate to predict flow of toxic waters from Katrina
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/19/2016)... BARCELONA , España y TORONTO , 19 ... fusión con Northern Biologics Inc. que permitirá el desarrollo acelerado de ... ensayos clínicos en varios tipos de tumor en 2017, con múltiples ... ... de su clase con objetivo en el factor inhibidor de leucemia ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... Canada and BADEN-BADEN, Germany , ... a leading global financial services provider, today announced an agreement ... passive behavioural biometrics, to join forces. The partnership will enable ... mitigation strategies in compliance with local data protection regulation. ... In order ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... HILLS, Mich. , Dec. 15, 2016  There ... unlocking car doors or starting the engine. Continental will ... in Las Vegas . Through the ... (Passive Start and Entry) and biometric elements, the international ... field of vehicle personalization and authentication. "The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... , ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... and more E&L expertise. Within Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (AMRI), the scientific staff ... past year and is planned for further growth in 2017. Extractable & Leachable ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... IL (PRWEB) , ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... on January 24th, 2017, to sell research and genetic testing lab equipment from ... service in the Northwest and Northeast regions of the United States. This 1-day ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017  Caris Life Sciences, ... Lustgarten Foundation, the largest private funder of pancreatic ... trial evaluating the impact of immunotherapy in the ... trial enrollment services to identify potential trial candidates ... between treating physicians and study investigators. The Lustgarten ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... 17, 2017 The Global Implantable Biomaterials ... of around 7.5% over the next decade to ... the prominent trends that the market is witnessing ... & graft transplant surgeries and medical implants and ... is categorized into immunomodulatory biomaterials, natural, polymers, hydrogels ...
Breaking Biology Technology: