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:2/22/2017)... -- With the biometrics market to exceed $10 ... that innovative and agile startups must incorporate into ... changing competitive landscape: multifactor authentication (MFA), point-of-sale (PoS), ... "Companies can no longer afford to cut corners ... Pavlakis , Industry Analyst at ABI Research. "Pairing ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... , Feb. 13, 2017  RSA Conference -- RSA, ... that is designed to enhance fraud detection and ... in the RSA Fraud & Risk Intelligence Suite. ... to leverage additional insights from internal and external ... better protect their customers from targeted cybercrime attacks. ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a leading supplier of biometrics ... and year ended December 31, 2016. Revenue ... to $6.9 million in the same quarter last year. Operating ... compared to $2.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. ... million, or $0.02 per diluted share, which compares to $1.8 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017 MarketNewsUpdates.com ... ... cancer conditions are being pressured as of late due to ... cancer pain management has a dramatic impact on patient,s quality ... and development activities for identifying new forms of opioid formulations ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Freeport, Grand Bahama (PRWEB) , ... March 21, 2017 , ... ... a free educational seminar as part of their live events series, “Stem Cell Therapy: ... adult stem cell facility under the 2013 Stem Cell Research and Therapy Act, ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Wilmington, MA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Technology Group ( WMFTG ) has unveiled its innovative Quantum peristaltic pump ... in peristaltic innovation, Quantum sets the new standard for high-pressure feed pumps ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017  Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc. (PGDx) today ... with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ... the company,s new CancerSELECT ™ 125 test. ... profiling test that includes microsatellite instability status (MSI), ... to checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies. CancerSELECT 125 will be ...
Breaking Biology Technology: