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Sample records for enhanced single-molecule detection

  1. Single molecule detection of 4-dimethylaminoazobenzene by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Z. L.; Yin, Y. F.; Jiang, J. W.; Mo, Y. J.

    2009-02-01

    4-Dimethylaminoazobenzene (DAB) is anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. The trace detection of DAB is of great significance in environmental protection and safe life of the people. To test the availability of DAB trace detection using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), the SERS spectra of DAB single molecules adsorbed on the silver particle aggregates in colloid were investigated. The phenomena of blinking, spectral diffusion, and intensity fluctuations of the vibrational lines in the SERS spectra were observed. Statistical analysis of spectral intensity fluctuations indicates a multimodal distribution of some specific Raman bands, which are consistent with the identification of single molecule detection. Our results demonstrated that SERS can be applied to the trace detection of DAB molecules and other azo dyes.

  2. DNA Origami Nanoantennas with over 5000-fold Fluorescence Enhancement and Single-Molecule Detection at 25 μM.

    PubMed

    Puchkova, Anastasiya; Vietz, Carolin; Pibiri, Enrico; Wünsch, Bettina; Sanz Paz, María; Acuna, Guillermo P; Tinnefeld, Philip

    2015-12-09

    Optical nanoantennas are known to focus freely propagating light and reversely to mediate the emission of a light source located at the nanoantenna hotspot. These effects were previously exploited for fluorescence enhancement and single-molecule detection at elevated concentrations. We present a new generation of self-assembled DNA origami based optical nanoantennas with improved robustness, reduced interparticle distance, and optimized quantum-yield improvement to achieve more than 5000-fold fluorescence enhancement and single-molecule detection at 25 μM background fluorophore concentration. Besides outperforming lithographic optical antennas, DNA origami nanoantennas are additionally capable of incorporating single emitters or biomolecular assays at the antenna hotspot.

  3. Platinum plasmonic nanostructure arrays for massively parallel single-molecule detection based on enhanced fluorescence measurements.

    PubMed

    Saito, Toshiro; Takahashi, Satoshi; Obara, Takayuki; Itabashi, Naoshi; Imai, Kazumichi

    2011-11-04

    We fabricated platinum bowtie nanostructure arrays producing fluorescence enhancement and evaluated their performance using two-photon photoluminescence and single-molecule fluorescence measurements. A comprehensive selection of suitable materials was explored by electromagnetic simulation and Pt was chosen as the plasmonic material for visible light excitation near 500 nm, which is preferable for multicolor dye-labeling applications like DNA sequencing. The observation of bright photoluminescence (λ = 500-600 nm) from each Pt nanostructure, induced by irradiation at 800 nm with a femtosecond laser pulse, clearly indicates that a highly enhanced local field is created near the Pt nanostructure. The attachment of a single dye molecule was attempted between the Pt triangles of each nanostructure by using selective immobilization chemistry. The fluorescence intensities of the single dye molecule localized on the nanostructures were measured. A highly enhanced fluorescence, which was increased by a factor of 30, was observed. The two-photon photoluminescence intensity and fluorescence intensity showed qualitatively consistent gap size dependence. However, the average fluorescence enhancement factor was rather repressed even in the nanostructure with the smallest gap size compared to the large growth of photoluminescence. The variation of the position of the dye molecule attached to the nanostructure may influence the wide distribution of the fluorescence enhancement factor and cause the rather small average value of the fluorescence enhancement factor.

  4. Increased throughput single molecule detection of DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurjar, Rajan; Seetamraju, Madhavi; Kolodziejski, Noah; Myers, Richard; Staples, Christopher; Christian, James; Squillante, Michael R.; Entine, Gerald

    2007-09-01

    In this work, we present research in using confocal optical techniques with femtolitre focal volumes and obtain very high signal-to-noise and signal-to-background ratios for single molecule detection (SMD). We were able to achieve improved signal strength by using highly fluorescent quantum dots and nanopatterned substrates to obtain plasmon induced resonant fluorescence enhancement. A method to simultaneously using multiple excitation spots without the use of confocal apertures and an array of single photon sensitive Geiger mode avalanche photodiodes was used to increase the throughput of the detection system. Using this highly sensitive SMD system, we detect small quantities of synthetic DNA through hybridization eliminating the need of polymerase chain reaction.

  5. Single molecule detection using charge-coupled device array technology

    SciTech Connect

    Denton, M.B.

    1992-07-29

    A technique for the detection of single fluorescent chromophores in a flowing stream is under development. This capability is an integral facet of a rapid DNA sequencing scheme currently being developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory. In previous investigations, the detection sensitivity was limited by the background Raman emission from the water solvent. A detection scheme based on a novel mode of operating a Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) is being developed which should greatly enhance the discrimination between fluorescence from a single molecule and the background Raman scattering from the solvent. Register shifts between rows in the CCD are synchronized with the sample flow velocity so that fluorescence from a single molecule is collected in a single moving charge packet occupying an area approaching that of a single pixel while the background is spread evenly among a large number of pixels. Feasibility calculations indicate that single molecule detection should be achieved with an excellent signal-to-noise ratio.

  6. Single-molecule detection with active transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ball, David Allan

    A glass capillary is used near the focal region of a custom-built confocal microscope to investigate the use of active transport for single-molecule detection in solution, with both one and two-photon laser excitation. The capillary tip has a diameter of several microns and is carefully aligned nearby to the sub-micron laser beam waist, collinear to the optical axis, so that a negative pressure-difference causes molecules to be drawn into the capillary, along the laser beam axis. The flow of solution, which is characterized by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), can increase the single-molecule detection rate for slowly diffusing proteins by over a factor of 100, while the mean rate of photons during each burst is similar to that for random diffusional transport. Also, the flow is along the longest axis of the ellipsoidally-shaped confocal volume, which results in more collected photons per molecule than that for transverse flow at the same speed. When transport is dominated by flow, FCS can no longer distinguish molecules with differing translational diffusion, and hence a fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy method based on differences in fluorescence brightness is investigated as a means for assaying different solution components, for applications in pharmaceutical drug discovery. Multi-channel fluctuation spectroscopy techniques can also be used for assays with the flow system and hence this dissertation also reports the characterization of a prototype 4-channel single-photon detector with a two-wavelength polarization-resolved optical set-up.

  7. Time-resolved detection of the one- and two-photon excited fluorescence of single molecules of a folding enhanced green fluorescent protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotlet, Mircea; Goodwin, Peter M.; Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Werner, James H.

    2006-02-01

    We use time-resolved single molecule fluorescence detection (MSMD) to investigate the fluorescence dynamics of a mutant of the wild-type Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) from Aequorea victoria, the folding enhanced GFP (FEGFP). The folding enhanced GFP is a novel and robust variant designed for in vivo high-throughput screening of protein expression levels. This variant shows increased thermal stability and the ability to retain its fluorescence when fused to poorly folding proteins. Here we apply one- (OPE) and two- (TPE) photon excitation on freely diffusing FEGFP molecules. Under OPE, single FEGFP molecules undergo fluorescence flickering in the time scale of μs and tens of μs due to triplet formation and ground-state protonation-deprotonation, respectively. OPE fluorescence lifetimes of single FEGFP molecules show evidence for the presence of different emitting species, the I and B forms of FEGFP chromophore. TPE single FEGFP molecules flicker in fluorescence in the time scale of μs due to singlet-triplet transitions of the chromophore. Two-photon excitation of single FEGFP molecules results in the creation of a photoconverted species with a fluorescence lifetime of 2.5 ns, a species which is bright enough to be detected at the single molecule level. Our results indicate FEGFP is a promising fusion reporter for intracellular applications when using OPE and TPE microscopy with single molecule sensitivity.

  8. Detection of Steps in Single Molecule Data

    PubMed Central

    Aggarwal, Tanuj; Materassi, Donatello; Davison, Robert; Hays, Thomas; Salapaka, Murti

    2013-01-01

    Over the past few decades, single molecule investigations employing optical tweezers, AFM and TIRF microscopy have revealed that molecular behaviors are typically characterized by discrete steps or events that follow changes in protein conformation. These events, that manifest as steps or jumps, are short-lived transitions between otherwise more stable molecular states. A major limiting factor in determining the size and timing of the steps is the noise introduced by the measurement system. To address this impediment to the analysis of single molecule behaviors, step detection algorithms incorporate large records of data and provide objective analysis. However, existing algorithms are mostly based on heuristics that are not reliable and lack objectivity. Most of these step detection methods require the user to supply parameters that inform the search for steps. They work well, only when the signal to noise ratio (SNR) is high and stepping speed is low. In this report, we have developed a novel step detection method that performs an objective analysis on the data without input parameters, and based only on the noise statistics. The noise levels and characteristics can be estimated from the data providing reliable results for much smaller SNR and higher stepping speeds. An iterative learning process drives the optimization of step-size distributions for data that has unimodal step-size distribution, and produces extremely low false positive outcomes and high accuracy in finding true steps. Our novel methodology, also uniquely incorporates compensation for the smoothing affects of probe dynamics. A mechanical measurement probe typically takes a finite time to respond to step changes, and when steps occur faster than the probe response time, the sharp step transitions are smoothed out and can obscure the step events. To address probe dynamics we accept a model for the dynamic behavior of the probe and invert it to reveal the steps. No other existing method addresses

  9. Enhancing single-molecule fluorescence with nanophotonics.

    PubMed

    Acuna, Guillermo; Grohmann, Dina; Tinnefeld, Philip

    2014-10-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy has become an important research tool in the life sciences but a number of limitations hinder the widespread use as a standard technique. The limited dynamic concentration range is one of the major hurdles. Recent developments in the nanophotonic field promise to alleviate these restrictions to an extent that even low affinity biomolecular interactions can be studied. After motivating the need for nanophotonics we introduce the basic concepts of nanophotonic devices such as zero mode waveguides and nanoantennas. We highlight current applications and the future potential of nanophotonic approaches when combined with biological systems and single-molecule spectroscopy.

  10. Figuration and detection of single molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nevels, R.; Welch, G. R.; Cremer, P. S.; Hemmer, P.; Phillips, T.; Scully, S.; Sokolov, A. V.; Svidzinsky, A. A.; Xia, H.; Zheltikov, A.; Scully, M. O.

    2012-08-01

    Recent advances in the description of atoms and molecules based on Dimensional scaling analysis, developed by Dudley Herschbach and co-workers, provided new insights into visualization of molecular structure and chemical bonding. Prof. Herschbach is also a giant in the field of single molecule scattering. We here report on the engineering of molecular detectors. Such systems have a wide range of application from medical diagnostics to the monitoring of chemical, biological and environmental hazards. We discuss ways to identify preselected molecules, in particular, mycotoxin contaminants using coherent laser spectroscopy. Mycotoxin contaminants, e.g. aflatoxin B1 which is present in corn and peanuts, are usually analysed by time-consuming microscopic, chemical and biological assays. We present a new approach that derives from recent experiments in which molecules are prepared by one (or more) femtosecond laser(s) and probed by another set. We call this technique FAST CARS (femto second adaptive spectroscopic technique for coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy). We propose and analyse ways in which FAST CARS can be used to identify preselected molecules, e.g. aflatoxin, rapidly and economically.

  11. Resonant Cavity Enhanced On-Chip Raman Spectrometer Array with Precisely Positioned Metallic Nano-Gaps for Single Molecule Detection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-03-22

    fabricated multi-segment gold nanowires with different diameters using electroplating, and formed nanogaps from 5nm to 50nm by sacrificial chemical etching...electroplating, and formed nanogaps from 5nm to 50nm by sacrificial chemical etching. Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) characterization using these...nanowires with different diameters using electroplating, and formed nanogaps from 5nm to 50nm by sacrificial chemical etching. Surface enhanced Raman

  12. Single-molecule detection: applications to ultrasensitive biochemical analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castro, Alonso; Shera, E. Brooks

    1995-06-01

    Recent developments in laser-based detection of fluorescent molecules have made possible the implementation of very sensitive techniques for biochemical analysis. We present and discuss our experiments on the applications of our recently developed technique of single-molecule detection to the analysis of molecules of biological interest. These newly developed methods are capable of detecting and identifying biomolecules at the single-molecule level of sensitivity. In one case, identification is based on measuring fluorescence brightness from single molecules. In another, molecules are classified by determining their electrophoretic velocities.

  13. Breaking the concentration limit of optical single-molecule detection.

    PubMed

    Holzmeister, Phil; Acuna, Guillermo P; Grohmann, Dina; Tinnefeld, Philip

    2014-02-21

    Over the last decade, single-molecule detection has been successfully utilized in the life sciences and materials science. Yet, single-molecule measurements only yield meaningful results when working in a suitable, narrow concentration range. On the one hand, diffraction limits the minimal size of the observation volume in optical single-molecule measurements and consequently a sample must be adequately diluted so that only one molecule resides within the observation volume. On the other hand, at ultra-low concentrations relevant for sensing, the detection volume has to be increased in order to detect molecules in a reasonable timespan. This in turn results in the loss of an optimal signal-to-noise ratio necessary for single-molecule detection. This review discusses the requirements for effective single-molecule fluorescence applications, reflects on the motivation for the extension of the dynamic concentration range of single-molecule measurements and reviews various approaches that have been introduced recently to solve these issues. For the high-concentration limit, we identify four promising strategies including molecular confinement, optical observation volume reduction, temporal separation of signals and well-conceived experimental designs that specifically circumvent the high concentration limit. The low concentration limit is addressed by increasing the measurement speed, parallelization, signal amplification and preconcentration. The further development of these ideas will expand our possibilities to interrogate research questions with the clarity and precision provided only by the single-molecule approach.

  14. Strongly enhanced field-dependent single-molecule electroluminescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Tae-Hee; Gonzalez, Jose I.; Dickson, Robert M.

    2002-08-01

    Individual, strongly electroluminescent Agn molecules (n = 28 atoms) have been electrically written within otherwise nonemissive silver oxide films. Exhibiting characteristic single-molecule behavior, these individual room-temperature molecules exhibit extreme electroluminescence enhancements (>104 vs. bulk and dc excitation on a per molecule basis) when excited with specific ac frequencies. Occurring through field extraction of electrons with subsequent reinjection and radiative recombination, single-molecule electroluminescence is enhanced by a general mechanism that avoids slow bulk material response. Thus, while we detail strong electroluminescence from single, highly fluorescent Agn molecules, this mechanism also yields strong ac-excited electroluminescence from similarly prepared, but otherwise nonemissive, individual Cu nanoclusters.

  15. Reversible gating of smart plasmonic molecular traps using thermoresponsive polymers for single-molecule detection

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Yuanhui; Soeriyadi, Alexander H.; Rosa, Lorenzo; Ng, Soon Hock; Bach, Udo; Justin Gooding, J.

    2015-01-01

    Single-molecule surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has attracted increasing interest for chemical and biochemical sensing. Many conventional substrates have a broad distribution of SERS enhancements, which compromise reproducibility and result in slow response times for single-molecule detection. Here we report a smart plasmonic sensor that can reversibly trap a single molecule at hotspots for rapid single-molecule detection. The sensor was fabricated through electrostatic self-assembly of gold nanoparticles onto a gold/silica-coated silicon substrate, producing a high yield of uniformly distributed hotspots on the surface. The hotspots were isolated with a monolayer of a thermoresponsive polymer (poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)), which act as gates for molecular trapping at the hotspots. The sensor shows not only a good SERS reproducibility but also a capability to repetitively trap and release molecules for single-molecular sensing. The single-molecule sensitivity is experimentally verified using SERS spectral blinking and bianalyte methods. PMID:26549539

  16. Single-molecule detection at high concentrations with optical aperture nanoantennas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alam, Md Shah; Karim, Farzia; Zhao, Chenglong

    2016-05-01

    Single-molecule detection has become an indispensable technology in life science, and medical research. In order to get meaningful information on many biological processes, single-molecule analysis is required in micro-molar concentrations. At such high concentrations, it is very challenging to isolate a single molecule with conventional diffraction-limited optics. Recently, optical aperture nanoantennas (OANs) have emerged as a powerful tool to enhance the single-molecule detection under a physiological environment. The OANs, which consist of nano-scale apertures on a metallic film, have the following unique properties: (1) nanoscale light confinement; (2) enhanced fluorescence emission; (3) tunable radiation pattern; (4) reduced background noise; and (5) massive parallel detection. This review presents the fundamentals, recent developments and future perspectives in this emerging field.

  17. Single Molecule Electrochemical Detection in Aqueous Solutions and Ionic Liquids.

    PubMed

    Byers, Joshua C; Paulose Nadappuram, Binoy; Perry, David; McKelvey, Kim; Colburn, Alex W; Unwin, Patrick R

    2015-10-20

    Single molecule electrochemical detection (SMED) is an extremely challenging aspect of electroanalytical chemistry, requiring unconventional electrochemical cells and measurements. Here, SMED is reported using a "quad-probe" (four-channel probe) pipet cell, fabricated by depositing carbon pyrolytically into two diagonally opposite barrels of a laser-pulled quartz quadruple-barreled pipet and filling the open channels with electrolyte solution, and quasi-reference counter electrodes. A meniscus forms at the end of the probe covering the two working electrodes and is brought into contact with a substrate working electrode surface. In this way, a nanogap cell is produced whereby the two carbon electrodes in the pipet can be used to promote redox cycling of an individual molecule with the substrate. Anticorrelated currents generated at the substrate and tip electrodes, at particular distances (typically tens of nanometers), are consistent with the detection of single molecules. The low background noise realized in this droplet format opens up new opportunities in single molecule electrochemistry, including the use of ionic liquids, as well as aqueous solution, and the quantitative assessment and analysis of factors influencing redox cycling currents, due to a precisely known gap size.

  18. The statistics of single molecule detection: An overview

    SciTech Connect

    Enderlein, J.; Robbins, D.L.; Ambrose, W.P.

    1995-12-31

    An overview of our recent results in modeling single molecule detection in fluid flow is presented. Our mathematical approach is based on a path integral representation. The model accounts for all experimental details, such as light collection, laser excitation, hydrodynamics and diffusion, and molecular photophysics. Special attention is paid to multiple molecule crossings through the detection volume. Numerical realization of the theory is discussed. Measurements of burst size distributions in single B-phycoerythrin molecule detection experiments are presented and compared with theoretical predictions.

  19. Detection of pathogenic DNA at the single-molecule level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yahiatène, Idir; Klamp, Tobias; Schüttpelz, Mark; Sauer, Markus

    2011-03-01

    We demonstrate ultrasensitive detection of pathogenic DNA in a homogeneous assay at the single-molecule level applying two-color coincidence analysis. The target molecule we quantify is a 100 nucleotide long synthetic single-stranded oligonucleotide adapted from Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium causing lower respiratory tract infections. Using spontaneous hybridization of two differently fluorescing Molecular Beacons we demonstrate a detection sensitivity of 100 fM (10-13M) in 30 seconds applying a simple microfluidic device with a 100 μm channel and confocal two-color fluorescence microscopy.

  20. High throughput single molecule detection for monitoring biochemical reactions

    PubMed Central

    Okagbare, Paul I.; Soper, Steven A.

    2009-01-01

    The design, performance and application of a novel optical system for high throughput single molecule detection (SMD) configured in a continuous flow format using microfluidics is reported. The system consisted of a microfabricated polymer-based multi-channel fluidic network situated within the optical path of a laser source (λex = 660 nm) with photon transduction accomplished using an electron-multiplying charge coupled device (EMCCD) operated in a frame transfer mode that allowed tracking single molecules as they passed through a large field-of-view (FoV) illumination zone. The microfluidic device consisted of 30 microchannels possessing dimensions of 30 μm (width) × 20 μm (depth) with a 25 mm pitch. Individual molecules were electrokinetically driven through the fluidic network and excited within the wide-field illumination area with the resulting fluorescence collected via an objective and imaged onto the EMCCD camera. The detection system demonstrated sufficient sensitivity to detect single DNA molecules labeled with a fluorescent tag (AlexaFluor 660) identified through their characteristic emission wavelength and the burst of photons produced during their transit through the excitation volume. In its present configuration and fluidic architecture, the sample processing throughput was ∼4.02 × 105 molecules s−1, but could be increased dramatically through the use of narrower channels and a smaller pitch. The system was further evaluated using a single molecule-based fluorescence quenching assay for measuring the population differences between duplexed and single-stranded DNA molecules as a function of temperature for determining the duplex melting temperature, Tm. PMID:19082181

  1. Single molecule detection using charge-coupled device array technology. Technical progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Denton, M.B.

    1992-07-29

    A technique for the detection of single fluorescent chromophores in a flowing stream is under development. This capability is an integral facet of a rapid DNA sequencing scheme currently being developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory. In previous investigations, the detection sensitivity was limited by the background Raman emission from the water solvent. A detection scheme based on a novel mode of operating a Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) is being developed which should greatly enhance the discrimination between fluorescence from a single molecule and the background Raman scattering from the solvent. Register shifts between rows in the CCD are synchronized with the sample flow velocity so that fluorescence from a single molecule is collected in a single moving charge packet occupying an area approaching that of a single pixel while the background is spread evenly among a large number of pixels. Feasibility calculations indicate that single molecule detection should be achieved with an excellent signal-to-noise ratio.

  2. Enhancing single molecule imaging in optofluidics and microfluidics.

    PubMed

    Vasdekis, Andreas E; Laporte, Gregoire P J

    2011-01-01

    Microfluidics and optofluidics have revolutionized high-throughput analysis and chemical synthesis over the past decade. Single molecule imaging has witnessed similar growth, due to its capacity to reveal heterogeneities at high spatial and temporal resolutions. However, both resolution types are dependent on the signal to noise ratio (SNR) of the image. In this paper, we review how the SNR can be enhanced in optofluidics and microfluidics. Starting with optofluidics, we outline integrated photonic structures that increase the signal emitted by single chromophores and minimize the excitation volume. Turning then to microfluidics, we review the compatible functionalization strategies that reduce noise stemming from non-specific interactions and architectures that minimize bleaching and blinking.

  3. Ultrasensitive nucleic acid sequence detection by single-molecule electrophoresis

    SciTech Connect

    Castro, A; Shera, E.B.

    1996-09-01

    This is the final report of a one-year laboratory-directed research and development project at Los Alamos National Laboratory. There has been considerable interest in the development of very sensitive clinical diagnostic techniques over the last few years. Many pathogenic agents are often present in extremely small concentrations in clinical samples, especially at the initial stages of infection, making their detection very difficult. This project sought to develop a new technique for the detection and accurate quantification of specific bacterial and viral nucleic acid sequences in clinical samples. The scheme involved the use of novel hybridization probes for the detection of nucleic acids combined with our recently developed technique of single-molecule electrophoresis. This project is directly relevant to the DOE`s Defense Programs strategic directions in the area of biological warfare counter-proliferation.

  4. Single molecule targeted sequencing for cancer gene mutation detection

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yan; Deng, Liwei; Yan, Qin; Gao, Yongqian; Wu, Zengding; Cai, Jinsen; Ji, Daorui; Li, Gailing; Wu, Ping; Jin, Huan; Zhao, Luyang; Liu, Song; Ge, Liangjin; Deem, Michael W.; He, Jiankui

    2016-01-01

    With the rapid decline in cost of sequencing, it is now affordable to examine multiple genes in a single disease-targeted clinical test using next generation sequencing. Current targeted sequencing methods require a separate step of targeted capture enrichment during sample preparation before sequencing. Although there are fast sample preparation methods available in market, the library preparation process is still relatively complicated for physicians to use routinely. Here, we introduced an amplification-free Single Molecule Targeted Sequencing (SMTS) technology, which combined targeted capture and sequencing in one step. We demonstrated that this technology can detect low-frequency mutations using artificially synthesized DNA sample. SMTS has several potential advantages, including simple sample preparation thus no biases and errors are introduced by PCR reaction. SMTS has the potential to be an easy and quick sequencing technology for clinical diagnosis such as cancer gene mutation detection, infectious disease detection, inherited condition screening and noninvasive prenatal diagnosis. PMID:27193446

  5. Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance of Hybrid Nanoparticle-Single-Molecule Junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zerah-Harush, Elinor; Dubi, Yonatan

    2015-06-01

    It was recently suggested that molecular junctions would be excellent elements for efficient and high-power thermoelectric energy-conversion devices. However, experimental measurements of thermoelectric conversion in molecular junctions indicate rather poor efficiency, raising the question of whether it is indeed possible to design a setup for molecular junctions that will exhibit enhanced thermoelectric performance. Here we suggest that hybrid single-molecule-nanoparticle junctions can serve as efficient thermoelectric converters. The introduction of a semiconducting nanoparticle introduces new tuning capabilities, which are absent in conventional metal-molecule-metal junctions. Using a generic model for the molecule and nanoparticle with realistic parameters, we demonstrate that the thermopower can be of the order of hundreds of microvolts per degree kelvin and that the thermoelectric figure of merit can reach values close to 1, an improvement of 4 orders of magnitude over existing measurements. This favorable performance persists over a wide range of experimentally relevant parameters and is robust against disorder (in the form of surface-attached molecules) and against electron decoherence at the nanoparticle-molecule interface.

  6. Single Molecule Magnetic Force Detection with a Carbon Nanotube Resonator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willick, Kyle; Walker, Sean; Baugh, Jonathan

    2015-03-01

    Single molecule magnets (SMMs) sit at the boundary between macroscopic magnetic behaviour and quantum phenomena. Detecting the magnetic moment of an individual SMM would allow exploration of this boundary, and could enable technological applications based on SMMs such as quantum information processing. Detection of these magnetic moments remains an experimental challenge, particularly at the time scales of relaxation and decoherence. We present a technique for sensitive magnetic force detection that should permit such measurements. A suspended carbon nanotube (CNT) mechanical resonator is combined with a magnetic field gradient generated by a ferromagnetic gate electrode, which couples the magnetic moment of a nanomagnet to the resonant motion of the CNT. Numerical calculations of the mechanical resonance show that resonant frequency shifts on the order of a few kHz arise due to single Bohr magneton changes in magnetic moment. A signal-to-noise analysis based on thermomechanical noise shows that magnetic switching at the level of a Bohr magneton can be measured in a single shot on timescales as short as 10 μs. This sensitivity should enable studies of the spin dynamics of an isolated SMM, within the spin relaxation timescales for many available SMMs. Supported by NSERC.

  7. Largely Enhanced Single-molecule Fluorescence in Plasmonic Nanogaps formed by Hybrid Silver Nanostructures

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jian; Lakowicz, Joseph R.

    2013-01-01

    It has been suggested that narrow gaps between metallic nanostructures can be practical for producing large field enhancement. We design a hybrid silver nanostructure geometry in which fluorescent emitters are sandwiched between silver nanoparticles and silver island film (SIF). A desired number of polyelectrolyte layers are deposited on the SIF surface before the self-assembly of a second silver nanoparticle layer. Layer-by-layer configuration provides a well-defined dye position. It allows us to study the photophyical behaviors of fluorophores in the resulting gap at the single molecule level. The enhancement factor of a fluorophore located in the gap is much higher than those on silver surfaces alone and on glass. These effects may be used for increased detectability of single molecules bound to surfaces which contain metallic structures for either biophysical studies or high sensitivity assays. PMID:23373787

  8. Applying Semiconductor Technologies and Metrology Tools to Biomedical Research: Manipulation and Detection of Single Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berlin, Andrew A.; Sundararajan, Narayan; Koo, Tae-Woong

    2005-09-01

    Intel's Precision Biology research effort is working to combine Intel's expertise in nanotechnology with aspects of biology and medicine to create highly sensitive instrumentation for biomolecular analysis. The ability to manipulate, detect, and identify biological molecules at ultra-low concentrations is important for applications ranging from whole-genome DNA sequencing to protein-based early disease detection. In this paper we describe our work to develop a molecular labeling system based on Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS), to enable highly sensitive protein detection. We also present a set of microfluidic and spectroscopic techniques that our team has developed for transporting and identifying single molecules in solution.

  9. Wafer-scale metasurface for total power absorption, local field enhancement and single molecule Raman spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dongxing; Zhu, Wenqi; Best, Michael D; Camden, Jon P; Crozier, Kenneth B

    2013-10-04

    The ability to detect molecules at low concentrations is highly desired for applications that range from basic science to healthcare. Considerable interest also exists for ultrathin materials with high optical absorption, e.g. for microbolometers and thermal emitters. Metal nanostructures present opportunities to achieve both purposes. Metal nanoparticles can generate gigantic field enhancements, sufficient for the Raman spectroscopy of single molecules. Thin layers containing metal nanostructures ("metasurfaces") can achieve near-total power absorption at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Thus far, however, both aims (i.e. single molecule Raman and total power absorption) have only been achieved using metal nanostructures produced by techniques (high resolution lithography or colloidal synthesis) that are complex and/or difficult to implement over large areas. Here, we demonstrate a metasurface that achieves the near-perfect absorption of visible-wavelength light and enables the Raman spectroscopy of single molecules. Our metasurface is fabricated using thin film depositions, and is of unprecedented (wafer-scale) extent.

  10. Electrochemical detection of single molecules using abiotic nanopores having electrically tunable dimensions

    DOEpatents

    Sansinena, Jose-Maria; Redondo, Antonio; Olazabal, Virginia; Hoffbauer, Mark A.; Akhadov, Elshan A.

    2009-12-29

    A barrier structure for use in an electrochemical stochastic membrane sensor for single molecule detection. The sensor is based upon inorganic nanopores having electrically tunable dimensions. The inorganic nanopores are formed from inorganic materials and an electrically conductive polymer. Methods of making the barrier structure and sensing single molecules using the barrier structure are also described.

  11. All-Dielectric Silicon Nanogap Antennas To Enhance the Fluorescence of Single Molecules.

    PubMed

    Regmi, Raju; Berthelot, Johann; Winkler, Pamina M; Mivelle, Mathieu; Proust, Julien; Bedu, Frédéric; Ozerov, Igor; Begou, Thomas; Lumeau, Julien; Rigneault, Hervé; García-Parajó, María F; Bidault, Sébastien; Wenger, Jérôme; Bonod, Nicolas

    2016-08-10

    Plasmonic antennas have a profound impact on nanophotonics as they provide efficient means to manipulate light and enhance light-matter interactions at the nanoscale. However, the large absorption losses found in metals can severely limit the plasmonic applications in the visible spectral range. Here, we demonstrate the effectiveness of an alternative approach using all-dielectric nanoantennas based on silicon dimers to enhance the fluorescence detection of single molecules. The silicon antenna design is optimized to confine the near-field intensity in the 20 nm nanogap and reach a 270-fold fluorescence enhancement in a nanoscale volume of λ(3)/1800 with dielectric materials only. Our conclusions are assessed by combining polarization resolved optical spectroscopy of individual antennas, scanning electron microscopy, numerical simulations, fluorescence lifetime measurements, fluorescence burst analysis, and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. This work demonstrates that all-silicon nanoantennas are a valid alternative to plasmonic devices for enhanced single molecule fluorescence sensing, with the additional key advantages of reduced nonradiative quenching, negligible heat generation, cost-efficiency, and complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) compatibility.

  12. Single-molecule detection sensitivity using planar integrated optics on a chip.

    PubMed

    Yin, Dongliang; Deamer, David W; Schmidt, Holger; Barber, John P; Hawkins, Aaron R

    2006-07-15

    We present a fully planar integrated optical approach to single-molecule detection based on microfabricated planar networks of intersecting solid and liquid-core waveguides. We study fluorescence from dye molecules in liquid-core antiresonant reflecting optical waveguides, and demonstrate subpicoliter excitation volumes, parallel excitation through multiple pump waveguides, and single-molecule detection sensitivity. Integrated silicon photonics combined with single-molecule detection in solution create a compact, robust, and sensitive platform that has applications in numerous fields ranging from atomic physics to the life sciences.

  13. Peering into Cells One Molecule at a Time: Single-molecule and plasmon-enhanced fluorescence super-resolution imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biteen, Julie

    2013-03-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence brings the resolution of optical microscopy down to the nanometer scale, allowing us to unlock the mysteries of how biomolecules work together to achieve the complexity that is a cell. This high-resolution, non-destructive method for examining subcellular events has opened up an exciting new frontier: the study of macromolecular localization and dynamics in living cells. We have developed methods for single-molecule investigations of live bacterial cells, and have used these techniques to investigate thee important prokaryotic systems: membrane-bound transcription activation in Vibrio cholerae, carbohydrate catabolism in Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, and DNA mismatch repair in Bacillus subtilis. Each system presents unique challenges, and we will discuss the important methods developed for each system. Furthermore, we use the plasmon modes of bio-compatible metal nanoparticles to enhance the emissivity of single-molecule fluorophores. The resolution of single-molecule imaging in cells is generally limited to 20-40 nm, far worse than the 1.5-nm localization accuracies which have been attained in vitro. We use plasmonics to improve the brightness and stability of single-molecule probes, and in particular fluorescent proteins, which are widely used for bio-imaging. We find that gold-coupled fluorophores demonstrate brighter, longer-lived emission, yielding an overall enhancement in total photons detected. Ultimately, this results in increased localization accuracy for single-molecule imaging. Furthermore, since fluorescence intensity is proportional to local electromagnetic field intensity, these changes in decay intensity and rate serve as a nm-scale read-out of the field intensity. Our work indicates that plasmonic substrates are uniquely advantageous for super-resolution imaging, and that plasmon-enhanced imaging is a promising technique for improving live cell single-molecule microscopy.

  14. Chitosan-coated anisotropic silver nanoparticles as a SERS substrate for single-molecule detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potara, Monica; Baia, Monica; Farcau, Cosmin; Astilean, Simion

    2012-02-01

    Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a technique that has become widely used for identifying and providing structural information about molecular species in low concentration. There is an ongoing interest in finding optimum particle size, shape and spatial distribution for optimizing the SERS substrates and pushing the sensitivity toward the single-molecule detection limit. This work reports the design of a novel, biocompatible SERS substrate based on small clusters of anisotropic silver nanoparticles embedded in a film of chitosan biopolymer. The SERS efficiency of the biocompatible film is assessed by employing Raman imaging and spectroscopy of adenine, a significant biological molecule. By combining atomic force microscopy with SERS imaging we find that the chitosan matrix enables the formation of small clusters of silver nanoparticles, with junctions and gaps that greatly enhance the Raman intensities of the adsorbed molecules. The study demonstrates that chitosan-coated anisotropic silver nanoparticle clusters are sensitive enough to be implemented as effective plasmonic substrates for SERS detection of nonresonant analytes at the single-molecule level.

  15. Variable-Temperature Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy of Single-Molecule Fluctuations and Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Park, Kyoung-Duck; Muller, Eric A; Kravtsov, Vasily; Sass, Paul M; Dreyer, Jens; Atkin, Joanna M; Raschke, Markus B

    2016-01-13

    Structure, dynamics, and coupling involving single-molecules determine function in catalytic, electronic or biological systems. While vibrational spectroscopy provides insight into molecular structure, rapid fluctuations blur the molecular trajectory even in single-molecule spectroscopy, analogous to spatial averaging in measuring large ensembles. To gain insight into intramolecular coupling, substrate coupling, and dynamic processes, we use tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) at variable and cryogenic temperatures, to slow and control the motion of a single molecule. We resolve intrinsic line widths of individual normal modes, allowing detailed and quantitative investigation of the vibrational modes. From temperature dependent line narrowing and splitting, we quantify ultrafast vibrational dephasing, intramolecular coupling, and conformational heterogeneity. Through statistical correlation analysis of fluctuations of individual modes, we observe rotational motion and spectral fluctuations of the molecule. This work demonstrates single-molecule vibrational spectroscopy beyond chemical identification, opening the possibility for a complete picture of molecular motion ranging from femtoseconds to minutes.

  16. Single molecule transistor based nanopore for the detection of nicotine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, S. J.

    2014-12-01

    A nanopore based detection methodology was proposed and investigated for the detection of Nicotine. This technique uses a Single Molecular Transistor working as a nanopore operational in the Coulomb Blockade regime. When the Nicotine molecule is pulled through the nanopore area surrounded by the Source(S), Drain (D), and Gate electrodes, the charge stability diagram can detect the presence of the molecule and is unique for a specific molecular structure. Due to the weak coupling between the different electrodes which is set by the nanopore size, the molecular energy states stay almost unaffected by the electrostatic environment that can be realised from the charge stability diagram. Identification of different orientation and position of the Nicotine molecule within the nanopore area can be made from specific regions of overlap between different charge states on the stability diagram that could be used as an electronic fingerprint for detection. This method could be advantageous and useful to detect the presence of Nicotine in smoke which is usually performed using chemical chromatography techniques.

  17. Single molecule transistor based nanopore for the detection of nicotine

    SciTech Connect

    Ray, S. J.

    2014-12-28

    A nanopore based detection methodology was proposed and investigated for the detection of Nicotine. This technique uses a Single Molecular Transistor working as a nanopore operational in the Coulomb Blockade regime. When the Nicotine molecule is pulled through the nanopore area surrounded by the Source(S), Drain (D), and Gate electrodes, the charge stability diagram can detect the presence of the molecule and is unique for a specific molecular structure. Due to the weak coupling between the different electrodes which is set by the nanopore size, the molecular energy states stay almost unaffected by the electrostatic environment that can be realised from the charge stability diagram. Identification of different orientation and position of the Nicotine molecule within the nanopore area can be made from specific regions of overlap between different charge states on the stability diagram that could be used as an electronic fingerprint for detection. This method could be advantageous and useful to detect the presence of Nicotine in smoke which is usually performed using chemical chromatography techniques.

  18. Targeted single molecule mutation detection with massively parallel sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, Mark T.; Bertout, Jessica A.; Ericson, Nolan G.; Taylor, Sean D.; Mukherjee, Rithun; Robins, Harlan S.; Drescher, Charles W.; Bielas, Jason H.

    2016-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have transformed genomic research and have the potential to revolutionize clinical medicine. However, the background error rates of sequencing instruments and limitations in targeted read coverage have precluded the detection of rare DNA sequence variants by NGS. Here we describe a method, termed CypherSeq, which combines double-stranded barcoding error correction and rolling circle amplification (RCA)-based target enrichment to vastly improve NGS-based rare variant detection. The CypherSeq methodology involves the ligation of sample DNA into circular vectors, which contain double-stranded barcodes for computational error correction and adapters for library preparation and sequencing. CypherSeq is capable of detecting rare mutations genome-wide as well as those within specific target genes via RCA-based enrichment. We demonstrate that CypherSeq is capable of correcting errors incurred during library preparation and sequencing to reproducibly detect mutations down to a frequency of 2.4 × 10−7 per base pair, and report the frequency and spectra of spontaneous and ethyl methanesulfonate-induced mutations across the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome. PMID:26384417

  19. Nanofluidics and Single Molecule Detection for DNA analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tegenfeldt, Jonas; Cao, Han; Austin, Robert H.; Cox, Edward C.; Tilghman, Shirley M.

    2002-03-01

    We present a device for high-resolution detection of fluorescent tags bound to DNA molecules. Submicron slits are defined in an aluminum film on a quartz wafer. Microfluidic channels are defined perpendicular to the slits. Fluorescently labeled DNA is passed through the microfluidic channels and is illuminated through the submicron slits. The resulting fluorescence is detected in using an APD. We are particularly interested in studying the pattern of transcription factors along single DNA molecules. We use the lac operon as a model system. Fusion proteins of lac-repressor and GFP have been made and imaged individually. To achieve reliable measurements of the positions of the transcription factors along the DNA, the DNA must be uniformly stretched. Previous devices relied on posts for stretching, resulting in poorly stretched DNA with highly disordered head and tail. Here we show that by forcing the DNA into channels that have a diameter close to or below the persistence length of the DNA (Lp=50nm), the DNA is forced into a stretched conformation along its entire length.

  20. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy at single-molecule scale and its implications in biology.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuling; Irudayaraj, Joseph

    2013-02-05

    Single-molecule (SM) spectroscopy has been an exciting area of research offering significant promise and hope in the field of sensor development to detect targets at ultra-low levels down to SM resolution. To the experts and developers in the field of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), this has often been a challenge and a significant opportunity for exploration. Needless to say, the opportunities and excitement of this multidisciplinary area impacts span the fields of physics, chemistry and engineering, along with a significant thrust in applications constituting areas in medicine, biology, environment and agriculture among others. In this review, we will attempt to provide a quick snapshot of the basics of SM-SERS, nanostructures and devices that can enable SM Raman measurement. We will conclude with a discussion on SERS implications in biomedical sciences.

  1. Step detection in single-molecule real time trajectories embedded in correlated noise.

    PubMed

    Arunajadai, Srikesh G; Cheng, Wei

    2013-01-01

    Single-molecule real time trajectories are embedded in high noise. To extract kinetic or dynamic information of the molecules from these trajectories often requires idealization of the data in steps and dwells. One major premise behind the existing single-molecule data analysis algorithms is the gaussian 'white' noise, which displays no correlation in time and whose amplitude is independent on data sampling frequency. This so-called 'white' noise is widely assumed but its validity has not been critically evaluated. We show that correlated noise exists in single-molecule real time trajectories collected from optical tweezers. The assumption of white noise during analysis of these data can lead to serious over- or underestimation of the number of steps depending on the algorithms employed. We present a statistical method that quantitatively evaluates the structure of the underlying noise, takes the noise structure into account, and identifies steps and dwells in a single-molecule trajectory. Unlike existing data analysis algorithms, this method uses Generalized Least Squares (GLS) to detect steps and dwells. Under the GLS framework, the optimal number of steps is chosen using model selection criteria such as Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC). Comparison with existing step detection algorithms showed that this GLS method can detect step locations with highest accuracy in the presence of correlated noise. Because this method is automated, and directly works with high bandwidth data without pre-filtering or assumption of gaussian noise, it may be broadly useful for analysis of single-molecule real time trajectories.

  2. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy of dyes: from single molecules to the artists' canvas.

    PubMed

    Wustholz, Kristin L; Brosseau, Christa L; Casadio, Francesca; Van Duyne, Richard P

    2009-09-14

    This perspective presents recent surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) studies of dyes, with applications to the fields of single-molecule spectroscopy and art conservation. First we describe the development and outlook of single-molecule SERS (SMSERS). Rather than providing an exhaustive review of the literature, SMSERS experiments that we consider essential for its future development are emphasized. Shifting from single-molecule to ensemble-averaged experiments, we describe recent efforts toward SERS analysis of colorants in precious artworks. Our intention is to illustrate through these examples that the forward development of SERS is dependent upon both fundamental (e.g., SMSERS) and applied (e.g., on-the-specimen SERS of historical art objects) investigations and that the future of SERS is very bright indeed.

  3. Quantitative Single-Molecule Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering by Optothermal Tuning of DNA Origami-Assembled Plasmonic Nanoantennas.

    PubMed

    Simoncelli, Sabrina; Roller, Eva-Maria; Urban, Patrick; Schreiber, Robert; Turberfield, Andrew J; Liedl, Tim; Lohmüller, Theobald

    2016-11-22

    DNA origami is a powerful approach for assembling plasmonic nanoparticle dimers and Raman dyes with high yields and excellent positioning control. Here we show how optothermal-induced shrinking of a DNA origami template can be employed to control the gap sizes between two 40 nm gold nanoparticles in a range from 1 to 2 nm. The high field confinement achieved with this optothermal approach was demonstrated by detection of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) signals from single molecules that are precisely placed within the DNA origami template that spans the nanoparticle gap. By comparing the SERS intensity with respect to the field enhancement in the plasmonic hot-spot region, we found good agreement between measurement and theory. Our straightforward approach for the fabrication of addressable plasmonic nanosensors by DNA origami demonstrates a path toward future sensing applications with single-molecule resolution.

  4. Communication: Atomic force detection of single-molecule nonlinear optical vibrational spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Saurabh, Prasoon Mukamel, Shaul

    2014-04-28

    Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) allows for a highly sensitive detection of spectroscopic signals. This has been first demonstrated for NMR of a single molecule and recently extended to stimulated Raman in the optical regime. We theoretically investigate the use of optical forces to detect time and frequency domain nonlinear optical signals. We show that, with proper phase matching, the AFM-detected signals closely resemble coherent heterodyne-detected signals. Applications are made to AFM-detected and heterodyne-detected vibrational resonances in Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (χ{sup (3)}) and sum or difference frequency generation (χ{sup (2)})

  5. Communication: atomic force detection of single-molecule nonlinear optical vibrational spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Saurabh, Prasoon; Mukamel, Shaul

    2014-04-28

    Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) allows for a highly sensitive detection of spectroscopic signals. This has been first demonstrated for NMR of a single molecule and recently extended to stimulated Raman in the optical regime. We theoretically investigate the use of optical forces to detect time and frequency domain nonlinear optical signals. We show that, with proper phase matching, the AFM-detected signals closely resemble coherent heterodyne-detected signals. Applications are made to AFM-detected and heterodyne-detected vibrational resonances in Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (χ((3))) and sum or difference frequency generation (χ((2))).

  6. DNA-templated nanoantennas for single-molecule detection at elevated concentrations.

    PubMed

    Acuna, Guillermo P; Holzmeister, Phil; Möller, Friederike M; Beater, Susanne; Lalkens, Birka; Tinnefeld, Philip

    2013-06-01

    The dynamic concentration range is one of the major limitations of single-molecule fluorescence techniques. We show how bottom-up nanoantennas enhance the fluorescence intensity in a reduced hotspot, ready for biological applications. We use self-assembled DNA origami structures as a breadboard where gold nanoparticle (NP) dimers are positioned with nanometer precision. A maximum of almost 100-fold intensity enhancement is obtained using 100-nm gold NPs within a gap of 23 nm between the particles. The results obtained are in good agreement with numerical simulations. Due to the intensity enhancement introduced by the nanoantenna, we are able to perform single-molecule measurements at concentrations as high as 500 nM, which represents an increment of 2 orders of magnitude compared to conventional measurements. The combination of metallic NPs with DNA origami structures with docking points for biological assays paves the way for the development of bottom-up inexpensive enhancement chambers for single-molecule measurements at high concentrations where processes like DNA sequencing occur.

  7. DNA-templated nanoantennas for single-molecule detection at elevated concentrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acuna, G. P.; Holzmeister, P.; Möller, F. M.; Beater, S.; Lalkens, B.; Tinnefeld, P.

    2013-02-01

    The dynamic concentration range is one of the major limitations of single-molecule fluorescence techniques. Here, we show how bottom-up nano-antennas enhance the fluorescence intensity in a reduced hot-spot, ready for biological applications. We use self-assembled DNA origami structures as a breadboard where gold nanoparticle dimers are positioned with nanometer precision. A maximum of almost 100fold intensity enhancement is obtained using 100 nm gold nanoparticles within a gap of 23 nm between the particles. The results obtained are in good agreement with numerical simulations. Due to the intensity enhancement introduced by the nano-antenna, we are able to perform single molecule measurements at concentrations as high as 500 nM which represents an increment of 2 orders of magnitude compared to conventional measurements. The combination of metallic nanoparticles with DNA origami structures with docking points for biological assays paves the way for the development of bottom-up inexpensive enhancement chambers for single molecule measurements at high concentrations where processes like DNA sequencing occur.

  8. DNA-templated nanoantennas for single-molecule detection at elevated concentrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acuna, Guillermo P.; Holzmeister, Phil; Möller, Friederike M.; Beater, Susanne; Lalkens, Birka; Tinnefeld, Philip

    2013-06-01

    The dynamic concentration range is one of the major limitations of single-molecule fluorescence techniques. We show how bottom-up nanoantennas enhance the fluorescence intensity in a reduced hotspot, ready for biological applications. We use self-assembled DNA origami structures as a breadboard where gold nanoparticle (NP) dimers are positioned with nanometer precision. A maximum of almost 100-fold intensity enhancement is obtained using 100-nm gold NPs within a gap of 23 nm between the particles. The results obtained are in good agreement with numerical simulations. Due to the intensity enhancement introduced by the nanoantenna, we are able to perform single-molecule measurements at concentrations as high as 500 nM, which represents an increment of 2 orders of magnitude compared to conventional measurements. The combination of metallic NPs with DNA origami structures with docking points for biological assays paves the way for the development of bottom-up inexpensive enhancement chambers for single-molecule measurements at high concentrations where processes like DNA sequencing occur.

  9. Singular phase nano-optics in plasmonic metamaterials for label-free single-molecule detection.

    PubMed

    Kravets, V G; Schedin, F; Jalil, R; Britnell, L; Gorbachev, R V; Ansell, D; Thackray, B; Novoselov, K S; Geim, A K; Kabashin, A V; Grigorenko, A N

    2013-04-01

    The non-trivial behaviour of phase is crucial for many important physical phenomena, such as, for example, the Aharonov-Bohm effect and the Berry phase. By manipulating the phase of light one can create 'twisted' photons, vortex knots and dislocations which has led to the emergence of the field of singular optics relying on abrupt phase changes. Here we demonstrate the feasibility of singular visible-light nano-optics which exploits the benefits of both plasmonic field enhancement and the peculiarities of the phase of light. We show that properly designed plasmonic metamaterials exhibit topologically protected zero reflection yielding to sharp phase changes nearby, which can be employed to radically improve the sensitivity of detectors based on plasmon resonances. By using reversible hydrogenation of graphene and binding of streptavidin-biotin, we demonstrate an areal mass sensitivity at a level of fg mm(-2) and detection of individual biomolecules, respectively. Our proof-of-concept results offer a route towards simple and scalable single-molecule label-free biosensing technologies.

  10. Singular phase nano-optics in plasmonic metamaterials for label-free single-molecule detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kravets, V. G.; Schedin, F.; Jalil, R.; Britnell, L.; Gorbachev, R. V.; Ansell, D.; Thackray, B.; Novoselov, K. S.; Geim, A. K.; Kabashin, A. V.; Grigorenko, A. N.

    2013-04-01

    The non-trivial behaviour of phase is crucial for many important physical phenomena, such as, for example, the Aharonov-Bohm effect and the Berry phase. By manipulating the phase of light one can create ’twisted’ photons, vortex knots and dislocations which has led to the emergence of the field of singular optics relying on abrupt phase changes. Here we demonstrate the feasibility of singular visible-light nano-optics which exploits the benefits of both plasmonic field enhancement and the peculiarities of the phase of light. We show that properly designed plasmonic metamaterials exhibit topologically protected zero reflection yielding to sharp phase changes nearby, which can be employed to radically improve the sensitivity of detectors based on plasmon resonances. By using reversible hydrogenation of graphene and binding of streptavidin-biotin, we demonstrate an areal mass sensitivity at a level of fg mm-2 and detection of individual biomolecules, respectively. Our proof-of-concept results offer a route towards simple and scalable single-molecule label-free biosensing technologies.

  11. Monodisperse droplet generation and rapid trapping for single molecule detection and reaction kinetics measurement.

    PubMed

    Beer, Neil Reginald; Rose, Klint Aaron; Kennedy, Ian M

    2009-03-21

    On-chip monodisperse droplet analysis systems are ideal for low concentration and single molecule applications because they partition reagents into identical picoliter or smaller reactor volumes that can be observed in real-time. We present a novel trapping method with droplet stopping times of approximately 38 ms that is applicable to most on-chip droplet generators. The technique greatly extends optical interrogation times without droplet motion or coalescence; and will allow on-chip single molecule detection of nanoparticle emitters with simple optics. The method maintains droplet monodispersity without chemistry-altering surfactants, and has been shown to preserve a stationary droplet stream through repetitive high-temperature thermal cycling with no additional energy input required to maintain droplet position.

  12. Single-Molecule Tracking and Its Application in Biomolecular Binding Detection.

    PubMed

    Liu, Cong; Liu, Yen-Liang; Perillo, Evan P; Dunn, Andrew K; Yeh, Hsin-Chih

    2016-01-01

    In the past two decades significant advances have been made in single-molecule detection, which enables the direct observation of single biomolecules at work in real time and under physiological conditions. In particular, the development of single-molecule tracking (SMT) microscopy allows us to monitor the motion paths of individual biomolecules in living systems, unveiling the localization dynamics and transport modalities of the biomolecules that support the development of life. Beyond the capabilities of traditional camera-based tracking techniques, state-of-the-art SMT microscopies developed in recent years can record fluorescence lifetime while tracking a single molecule in the 3D space. This multiparameter detection capability can open the door to a wide range of investigations at the cellular or tissue level, including identification of molecular interaction hotspots and characterization of association/dissociation kinetics between molecules. In this review, we discuss various SMT techniques developed to date, with an emphasis on our recent development of the next generation 3D tracking system that not only achieves ultrahigh spatiotemporal resolution but also provides sufficient working depth suitable for live animal imaging. We also discuss the challenges that current SMT techniques are facing and the potential strategies to tackle those challenges.

  13. Multiplexed Detection of Cytokines Based on Dual Bar-Code Strategy and Single-Molecule Counting.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Jiang, Wei; Dai, Shuang; Wang, Lei

    2016-02-02

    Cytokines play important roles in the immune system and have been regarded as biomarkers. While single cytokine is not specific and accurate enough to meet the strict diagnosis in practice, in this work, we constructed a multiplexed detection method for cytokines based on dual bar-code strategy and single-molecule counting. Taking interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) as model analytes, first, the magnetic nanobead was functionalized with the second antibody and primary bar-code strands, forming a magnetic nanoprobe. Then, through the specific reaction of the second antibody and the antigen that fixed by the primary antibody, sandwich-type immunocomplex was formed on the substrate. Next, the primary bar-code strands as amplification units triggered multibranched hybridization chain reaction (mHCR), producing nicked double-stranded polymers with multiple branched arms, which were served as secondary bar-code strands. Finally, the secondary bar-code strands hybridized with the multimolecule labeled fluorescence probes, generating enhanced fluorescence signals. The numbers of fluorescence dots were counted one by one for quantification with epi-fluorescence microscope. By integrating the primary and secondary bar-code-based amplification strategy and the multimolecule labeled fluorescence probes, this method displayed an excellent sensitivity with the detection limits were both 5 fM. Unlike the typical bar-code assay that the bar-code strands should be released and identified on a microarray, this method is more direct. Moreover, because of the selective immune reaction and the dual bar-code mechanism, the resulting method could detect the two targets simultaneously. Multiple analysis in human serum was also performed, suggesting that our strategy was reliable and had a great potential application in early clinical diagnosis.

  14. Feasibility of Single Molecule DNA Sequencing using Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering

    SciTech Connect

    Talley, C E; Reboredo, F; Chan, J; Lane, S M

    2006-02-03

    We have used a combined theoretical and experimental approach in order to assess the feasibility of using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) for DNA sequencing at the single molecule level. We have developed a numerical tool capable of calculating the E-field and resulting SERS enhancement factors for metallic structures of arbitrary size and shape. Measurements of the additional SERS enhancement by combining SERS with coherent antistokes Raman scattering (CARS) show that only modest increases in the signal are achievable due to thermal damage at higher laser powers. Finally, measurements of the SERS enhancement from nanoparticles coated with an insulating layer show that the SERS enhancement is decreased by as much as two orders of magnitude when the molecule is not in contact with the metal surface.

  15. Surface-enhanced Raman signal for terbium single-molecule magnets grafted on graphene.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Manuel; Candini, Andrea; Urdampilleta, Matias; Reserbat-Plantey, Antoine; Bellini, Valerio; Klyatskaya, Svetlana; Marty, Laëtitia; Ruben, Mario; Affronte, Marco; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang; Bendiab, Nedjma

    2010-12-28

    We report the preparation and characterization of monolayer graphene decorated with functionalized single-molecule magnets (SMMs). The grafting ligands provide a homogeneous and selective deposition on graphene. The grafting is characterized by combined Raman microspectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and electron transport measurements. We observe a surface-enhanced Raman signal that allowed us to study the grafting down to the limit of a few isolated molecules. The weak interaction through charge transfer is in agreement with ab initio DFT calculations. Our results indicate that both molecules and graphene are essentially intact and the interaction is driven by van der Waals forces.

  16. Thermoelectric ZT enhanced by asymmetric configuration in single-molecule-magnet junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niu, Pengbin; Shi, Yunlong; Sun, Zhu; Nie, Yi-Hang; Luo, Hong-Gang

    2016-02-01

    In mesoscopic devices, many factors like the Coulomb and spin interactions can enhance the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT. Here we use a system consisting of a single-molecule magnet (SMM) connected to two ferromagnetic electrodes to consider the possible enhancement effects of thermoelectric efficiency. By introducing an asymmetric configuration to the transport junction, we find that this configuration can significantly enhance the thermoelectric ZT. The optimized asymmetric thermoelectric ZT is five times that of the ZT with a symmetric configuration or non-magnetic case. Due to this asymmetry, a non-zero charge thermopower at the electron-hole symmetry point is also found. These results demonstrate that the asymmetry of the transport junction helps to enhance thermoelectric efficiency and is useful for fabricating SMM-based thermoelectric devices.

  17. Single-molecule detection and radiation control in solutions at high concentrations via a heterogeneous optical slot antenna.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Chenglong; Liu, Yongmin; Yang, Jing; Zhang, Jiasen

    2014-08-07

    We designed a heterogeneous optical slot antenna (OSA) that is capable of detecting single molecules in solutions at high concentrations, where most biological processes occur. A heterogeneous OSA consists of a rectangular nanoslot fabricated on heterogeneous metallic films formed by sequential deposition of gold and aluminum on a glass substrate. The rectangular nanoslot gives rise to large field and fluorescence enhancement for single molecules. The near-field intensity inside a heterogeneous OSA is 170 times larger than that inside an aluminum zero-mode waveguide (ZMW), and the fluorescence emission rate of a molecule inside the heterogeneous OSA is about 70 times higher than that of the molecule in free space. Our proposed heterogeneous optical antenna enables excellent balance between performance and cost. The design takes into account the practical experimental conditions so that the parameters chosen in the simulation are well within the reach of current nano-fabrication technologies. Our results can be used as a direct guidance for designing high-performance, low-cost plasmonic nanodevices for the study of bio-molecule and enzyme dynamics at the single-molecule level.

  18. Coherent (photon) vs incoherent (current) detection of multidimensional optical signals from single molecules in open junctions

    SciTech Connect

    Agarwalla, Bijay Kumar; Hua, Weijie; Zhang, Yu; Mukamel, Shaul; Harbola, Upendra

    2015-06-07

    The nonlinear optical response of a current-carrying single molecule coupled to two metal leads and driven by a sequence of impulsive optical pulses with controllable phases and time delays is calculated. Coherent (stimulated, heterodyne) detection of photons and incoherent detection of the optically induced current are compared. Using a diagrammatic Liouville space superoperator formalism, the signals are recast in terms of molecular correlation functions which are then expanded in the many-body molecular states. Two dimensional signals in benzene-1,4-dithiol molecule show cross peaks involving charged states. The correlation between optical and charge current signal is also observed.

  19. Single Molecule Detection in Living Biological Cells using Carbon Nanotube Optical Probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strano, Michael

    2009-03-01

    Nanoscale sensing elements offer promise for single molecule analyte detection in physically or biologically constrained environments. Molecular adsorption can be amplified via modulation of sharp singularities in the electronic density of states that arise from 1D quantum confinement [1]. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT), as single molecule optical sensors [2-3], offer unique advantages such as photostable near-infrared (n-IR) emission for prolonged detection through biological media, single-molecule sensitivity and, nearly orthogonal optical modes for signal transduction that can be used to identify distinct classes of analytes. Selective binding to the SWNT surface is difficult to engineer [4]. In this lecture, we will briefly review the immerging field of fluorescent diagnostics using band gap emission from SWNT. In recent work, we demonstrate that even a single pair of SWNT provides at least four optical modes that can be modulated to uniquely fingerprint chemical agents by the degree to which they alter either the emission band intensity or wavelength. We validate this identification method in vitro by demonstrating detection and identification of six genotoxic analytes, including chemotherapeutic drugs and reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are spectroscopically differentiated into four distinct classes. We also demonstrate single-molecule sensitivity in detecting hydrogen peroxide, one of the most common genotoxins and an important cellular signal. Finally, we employ our sensing and fingerprinting method of these analytes in real time within live 3T3 cells, demonstrating the first multiplexed optical detection from a nanoscale biosensor and the first label-free tool to optically discriminate between genotoxins. We will also discuss our recent efforts to fabricate biomedical sensors for real time detection of glucose and other important physiologically relevant analytes in-vivo. The response of embedded SWNT in a swellable hydrogel construct to

  20. Telomerase Activity Detection with Amplification-Free Single Molecule Stochastic Binding Assay.

    PubMed

    Su, Xin; Li, Zehao; Yan, Xinzhong; Wang, Lei; Zhou, Xu; Wei, Lin; Xiao, Lehui; Yu, Changyuan

    2017-03-21

    Because the elongation of telomeres has been associated with tumorigenesis, it is of great interest to develop rapid and high-confidence telomerase activity detection methods for disease diagnosis. Currently, amplification-based strategies have been extensively explored for telomerase detection in vitro and in vivo. However, amplification is typically associated with poor reproducibility and high background, which hamper further applications of the strategies, particularly for real sample assays. Here, we demonstrate a new amplification-free single molecule imaging method for telomerase activity detection in vitro based on nucleic acid stochastic binding with total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. The dynamic stochastic binding of a short fluorescent DNA probe with a genuine target yields a distinct kinetic signature from the background noise, allowing us to identify telomerase reaction products (TRPs) at the single molecule level. A limit-of-detection as low as 0.5 fM and a dynamic range of 0.5-500 fM for TRP detection were readily achieved. With this method, telomerase extracted from cancer cells was determined with sensitivity down to 10 cells. Moreover, the length distribution of TRPs was also determined by multiple stochastic probing, which could provide deep insight into the mechanistic study of telomerase catalysis.

  1. A highly parallel microfluidic droplet method enabling single-molecule counting for digital enzyme detection

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Zhichao; Zou, Yuan; Zhang, Mingxia; Lv, Jiangquan; Shen, Huali; Yang, Pengyuan; Zhang, Huimin; Zhu, Zhi; James Yang, Chaoyong

    2014-01-01

    Although digital detection of nucleic acids has been achieved by amplification of single templates in uniform microfluidic droplets and widely used for genetic analysis, droplet-based digital detection of proteins has rarely been reported, largely due to the lack of an efficient target amplification method for protein in droplets. Here, we report a key step towards digital detection of proteins using a highly parallel microfluidic droplet approach for single enzyme molecule detection in picoliter droplets via enzyme catalyzed signal amplification. An integrated microfluidic chip was designed for high throughput uniform droplet generation, monolayer droplet collection, incubation, detection, and release. Single β-galatosidase (β-Gal) molecules and the fluorogenic substrate fluorescein di-β-D-galactopyranoside were injected from two separated inlets to form uniform 20 μm droplets in fluorinated oil at a frequency of 6.6 kHz. About 200 000 droplets were captured as a monolayer in a capture well on-chip for subsequent imaging detection. A series of β-Gal solutions at different concentrations were analyzed at the single-molecule level. With no enzyme present, no droplets were found to fluoresce, while brightly fluorescent droplets were observed under single-enzyme molecule conditions. Droplet fluorescence intensity distribution analysis showed that the distribution of enzyme molecules under single-molecule conditions matched well with theoretical prediction, further proving the feasibility of detecting single enzyme molecules in emulsion droplets. Moreover, the population of fluorescent droplets increased as the β-Gal concentration increased. Based on a digital counting method, the measured concentrations of the enzyme were found to match well with input enzyme concentration, establishing the accuracy of the digital detection method for the quantification of β-Gal enzyme molecules. The capability of highly parallel detection of single enzyme molecules in

  2. Nanophotonic approaches for nanoscale imaging and single-molecule detection at ultrahigh concentrations.

    PubMed

    Mivelle, Mathieu; Van Zanten, Thomas S; Manzo, Carlo; Garcia-Parajo, Maria F

    2014-07-01

    Over the last decade, we have witnessed an outburst of many different optical techniques aimed at breaking the diffraction limit of light, providing super-resolution imaging on intact fixed cells. In parallel, single-molecule detection by means of fluorescence has become a common tool to investigate biological interactions at the molecular level both in vitro and in living cells. Despite these advances, visualization of dynamic events at relevant physiological concentrations at the nanometer scale remains challenging. In this review, we focus on recent advancements in the field of nanophotonics toward nanoimaging and single-molecule detection at ultrahigh sample concentrations. These approaches rely on the use of metal nanostructures known as optical antennas to localize and manipulate optical fields at the nanometer scale. We highlight examples on how different optical antenna geometries are being implemented for nanoscale imaging of cell membrane components. We also discuss different implementations of self-standing and two-dimensional antenna arrays for studying nanoscale dynamics in living cell membranes as well as detection of individual biomolecular interactions in the µM range for sensing applications.

  3. Modification and characterization of fluorescent conjugated polymer nanoparticles for single molecule detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Yueli

    Single molecule tracking using fluorescent dye or nanoparticle labels has emerged as a useful technique for probing biomolecular processes. Considerable interest arises in the development of nanoparticle labels with brighter fluorescence in order to improve the spatial and temporal resolution of single molecule detection and to facilitate the application of single molecule detection methods to a wider range of intracellular processes. The McNeill laboratory recently reported that conjugated polymer nanoparticles exhibit fluorescence cross-sections roughly 10--100 times higher than other luminescent nanoparticles of similar size, excellent photostability (2.2x108 photons emitted per nanoparticle prior to photobleaching), and saturated emission rates roughly 100 times higher than that of the molecular dyes and more than 1000 times higher than that of colloidal semiconductor quantum dots. One purpose of this graduate research is the development of highly fluorescent, bioconjugated nanoparticle labels based on conjugated polymers for demanding fluorescence applications such as single molecule tracking in live cells. Three surface modification methods (conjugated polymer nanoparticles encapsulated with lipid silica agents, conjugated polymer nanoparticles encapsulated with tetraethyl orthosilicate(TEOS) and hybrid nanoparticles with thiol pendant groups by the Stober Method (3-mercaptopropyl trimethoxysilane (MPS))) have been developed to protect the conjugated polymer, passivate the nanoparticle surface, and provide a chemical handle for bioconjugation such as nanoparticle encapsulation with alkoxysilanes and Stober method. After encapsulation, the fluorescence quantum yield of silica-encapsulated nanoparticles is improved by 20% as compared to bare conjugated polymer nanoparticles, while the photostability is improved by a factor of 2, indicating that some protection of the polymer is provided by the encapsulating layer. Another purpose of my research is the

  4. Crown ether–electrolyte interactions permit nanopore detection of individual DNA abasic sites in single molecules

    PubMed Central

    An, Na; Fleming, Aaron M.; White, Henry S.; Burrows, Cynthia J.

    2012-01-01

    DNA abasic (AP) sites are one of the most frequent lesions in the genome and have a high mutagenic potential if unrepaired. After selective attachment of 2-aminomethyl-18-crown-6 (18c6), individual AP lesions are detected during electrophoretic translocation through the bacterial protein ion channel α-hemolysin (α-HL) embedded in a lipid bilayer. Interactions between 18c6 and Na+ produce characteristic pulse-like current amplitude signatures that allow the identification of individual AP sites in single molecules of homopolymeric or heteropolymeric DNA sequences. The bulky 18c6-cation complexes also dramatically slow the DNA motion to more easily recordable levels. Further, the behaviors of the AP-18c6 adduct are different with respect to the directionalities of DNA entering the protein channel, and they can be precisely manipulated by altering the cation (Li+, Na+ or K+) of the electrolyte. This method permits detection of multiple AP lesions per strand, which is unprecedented in other work. Additionally, insights into the thermodynamics and kinetics of 18c6-cation interactions at a single-molecule level are provided by the nanopore measurement. PMID:22711805

  5. Ultrasensitive protein detection in blood serum using gold nanoparticle probes by single molecule spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jiji; Wang, Chungang; Irudayaraj, Joseph

    2009-07-01

    A one-step rapid and ultrasensitive immunoassay capable of detecting proteins in blood serum is developed using gold nanoprobes and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). In this approach we take advantage of the inherent photoluminescence property of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) to develop a fluorophore-free assay to observe binding entities by monitoring the diffusion of bound versus unbound molecules in a limited confocal volume. 40-nm GNPs conjugated separately with rabbit anti-IgG (Fc) and goat anti-IgG (Fab) when incubated in blood serum containing IgG forms a sandwich structure constituting dimers and oligomers that can be differentiated by to detect IgG in blood serum at a limit of detection (LOD) of 5 pg/ml. The novelty of integrating GNPs with FCS to develop a sensitive blood immunoassay brings single molecule methods one step closer to the clinic.

  6. Quantum-interference-enhanced thermoelectricity in single molecules and molecular films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambert, Colin J.; Sadeghi, Hatef; Al-Galiby, Qusiy H.

    2016-12-01

    We provide a brief overview of recent measurements and predictions of thermoelectric properties of single-molecules and porous nanoribbons and discuss some principles underpinning strategies for enhancing their thermoelectric performance. The latter include (a) taking advantage of steep slopes in the electron transmission coefficient T (E), (b) creating structures with delta-function-like transmission coefficients and (c) utilising step-like features in T (E). To achieve high performance, we suggest that the latter may be the most fruitful, since it is less susceptible to inhomogeneous broadening. For the purpose of extrapolating thermoelectric properties of single or few molecules to monolayer molecular films, we also discuss the relevance of the conductance-weighted average Seebeck coefficient. xml:lang="fr"

  7. Towards single-molecule NMR detection and spectroscopy using single spins in diamond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perunicic, V. S.; Hall, L. T.; Simpson, D. A.; Hill, C. D.; Hollenberg, L. C. L.

    2014-02-01

    Nanomagnetometry using the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in diamond has attracted a great deal of interest due to its unique combination of room temperature operation, nanoscale resolution, and high sensitivity. One of the important goals for nanomagnetometry is to be able to detect nanoscale nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in individual molecules. Our theoretical analysis details a method by which a single molecule on the surface of diamond, with characteristic NMR frequencies, can be detected using a proximate NV center on a time scale of an order of seconds with nanometer precision. We perform spatiotemporal resolution optimization and subsequently outline paths to greater sensitivity. Our method is suitable for application in low and relatively inhomogeneous background magnetic fields in contrast to both conventional liquid and solid state NMR spectroscopy.

  8. Label-Free, Single Molecule Resonant Cavity Detection: A Double-Blind Experimental Study

    PubMed Central

    Chistiakova, Maria V.; Shi, Ce; Armani, Andrea M.

    2015-01-01

    Optical resonant cavity sensors are gaining increasing interest as a potential diagnostic method for a range of applications, including medical prognostics and environmental monitoring. However, the majority of detection demonstrations to date have involved identifying a “known” analyte, and the more rigorous double-blind experiment, in which the experimenter must identify unknown solutions, has yet to be performed. This scenario is more representative of a real-world situation. Therefore, before these devices can truly transition, it is necessary to demonstrate this level of robustness. By combining a recently developed surface chemistry with integrated silica optical sensors, we have performed a double-blind experiment to identify four unknown solutions. The four unknown solutions represented a subset or complete set of four known solutions; as such, there were 256 possible combinations. Based on the single molecule detection signal, we correctly identified all solutions. In addition, as part of this work, we developed noise reduction algorithms. PMID:25785307

  9. Accounting for Limited Detection Efficiency and Localization Precision in Cluster Analysis in Single Molecule Localization Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Shivanandan, Arun; Unnikrishnan, Jayakrishnan; Radenovic, Aleksandra

    2015-01-01

    Single Molecule Localization Microscopy techniques like PhotoActivated Localization Microscopy, with their sub-diffraction limit spatial resolution, have been popularly used to characterize the spatial organization of membrane proteins, by means of quantitative cluster analysis. However, such quantitative studies remain challenged by the techniques’ inherent sources of errors such as a limited detection efficiency of less than 60%, due to incomplete photo-conversion, and a limited localization precision in the range of 10 – 30nm, varying across the detected molecules, mainly depending on the number of photons collected from each. We provide analytical methods to estimate the effect of these errors in cluster analysis and to correct for them. These methods, based on the Ripley’s L(r) – r or Pair Correlation Function popularly used by the community, can facilitate potentially breakthrough results in quantitative biology by providing a more accurate and precise quantification of protein spatial organization. PMID:25794150

  10. Quantitative determination of the single-molecule detection regime in fluorescence fluctuation microscopy by means of photon counting histogram analysis.

    PubMed

    Niesner, Raluca; Gericke, Karl-Heinz

    2006-04-07

    Fluorescence fluctuation experiments are performed in single-molecule detection regime if the fluorescence of at most one molecule is registered at a time. Although the significance of such experiments for investigations of complex nonergodic systems like those met in the biosciences has been stressed out by many scientists, the quantitative and accurate determination of the single-molecule detection regime received rather little attention. In this work we present a method based on the photon counting histogram (PCH) analysis, which enables the determination of the average number N of molecules within the observation volume, for which only the fluorescence of individual molecules is detected at a time. Thus, the accurate design of fluorescence fluctuation experiments performed in single-molecule detection regime is possible. Demonstrative fluorescence fluctuation experiments based on two-photon excitation are performed on diluted solutions of coumarin 153, in order to verify the potential of the PCH analysis in experiments on the single-molecule detection level. If the mean number N of molecules within the excitation volume is larger than 0.048, the probability to simultaneously detect the fluorescence of two or more molecules is no longer negligible, i.e., no single-molecule detection regime. If the mean number N of molecules is lower than 0.0057, the detection limit of the method is reached, i.e., the fluorescence signal cannot be distinguished from the background. Consequently, the concentration of coumarin 153 characteristic for the single-molecule detection regime lies in the range 13-110 pmol/l for the given experimental conditions. We also investigate the influence of the molecular brightness, i.e., detected photons per fluorophore molecule and sampling time, on the single-molecule detection regime.

  11. Applications of a single-molecule detection in early disease diagnosis and enzymatic reaction study

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Jiangwei

    2008-01-01

    Various single-molecule techniques were utilized for ultra-sensitive early diagnosis of viral DNA and antigen and basic mechanism study of enzymatic reactions. DNA of human papilloma virus (HPV) served as the screening target in a flow system. Alexa Fluor 532 (AF532) labeled single-stranded DNA probes were hybridized to the target HPV-16 DNA in solution. The individual hybridized molecules were imaged with an intensified charge-coupled device (ICCD) in two ways. In the single-color mode, target molecules were detected via fluorescence from hybridized probes only. This system could detect HPV-16 DNA in the presence of human genomic DNA down to 0.7 copy/cell and had a linear dynamic range of over 6 orders of magnitude. In the dual-color mode, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) was employed to achieve zero false-positive count. We also showed that DNA extracts from Pap test specimens did not interfere with the system. A surface-based method was used to improve the throughput of the flow system. HPV-16 DNA was hybridized to probes on a glass surface and detected with a total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscope. In the single-probe mode, the whole genome and target DNA were fluorescently labeled before hybridization, and the detection limit is similar to the flow system. In the dual-probe mode, a second probe was introduced. The linear dynamic range covers 1.44-7000 copies/cell, which is typical of early infection to near-cancer stages. The dual-probe method was tested with a crudely prepared sample. Even with reduced hybridization efficiency caused by the interference of cellular materials, we were still able to differentiate infected cells from healthy cells. Detection and quantification of viral antigen with a novel single-molecule immunosorbent assay (SMISA) was achieved. Antigen from human immunodeficiency virus type 1(HIV-1) was chosen to be the target in this study. The target was sandwiched between a monoclonal capture antibody and a

  12. Single-molecule detection of proteins with antigen-antibody interaction using resistive-pulse sensing of submicron latex particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takakura, T.; Yanagi, I.; Goto, Y.; Ishige, Y.; Kohara, Y.

    2016-03-01

    We developed a resistive-pulse sensor with a solid-state pore and measured the latex agglutination of submicron particles induced by antigen-antibody interaction for single-molecule detection of proteins. We fabricated the pore based on numerical simulation to clearly distinguish between monomer and dimer latex particles. By measuring single dimers agglutinated in the single-molecule regime, we detected single human alpha-fetoprotein molecules. Adjusting the initial particle concentration improves the limit of detection (LOD) to 95 fmol/l. We established a theoretical model of the LOD by combining the reaction kinetics and the counting statistics to explain the effect of initial particle concentration on the LOD. The theoretical model shows how to improve the LOD quantitatively. The single-molecule detection studied here indicates the feasibility of implementing a highly sensitive immunoassay by a simple measurement method using resistive-pulse sensing.

  13. Too Hot for Photon-Assisted Transport: Hot-Electrons Dominate Conductance Enhancement in Illuminated Single-Molecule Junctions.

    PubMed

    Fung, E-Dean; Adak, Olgun; Lovat, Giacomo; Scarabelli, Diego; Venkataraman, Latha

    2017-02-08

    We investigate light-induced conductance enhancement in single-molecule junctions via photon-assisted transport and hot-electron transport. Using 4,4'-bipyridine bound to Au electrodes as a prototypical single-molecule junction, we report a 20-40% enhancement in conductance under illumination with 980 nm wavelength radiation. We probe the effects of subtle changes in the transmission function on light-enhanced current and show that discrete variations in the binding geometry result in a 10% change in enhancement. Importantly, we prove theoretically that the steady-state behavior of photon-assisted transport and hot-electron transport is identical but that hot-electron transport is the dominant mechanism for optically induced conductance enhancement in single-molecule junctions when the wavelength used is absorbed by the electrodes and the hot-electron relaxation time is long. We confirm this experimentally by performing polarization-dependent conductance measurements of illuminated 4,4'-bipyridine junctions. Finally, we perform lock-in type measurements of optical current and conclude that currents due to laser-induced thermal expansion mask optical currents. This work provides a robust experimental framework for studying mechanisms of light-enhanced transport in single-molecule junctions and offers tools for tuning the performance of organic optoelectronic devices by analyzing detailed transport properties of the molecules involved.

  14. Highly sensitive, non-invasive detection of colorectal cancer mutations using single molecule, third generation sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Russo, Giancarlo; Patrignani, Andrea; Poveda, Lucy; Hoehn, Frederic; Scholtka, Bettina; Schlapbach, Ralph; Garvin, Alex M.

    2015-01-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) represents one of the most prevalent and lethal malignant neoplasms and every individual of age 50 and above should undergo regular CRC screening. Currently, the most effective preventive screening procedure to detect adenomatous polyps, the precursors to CRC, is colonoscopy. Since every colorectal cancer starts as a polyp, detecting all polyps and removing them is crucial. By exactly doing that, colonoscopy reduces CRC incidence by 80%, however it is an invasive procedure that might have unpleasant and, in rare occasions, dangerous side effects. Despite numerous efforts over the past two decades, a non-invasive screening method for the general population with detection rates for adenomas and CRC similar to that of colonoscopy has not yet been established. Recent advances in next generation sequencing technologies have yet to be successfully applied to this problem, because the detection of rare mutations has been hindered by the systematic biases due to sequencing context and the base calling quality of NGS. We present the first study that applies the high read accuracy and depth of single molecule, real time, circular consensus sequencing (SMRT-CCS) to the detection of mutations in stool DNA in order to provide a non-invasive, sensitive and accurate test for CRC. In stool DNA isolated from patients diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, we are able to detect mutations at frequencies below 0.5% with no false positives. This approach establishes a foundation for a non-invasive, highly sensitive assay to screen the population for CRC and the early stage adenomas that lead to CRC. PMID:27054083

  15. Highly sensitive, non-invasive detection of colorectal cancer mutations using single molecule, third generation sequencing.

    PubMed

    Russo, Giancarlo; Patrignani, Andrea; Poveda, Lucy; Hoehn, Frederic; Scholtka, Bettina; Schlapbach, Ralph; Garvin, Alex M

    2015-12-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) represents one of the most prevalent and lethal malignant neoplasms and every individual of age 50 and above should undergo regular CRC screening. Currently, the most effective preventive screening procedure to detect adenomatous polyps, the precursors to CRC, is colonoscopy. Since every colorectal cancer starts as a polyp, detecting all polyps and removing them is crucial. By exactly doing that, colonoscopy reduces CRC incidence by 80%, however it is an invasive procedure that might have unpleasant and, in rare occasions, dangerous side effects. Despite numerous efforts over the past two decades, a non-invasive screening method for the general population with detection rates for adenomas and CRC similar to that of colonoscopy has not yet been established. Recent advances in next generation sequencing technologies have yet to be successfully applied to this problem, because the detection of rare mutations has been hindered by the systematic biases due to sequencing context and the base calling quality of NGS. We present the first study that applies the high read accuracy and depth of single molecule, real time, circular consensus sequencing (SMRT-CCS) to the detection of mutations in stool DNA in order to provide a non-invasive, sensitive and accurate test for CRC. In stool DNA isolated from patients diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, we are able to detect mutations at frequencies below 0.5% with no false positives. This approach establishes a foundation for a non-invasive, highly sensitive assay to screen the population for CRC and the early stage adenomas that lead to CRC.

  16. Quantitative single-molecule detection of protein based on DNA tetrahedron fluorescent nanolabels.

    PubMed

    Ding, Yongshun; Liu, Xingti; Zhu, Jing; Wang, Lei; Jiang, Wei

    2014-07-01

    A highly sensitive method for single-molecule quantitative detection of human IgG is presented by the employment of a new fluorescent nanolabel. In this method, fluorescent nanolabels were assembled by inserting SYBR Green I into DNA tetrahedron nanostructure. The bio-nanolabels were attached to the streptavidin-antihuman antibody by a specific reaction between biotin and streptavidin. The antibody was combined with the target antigen, human IgG, which was immobilized on the silanized glass subtrate surface. Finally, epi-fluorescence microscopy (EFM) coupled with an electron multiplying charge-coupled device was employed for fluorescence imaging. The fluorescent spots corresponding to single protein molecule on images were counted and further used for the quantitative detection. It was found that the new nanolabel shows good photostability, biocompatiblity and exhibits no blinking compared to traditional labels like fluorescence dyes and quantum dot (QDs). In addition, the number of fluorescence spots on the images has a linear relationship with the concentration of human IgG in the range of 3.0×10(-14) to 1.0×10(-12)mol L(-1). What is more, this method showed an excellent specificity and a low matrix effect.

  17. Multiplex detection of histone-modifying enzymes by total internal reflection fluorescence-based single-molecule detection.

    PubMed

    Ma, Fei; Liu, Meng; Wang, Zi-yue; Zhang, Chun-yang

    2016-01-21

    We develop a sensitive and selective method for the multiplex detection of histone-modifying enzymes (HMEs) through the integration of antibody-based fluorescence labeling with total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF)-based single-molecule detection. This method exhibits excellent specificity and high sensitivity with a detection limit of 21 pM for histone acetyltransferase GcN5 and 12 pM for histone methyltransferase G9a, and it can be applied for the screening of HME inhibitors as well.

  18. Chemical polyglycosylation and nanolitre detection enables single-molecule recapitulation of bacterial sugar export

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Lingbing; Almond, Andrew; Bayley, Hagan; Davis, Benjamin G.

    2016-05-01

    The outermost protective layer of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria is composed of bacterial capsular polysaccharides. Insights into the interactions between the capsular polysaccharide and its transporter and the mechanism of sugar export would not only increase our understanding of this key process, but would also help in the design of novel therapeutics to block capsular polysaccharide export. Here, we report a nanolitre detection system that makes use of the bilayer interface between two droplets, and we use this system to study single-molecule recapitulation of sugar export. A synthetic strategy of polyglycosylation based on tetrasaccharide monomers enables ready synthetic access to extended fragments of K30 oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. Examination of the interactions between the Escherichia coli sugar transporter Wza and very small amounts of fragments of the K30 capsular polysaccharide substrate reveal the translocation of smaller but not larger fragments. We also observe capture events that occur only on the intracellular side of Wza, which would complement coordinated feeding by adjunct biosynthetic machinery.

  19. Single molecule detection with graphene and other two-dimensional materials: nanopores and beyond

    PubMed Central

    Arjmandi-Tash, Hadi; Belyaeva, Liubov A.

    2016-01-01

    Graphene and other two dimensional (2D) materials are currently integrated into nanoscaled devices that may – one day – sequence genomes. The challenge to solve is conceptually straightforward: cut a sheet out of a 2D material and use the edge of the sheet to scan an unfolded biomolecule from head to tail. As the scan proceeds – and because 2D materials are atomically thin – the information provided by the edge might be used to identify different segments – ideally single nucleotides – in the biomolecular strand. So far, the most efficient approach was to drill a nano-sized pore in the sheet and use this pore as a channel to guide and detect individual molecules by measuring the electrochemical ionic current. Nanoscaled gaps between two electrodes in 2D materials recently emerged as powerful alternatives to nanopores. This article reviews the current status and prospects of integrating 2D materials in nanopores, nanogaps and similar devices for single molecule biosensing applications. We discuss the pros and cons, the challenges, and the latest achievements in the field. To achieve high-throughput sequencing with 2D materials, interdisciplinary research is essential. PMID:26612268

  20. Single molecule detection of double-stranded DNA in poly(methylmethacrylate) and polycarbonate microfluidic devices.

    PubMed

    Wabuyele, M B; Ford, S M; Stryjewski, W; Barrow, J; Soper, S A

    2001-10-01

    molecular events detected per unit time was found to be four times higher in channels with 10 microm widths compared to those of 50 microm, indicating improved sampling efficiency for the narrower channels without significantly deteriorating detection efficiency. Attempts were made to do single molecule sizing of lambda-DNA, M13 (7.2 kbp) and pUC19 (2.7 kbp) using photon burst detection. While the average number of photons for each DNA type were different, the standard deviations were large due to the Gaussian intensity profile of the excitation beam. To demonstrate the sensitivity of single molecule analysis in the near-IR using polymer microfluidic devices, the near-IR chromophore, NN382, wasanalyzed using ourconfocal imager. A detection efficiency of 94% for single NN382 molecules was observed in the PC devices.

  1. Single-molecule sequence detection via microfluidic planar extensional flow at a stagnation point.

    PubMed

    Dylla-Spears, Rebecca; Townsend, Jacqueline E; Jen-Jacobson, Linda; Sohn, Lydia L; Muller, Susan J

    2010-06-21

    We demonstrate the use of a microfluidic stagnation point flow to trap and extend single molecules of double-stranded (ds) genomic DNA for detection of target sequences along the DNA backbone. Mutant EcoRI-based fluorescent markers are bound sequence-specifically to fluorescently labeled ds lambda-DNA. The marker-DNA complexes are introduced into a microfluidic cross slot consisting of flow channels that intersect at ninety degrees. Buffered solution containing the marker-DNA complexes flows in one channel of the cross slot, pure buffer flows in the opposing channel at the same flow rate, and fluid exits the two channels at ninety degrees from the inlet channels. This creates a stagnation point at the center of a planar extensional flow, where marker-DNA complexes may be trapped and elongated along the outflow axis. The degree of elongation can be controlled using the flow strength (i.e., a non-dimensional flow rate) in the device. Both the DNA backbone and the markers bound along the stretched DNA are observed directly using fluorescence microscopy, and the location of the markers along the DNA backbone is measured. We find that our method permits detection of each of the five expected target site positions to within 1.5 kb with standard deviations of <1.5 kb. We compare the method's precision and accuracy at molecular extensions of 68% and 88% of the contour length to binding distributions from similar data obtained via molecular combing. We also provide evidence that increased mixing of the sample during binding of the marker to the DNA improves binding to internal target sequences of dsDNA, presumably by extending the DNA and making the internal binding sites more accessible.

  2. Direct Detection of α-Synuclein Dimerization Dynamics: Single-Molecule Fluorescence Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Lv, Zhengjian; Krasnoslobodtsev, Alexey V.; Zhang, Yuliang; Ysselstein, Daniel; Rochet, Jean-Christophe; Blanchard, Scott C.; Lyubchenko, Yuri L.

    2015-01-01

    The aggregation of α-synuclein (α-Syn) is linked to Parkinson’s disease. The mechanism of early aggregation steps and the effect of pathogenic single-point mutations remain elusive. We report here a single-molecule fluorescence study of α-Syn dimerization and the effect of mutations. Specific interactions between tethered fluorophore-free α-Syn monomers on a substrate and fluorophore-labeled monomers diffusing freely in solution were observed using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. The results showed that wild-type (WT) α-Syn dimers adopt two types of dimers. The lifetimes of type 1 and type 2 dimers were determined to be 197 ± 3 ms and 3334 ± 145 ms, respectively. All three of the mutations used, A30P, E46K, and A53T, increased the lifetime of type 1 dimer and enhanced the relative population of type 2 dimer, with type 1 dimer constituting the major fraction. The kinetic stability of type 1 dimers (expressed in terms of lifetime) followed the order A30P (693 ± 14 ms) > E46K (292 ± 5 ms) > A53T (226 ± 6 ms) > WT (197 ± 3 ms). Type 2 dimers, which are more stable, had lifetimes in the range of several seconds. The strongest effect, observed for the A30P mutant, resulted in a lifetime 3.5 times higher than observed for the WT type 1 dimer. This mutation also doubled the relative fraction of type 2 dimer. These data show that single-point mutations promote dimerization, and they suggest that the structural heterogeneity of α-Syn dimers could lead to different aggregation pathways. PMID:25902443

  3. Microfluidics for biological measurements with single-molecule resolution.

    PubMed

    Streets, Aaron M; Huang, Yanyi

    2014-02-01

    Single-molecule approaches in biology have been critical in studies ranging from the examination of physical properties of biological macromolecules to the extraction of genetic information from DNA. The variation intrinsic to many biological processes necessitates measurements with single-molecule resolution in order to accurately recapitulate population distributions. Microfluidic technology has proven to be useful in the facilitation and even enhancement of single-molecule studies because of the precise liquid handling, small volume manipulation, and high throughput capabilities of microfluidic devices. In this review we survey the microfluidic "toolbox" available to the single-molecule specialist and summarize some recent biological applications of single-molecule detection on chip.

  4. Reduced dyes enhance single-molecule localization density for live superresolution imaging.

    PubMed

    Carlini, Lina; Benke, Alexander; Reymond, Luc; Lukinavičius, Gražvydas; Manley, Suliana

    2014-03-17

    Cell-permeable rhodamine dyes are reductively quenched by NaBH4 into a non-fluorescent leuco-rhodamine form. Quenching is reversible, and their fluorescence is recovered when the dyes are oxidized. In living cells, oxidation occurs spontaneously, and can result in up to ten-fold higher densities of single molecule localizations, and more photons per localization as compared with unmodified dyes. These two parameters directly impact the achievable resolution, and we see a significant improvement in the quality of live-cell point-localization super-resolution images taken with reduced dyes. These improvements carry over to increase the density of trajectories for single-molecule tracking experiments.

  5. An integrated system for optical and electrical detection of single molecules/particles inside a solid-state nanopore.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xin; Gao, Rui; Ying, Yi-Lun; Si, Wei; Chen, Yunfei; Long, Yi-Tao

    2015-01-01

    Nanopore techniques have proven to be useful tools for single-molecule detection. The combination of optical detection and ionic current measurements enables a new possibility for the parallel readout of multiple nanopores without complex nanofluidics and embedded electrodes. In this study, we developed a new integrated system for the label-free optical and electrical detection of single molecules based on a metal-coated nanopore. The entire system, containing a dark-field microscopy system and an ultralow current detection system with high temporal resolution, was designed and fabricated. An Au-coated nanopore was used to generate the optical signal. Light scattering from a single Au-coated nanopore was measured under a dark-field microscope. A lab-built ultralow current detection system was designed for the correlated optical and electrical readout. This integrated system might provide more direct and detailed information on single analytes inside the nanopore compared with classical ionic current measurements.

  6. Separation and counting of single molecules through nanofluidics, programmable electrophoresis, and nanoelectrode-gated tunneling and dielectric detection

    DOEpatents

    Lee, James W.; Thundat, Thomas G.

    2006-04-25

    An apparatus for carrying out the separation, detection, and/or counting of single molecules at nanometer scale. Molecular separation is achieved by driving single molecules through a microfluidic or nanofluidic medium using programmable and coordinated electric fields. In various embodiments, the fluidic medium is a strip of hydrophilic material on nonconductive hydrophobic surface, a trough produced by parallel strips of hydrophobic nonconductive material on a hydrophilic base, or a covered passageway produced by parallel strips of hydrophobic nonconductive material on a hydrophilic base together with a nonconductive cover on the parallel strips of hydrophobic nonconductive material. The molecules are detected and counted using nanoelectrode-gated electron tunneling methods, dielectric monitoring, and other methods.

  7. Single molecule fluorescence studies of ribosome dynamics: An application of metal enhanced fluorescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bharill, Shashank

    Metal enhanced fluorescence (MEF), in which a surface plasmon near a noble metal alters the spectral properties of an organic fluorophore, has been reported to increase fluorescence intensity without a concomitant increase in photobleaching rate. The fluorescence intensities of Cy3- and Cy5-labeled ribosomal initiation complexes (ICs) near 50 nm silver particles were increased 4 - 7-fold compared to ICs in the absence of silver colloids. Photobleaching lifetime was not significantly decreased, resulting in 4 - 5.5-fold enhancement in total photon emission prior to photobleaching. Fluorophores showing enhanced fluorescence were located within ˜280 nm of the colloidal particles, as detected by light scattering and scanning probe microscopy. Aggregates of silver particles or larger colloids themselves produced wavelength-shifted luminescence similar to fluorescence, presumably due to resonant extinction between nearby metal particles. Intensity fluctuations above shot noise, at 0.1 - 5 Hz, were greater from slides containing colloidal particles than from plain glass. Overall signal to noise ratio was similar or slightly better near the silver particles. Proximity to silver particles did not compromise ribosome function, as measured by codon-dependent binding of fluorescent tRNA to the A site of fluorescent labeled ribosomes, dynamics of fluorescence resonance energy transfer between adjacent tRNAs in the ribosomal A and P sites, and elongation factor G catalyzed translocation.

  8. Point decoration of silicon nanowires: an approach toward single-molecule electrical detection.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jindong; Shen, Fangxia; Wang, Zhenxing; He, Gen; Qin, Jinwen; Cheng, Nongyi; Yao, Maosheng; Li, Lidong; Guo, Xuefeng

    2014-05-12

    Probing interactions of biological systems at the molecular level is of great importance to fundamental biology, diagnosis, and drug discovery. A rational bioassay design of lithographically integrating individual point scattering sites into electrical circuits is capable of realizing real-time, label-free biodetection of influenza H1N1 viruses with single-molecule sensitivity and high selectivity by using silicon nanowires as local reporters in combination with microfluidics. This nanocircuit-based architecture is complementary to more conventional optical techniques, but has the advantages of no bleaching problems and no fluorescent labeling. These advantages offer a promising platform for exploring dynamics of stochastic processes in biological systems and gaining information from genomics to proteomics to improve accurate molecular and even point-of-care clinical diagnosis.

  9. Probability-based particle detection that enables threshold-free and robust in vivo single-molecule tracking

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Carlas S.; Stallinga, Sjoerd; Lidke, Keith A.; Rieger, Bernd; Grunwald, David

    2015-01-01

    Single-molecule detection in fluorescence nanoscopy has become a powerful tool in cell biology but can present vexing issues in image analysis, such as limited signal, unspecific background, empirically set thresholds, image filtering, and false-positive detection limiting overall detection efficiency. Here we present a framework in which expert knowledge and parameter tweaking are replaced with a probability-based hypothesis test. Our method delivers robust and threshold-free signal detection with a defined error estimate and improved detection of weaker signals. The probability value has consequences for downstream data analysis, such as weighing a series of detections and corresponding probabilities, Bayesian propagation of probability, or defining metrics in tracking applications. We show that the method outperforms all current approaches, yielding a detection efficiency of >70% and a false-positive detection rate of <5% under conditions down to 17 photons/pixel background and 180 photons/molecule signal, which is beneficial for any kind of photon-limited application. Examples include limited brightness and photostability, phototoxicity in live-cell single-molecule imaging, and use of new labels for nanoscopy. We present simulations, experimental data, and tracking of low-signal mRNAs in yeast cells. PMID:26424801

  10. Single molecule fluorescence detection and tracking in mammalian cells: the state-of-the-art and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Martin-Fernandez, Marisa L; Clarke, David T

    2012-11-13

    Insights from single-molecule tracking in mammalian cells have the potential to greatly contribute to our understanding of the dynamic behavior of many protein families and networks which are key therapeutic targets of the pharmaceutical industry. This is particularly so at the plasma membrane, where the method has begun to elucidate the mechanisms governing the molecular interactions that underpin many fundamental processes within the cell, including signal transduction, receptor recognition, cell-cell adhesion, etc. However, despite much progress, single-molecule tracking faces challenges in mammalian samples that hinder its general application in the biomedical sciences. Much work has recently focused on improving the methods for fluorescent tagging of target molecules, detection and localization of tagged molecules, which appear as diffraction-limited spots in charge-coupled device (CCD) images, and objectively establishing the correspondence between moving particles in a sequence of image frames to follow their diffusive behavior. In this review we outline the state-of-the-art in the field and discuss the advantages and limitations of the methods available in the context of specific applications, aiming at helping researchers unfamiliar with single molecules methods to plan out their experiments.

  11. Digital microfluidics-enabled single-molecule detection by printing and sealing single magnetic beads in femtoliter droplets.

    PubMed

    Witters, Daan; Knez, Karel; Ceyssens, Frederik; Puers, Robert; Lammertyn, Jeroen

    2013-06-07

    Digital microfluidics is introduced as a novel platform with unique advantages for performing single-molecule detection. We demonstrate how superparamagnetic beads, used for capturing single protein molecules, can be printed with unprecedentedly high loading efficiency and single bead resolution on an electrowetting-on-dielectric-based digital microfluidic chip by micropatterning the Teflon-AF surface of the device. By transporting droplets containing suspended superparamagnetic beads over a hydrophilic-in-hydrophobic micropatterned Teflon-AF surface, single beads are trapped inside the hydrophilic microwells due to their selective wettability and tailored dimensions. Digital microfluidics presents the following advantages for printing and sealing magnetic beads for single-molecule detection: (i) droplets containing suspended beads can be transported back and forth over the array of hydrophilic microwells to obtain high loading efficiencies of microwells with single beads, (ii) the use of hydrophilic-in-hydrophobic patterns permits the use of a magnet to speed up the bead transfer process to the wells, while the receding droplet meniscus removes excess beads off the chip surface and thereby shortens the bead patterning time, and (iii) reagents can be transported over the printed beads multiple times, while capillary forces and a magnet hold the printed beads in place. High loading efficiencies (98% with a CV of 0.9%) of single beads in microwells were obtained by transporting droplets of suspended beads over the array 10 times in less than 1 min, which is much higher than previously reported methods (40-60%), while the total surface area needed for performing single-molecule detection can be decreased. The performance of the device was demonstrated by fluorescent detection of the presence of the biotinylated enzyme β-galactosidase on streptavidin-coated beads with a linear dynamic range of 4 orders of magnitude ranging from 10 aM to 90 fM.

  12. Tunnel-Current based Single-Molecule Detection Method of Biopolymer Identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohshiro, Takahito; Tsutsui, Makusu; Yokota, Kazumichi; Taniguchi, Masateru; Bionanotechnology Team

    2015-03-01

    We have been proposed a tunneling-current based identification as a single-molecule biopolymer sequencing. This methodology is based on sequentially reading the tunneling-current across individual single-biopolymer in the sequence, resulting in a high-speed electrical discrimination of the individual nucleotides. In this study, we report on a read of nucleotide sequence by the transverse electron transport through nanogap-electrode. We measured the extent of the electron-tunneling by using nanofabricated, mechanically controllable break junction, and determined the conductance values for deoxyribo/ribo- nucleoside monophosphates. When the molecules passed between the nanoelectrodes separated by a sub-nanometer gap, the tunneling-current through the molecules was increased, relative to that in the absence of molecules. The current intensity is found to be closely related to the individual molecular energy level. We also applied this method to base-typing in oligonucleotides. Based on the electrical conductivity for single-nucleotides, we read the fragment of sample nucleotide passing through the sensing electrode. On the basis of a reconstruction of the read fragment sequences, we successfully determined a sample nucleotide sequence.

  13. Giant Suppression of Photobleaching for Single Molecule Detection via the Purcell Effect

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-11-18

    the molecule dissipates energy to emit another photon (spontaneous emission, or fluorescence, with rate kf) or to heat (intrinsic nonradiative process...enhancement gives rise to both enhanced radiation and enhanced nonradiation (energy dissipation due to Ohmic losses). The enhancement of

  14. Quenching and enhancement of single-molecule fluorescence under metallic and dielectric tips

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azoulay, J.; Débarre, A.; Richard, A.; Tchénio, P.

    2000-08-01

    We report on fluorescence experiments by apertureless near-field optical microscopy. We develop a simple model that demonstrates the importance of non-radiative transfer and that takes into account the dependence of non-radiative transfer on tip geometry. This process is in competition with field enhancement and it is a key process to understand the observed fluorescence enhancement factors. The analysis of the different factors involved in the global fluorescence enhancement or quenching leads to new strategies to reach resolution down to a few nanometers by apertureless fluorescence microscopy.

  15. The contribution of nonlocal electro-opto-thermal interaction to single molecule nonlinear Raman enhancement.

    PubMed

    Tai, Chao-Yi; Yu, Wen-Hsiang

    2013-10-21

    we develop a precise modelling where nonlocal electro-opto-thermal interactions are comprehensively included for the analysis of nonlinear Raman enhancement and plasmonic heating. An interaction enhancement factor G(IEF) is introduced to quantify the coupling between the electromagnetic field and the temperature field which is rarely considered in the estimation of Raman enhancement. For the case of isolated single nanosphere, G(IEF) can be up to ten, indicating a thermal origin which well explains the observed temperature rise, shortened blinking period, and the nonlinearly enhanced Raman cross-section. For the case of nanodimer, the suppression of plasmon heating was analyzed, demonstrating the great capability to mitigate biomolecular degradation and blinking.

  16. Stochastic emergence of multiple intermediates detected by single-molecule quasi-static mechanical unfolding of protein

    PubMed Central

    Fukagawa, Akihiro; Hiroshima, Michio; Sakane, Isao; Tokunaga, Makio

    2009-01-01

    Experimental probing of a protein-folding energy landscape can be challenging, and energy landscapes comprising multiple intermediates have not yet been defined. Here, we quasi-statically unfolded single molecules of staphylococcal nuclease by constant-rate mechanical stretching with a feedback positioning system. Multiple discrete transition states were detected as force peaks, and only some of the multiple transition states emerged stochastically in each trial. This finding was confirmed by molecular dynamics simulations, and agreed with another result of the simulations which showed that individual trajectories took highly heterogeneous pathways. The presence of Ca2+ did not change the location of the transition states, but changed the frequency of the emergence. Transition states emerged more frequently in stabilized domains. The simulations also confirmed this feature, and showed that the stabilized domains had rugged energy surfaces. The mean energy required per residue to disrupt secondary structures was a few times the thermal energy (1–3 kBT), which agreed with the stochastic feature. Thus, single-molecule quasi-static measurement has achieved notable success in detecting stochastic features of a huge number of possible conformations of a protein. PMID:27857576

  17. Combined single channel and single molecule detection identifies subunit composition of STIM1-activated transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channels.

    PubMed

    Asanov, Alexander; Sampieri, Alicia; Moreno, Claudia; Pacheco, Jonathan; Salgado, Alfonso; Sherry, Ryan; Vaca, Luis

    2015-01-01

    Depletion of intracellular calcium ion stores initiates a rapid cascade of events culminating with the activation of the so-called Store-Operated Channels (SOC) at the plasma membrane. Calcium influx via SOC is essential in the initiation of calcium-dependent intracellular signaling and for the refilling of internal calcium stores, ensuring the regeneration of the signaling cascade. In spite of the significance of this evolutionary conserved mechanism, the molecular identity of SOC has been the center of a heated controversy spanning over the last 20 years. Initial studies positioned some members of the transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channel superfamily of channels (with the more robust evidence pointing to TRPC1) as a putative SOC. Recent evidence indicates that Stromal Interacting Molecule 1 (STIM1) activates some members from the TRPC family of channels. However, the exact subunit composition of TRPC channels remains undetermined to this date. To identify the subunit composition of STIM1-activated TRPC channels, we developed novel method, which combines single channel electrophysiological measurements based on the patch clamp technique with single molecule fluorescence imaging. We termed this method Single ion Channel Single Molecule Detection technique (SC-SMD). Using SC-SMD method, we have obtained direct evidence of the subunit composition of TRPC channels activated by STIM1. Furthermore, our electrophysiological-imaging SC-SMD method provides evidence at the molecular level of the mechanism by which STIM1 and calmodulin antagonize to modulate TRPC channel activity.

  18. Single-cell multiple gene expression analysis based on single-molecule-detection microarray assay for multi-DNA determination.

    PubMed

    Li, Lu; Wang, Xianwei; Zhang, Xiaoli; Wang, Jinxing; Jin, Wenrui

    2015-01-07

    We report a novel ultra-sensitive and high-selective single-molecule-detection microarray assay (SMA) for multiple DNA determination. In the SMA, a capture DNA (DNAc) microarray consisting of 10 subarrays with 9 spots for each subarray is fabricated on a silanized glass coverslip as the substrate. On the subarrays, the spot-to-spot spacing is 500 μm and each spot has a diameter of ∼300 μm. The sequence of the DNAcs on the 9 spots of a subarray is different, to determine 8 types of target DNAs (DNAts). Thus, 8 types of DNAts are captured to their complementary DNAcs at 8 spots of a subarray, respectively, and then labeled with quantum dots (QDs) attached to 8 types of detection DNAs (DNAds) with different sequences. The ninth spot is used to detect the blank value. In order to determine the same 8 types of DNAts in 10 samples, the 10 DNAc-modified subarrays on the microarray are identical. Fluorescence single-molecule images of the QD-labeled DNAts on each spot of the subarray are acquired using a home-made single-molecule microarray reader. The amounts of the DNAts are quantified by counting the bright dots from the QDs. For a microarray, 8 types of DNAts in 10 samples can be quantified in parallel. The limit of detection of the SMA for DNA determination is as low as 1.3×10(-16) mol L(-1). The SMA for multi-DNA determination can also be applied in single-cell multiple gene expression analysis through quantification of complementary DNAs (cDNAs) corresponding to multiple messenger RNAs (mRNAs) in single cells. To do so, total RNA in single cells is extracted and reversely transcribed into their cDNAs. Three types of cDNAs corresponding to beta-2-microglobulin, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and ribosomal protein, large, P2 mRNAs in single human breast cancer cells and 5 random synthetic DNAts are simultaneously quantified to examine the SMA and SMA-based single-cell multiple gene expression analysis.

  19. Raman scattering enhanced by plasmonic clusters and its application to single-molecule imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Yasuike, Tomokazu; Nobusada, Katsuyuki

    2015-12-31

    The optical response of the linear Au{sub 8} cluster is investigated by the linear response theory based on the density functional theory. It is revealed that the observed many peaks in the visible region originate from the interaction of the ideal plasmonic excitation along the molecular axis with the background d-electron excitations, i.e., the Landau damping. In spite of the existence of the damping, the Raman scattering is shown to be enhanced remarkably by the incident light resonant to the visible excitations. The novel imaging experiment with the atomic resolution is proposed by utilizing a plasmonic cluster as the probing tip.

  20. Enhancement of single-molecule fluorescence signals by colloidal silver nanoparticles in studies of protein translation.

    PubMed

    Bharill, Shashank; Chen, Chunlai; Stevens, Benjamin; Kaur, Jaskiran; Smilansky, Zeev; Mandecki, Wlodek; Gryczynski, Ignacy; Gryczynski, Zygmunt; Cooperman, Barry S; Goldman, Yale E

    2011-01-25

    Metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF) increased total photon emission of Cy3- and Cy5-labeled ribosomal initiation complexes near 50 nm silver particles 4- and 5.5-fold, respectively. Fluorescence intensity fluctuations above shot noise, at 0.1-5 Hz, were greater on silver particles. Overall signal-to-noise ratio was similar or slightly improved near the particles. Proximity to silver particles did not compromise ribosome function, as measured by codon-dependent binding of fluorescent tRNA, dynamics of fluorescence resonance energy transfer between adjacent tRNAs in the ribosome, and tRNA translocation induced by elongation factor G.

  1. Toward single molecule detection of staphylococcal enterotoxin B: mobile sandwich immunoassay on gliding microtubules.

    PubMed

    Soto, Carissa M; Martin, Brett D; Sapsford, Kim E; Blum, Amy Szuchmacher; Ratna, Banahalli R

    2008-07-15

    An immunoassay based on gliding microtubules (MTs) is described for the detection of staphylococcal enterotoxin B. Detection is performed in a sandwich immunoassay format. Gliding microtubules carry the antigen-specific "capture" antibody, and bound analyte is detected using a fluorescent viral scaffold as the tracer. A detailed modification scheme for the MTs postpolymerization is described along with corresponding quantification by fluorescence spectroscopy. The resultant antibody-MTs maintain their morphology and gliding capabilities. We report a limit of detection down to 0.5 ng/mL during active transport in a 30 min assay time and down to 1 ng/mL on static surfaces. This study demonstrates the kinesin/MT-mediated capture, transport, and detection of the biowarfare agent SEB in a microfluidic format.

  2. Detection of confinement and jumps in single-molecule membrane trajectories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meilhac, N.; Le Guyader, L.; Salomé, L.; Destainville, N.

    2006-01-01

    We propose a variant of the algorithm by [R. Simson, E. D. Sheets, and K. Jacobson, Biophys. 69, 989 (1995)]. Their algorithm was developed to detect transient confinement zones in experimental single-particle tracking trajectories of diffusing membrane proteins or lipids. We show that our algorithm is able to detect confinement in a wider class of confining potential shapes than that of Simson Furthermore, it enables to detect not only temporary confinement but also jumps between confinement zones. Jumps are predicted by membrane skeleton fence and picket models. In the case of experimental trajectories of μ -opioid receptors, which belong to the family of G-protein-coupled receptors involved in a signal transduction pathway, this algorithm confirms that confinement cannot be explained solely by rigid fences.

  3. High sensitivity fluorescent single particle and single molecule detection apparatus and method

    DOEpatents

    Mathies, Richard A.; Peck, Konan; Stryer, Lubert

    1990-01-01

    Apparatus is described for ultrasensitive detection of single fluorescent particles down to the single fluorescent molecule limit in a fluid or on a substrate comprising means for illuminating a predetermined volume of the fluid or area of the substrate whereby to emit light including background light from the fluid and burst of photons from particles residing in the area. The photon burst is detected in real time to generate output representative signal. The signal is received and the burst of energy from the fluorescent particles is distinguished from the background energy to provide an indication of the number, location or concentration of the particles or molecules.

  4. Detection of toxins in single molecule level using deoxyribonucleic acid aptamers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Toxins in foodstuffs are always a threat to food safety Among many toxins related to food, ricin (category B toxin) from castor beans has been mentioned in some poisoning cases happened. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a widely used nanotechnology to detect biospecies in vitro and in situ. The AFM...

  5. High-throughput, dual probe biological assays based on single molecule detection

    DOEpatents

    Hollars, Christopher W.; Huser, Thomas R.; Lane, Stephen M.; Balhorn, Rodney L.; Bakajin, Olgica; Darrow, Christopher; Satcher, Jr., Joe H.

    2006-07-11

    A method and apparatus with the sensitivity to detect and identify single target molecules through the localization of dual, fluorescently labeled probe molecules. This can be accomplished through specific attachment of the taget to a surface or in a two-dimensional (2D) flowing fluid sheet having approximate dimensions of 0.5 .mu.m.times.100 .mu.m.times.100 .mu.m. A device using these methods would have 10.sup.3 10.sup.4 greater throughput than previous one-dimensional (1D) micro-stream devices having 1 .mu.m.sup.3 interrogation volumes and would for the first time allow immuno- and DNA assays at ultra-low (femtomolar) concentrations to be performed in short time periods (.about.10 minutes). The use of novel labels (such as metal or semiconductor nanoparticles) may be incorporated to further extend the sensitivity possibly into the attomolar range.

  6. DNA Mapping Using Microfluidic Stretching and Single-Molecule Detection of Fluorescent Site-Specific Tags

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Eugene Y.; Goncalves, Nuno M.; Haeusler, Rebecca A.; Hatch, Amie J.; Larson, Jonathan W.; Maletta, Anthony M.; Yantz, Gregory R.; Carstea, Eugene D.; Fuchs, Martin; Wong, Gordon G.; Gullans, Steven R.; Gilmanshin, Rudolf

    2004-01-01

    We have developed a rapid molecular mapping technology—Direct Linear Analysis (DLA)—on the basis of the analysis of individual DNA molecules bound with sequence-specific fluorescent tags. The apparatus includes a microfluidic device for stretching DNA molecules in elongational flow that is coupled to a multicolor detection system capable of single-fluorophore sensitivity. Double-stranded DNA molecules were tagged at sequence-specific motif sites with fluorescent bisPNA (Peptide Nucleic Acid) tags. The DNA molecules were then stretched in the microfluidic device and driven in a flow stream past confocal fluorescence detectors. DLA provided the spatial locations of multiple specific sequence motifs along individual DNA molecules, and thousands of individual molecules could be analyzed per minute. We validated this technology using the 48.5 kb λ phage genome with different 8-base and 7-base sequence motif tags. The distance between the sequence motifs was determined with an accuracy of ±0.8 kb, and these tags could be localized on the DNA with an accuracy of ±2 kb. Thus, DLA is a rapid mapping technology, suitable for analysis of long DNA molecules. PMID:15173119

  7. Numerical modeling of single-molecule detection and trapping in a nanochannel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, William; Sikorski, Zbigniew; Davis, Lloyd M.

    2007-11-01

    Confocal fluorescence microscopy with single-photon counting enables detection of individual fluorescent molecules as they randomly diffuse through a tightly focused laser beam. However, for many biophysical studies, there is a need to observe the same molecule for an extended duration, without immobilizing it to a surface. The problem of trapping a single fluorescent molecule in solution is examined here via numerical simulation. Optical trapping provides insufficient force for trapping small biomolecules. Instead, a means for sensing the molecule's position and applying real-time feedback of motion to compensate diffusional displacement is used for trapping. The use of a nanochannel to confine the molecule reduces the problem to one dimension. The position of the molecule along the nanochannel is measured from its fluorescence induced by a pulse-interleaved two-beam laser-irradiance pattern. The time-gated photons are analyzed via maximum-likelihood methods and an electrophoretic motion provides the trapping mechanism. Flexible parameters allow a multi-variable analysis of the trapping efficiency and effectiveness. The reaction of the flow is set to the time-delayed response of a realistic field-programmable gate array (FPGA) controller. Trapping algorithms developed in the simulation are to be experimentally implemented in the FPGA.

  8. Quantum dots and microfluidic single-molecule detection for screening genetic and epigenetic cancer markers in clinical samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Tza-Huei; Bailey, Vasudev; Liu, Kelvin

    2011-06-01

    Genomic analysis of biomarkers, including genetic markers such as point mutations and epigenetic markers such as DNA methylation, has become a central theme in modern disease diagnosis and prognosis. Recently there is an increasing interest in using single-molecule detection (SMD) for genomic detection. The driving force not only comes from its ultrahigh sensitivity that can allow the detection of low-abundance nucleic acids with reduced or without the need of amplification but also from its potential in achieving high-accuracy quantification of rare targets via singlemolecule sorting. The unique photophysical properties of semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) have made them ideal for use as spectral labels and luminescent probes. QDs also make excellent donors to pair with organic dyes in the fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) process due to the features of narrow emission spectra and small Stokes shift. We have developed highly sensitive, quantitative and clinically relevant technologies for analysis of genomic markers based on the convergence of SMD, microfluidic manipulations, and quantum dot fluorescence resonance energy transfer technology (QD-FRET). Extraordinary performances of these new technologies have been exemplified by analysis of a variety of biomarkers including point mutations, DNA integrity and DNA methylation in clinical samples.

  9. Fine-tuning terminal solvent ligands to rationally enhance the energy barrier in dinuclear dysprosium single-molecule magnets.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Kun; Yuan, Chen; Guo, Fu-Sheng; Zhang, Yi-Quan; Wang, Yao-Yu

    2016-12-20

    In search of simple approaches to rationally enhance the energy barriers in polynuclear dysprosium single-molecule magnets, a new system containing two structurally closely related dinuclear dysprosium complexes, namely [Dy2(L)2(DBM)2(DMF)2] (1) and [Dy2(L)2(DBM)2(DMA)2]·2DMA (2) (HDBM = dibenzoylmethane, H2L = 2-hydroxy-N'-(2-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzylidene)benzohydrazide), is introduced and the structure-dependent magnetic properties are investigated. The two complexes display only slight variations in the coordination geometries of the Dy(iii) ion but display remarkably different magnetic behaviors. By replacing the DMF (dimethylformamide) ligand in complex 1 with DMA (dimethylacetamide) in 2 while retaining the same coordination atoms, we were able to create a 3-fold enhancement in the energy barrier, from 24 K for complex 1 to 77 K for complex 2. Complete-active-space self-consistent field (CASSCF) calculations revealed that the charge distribution surrounding the Dy(iii) centers in 1 and 2 is the key factor in determining the relaxation properties of the SMMs. The introduction of an electron-donating CH3 group in DMA to replace the hydrogen in DMF resulted in a larger average charge along the magnetic axes of complex 2 compared to complex 1, which resulted in a stronger easy-axis ligand field, thus increasing the energy difference between the ground and the first excited states of complex 2. This work presents a simple method to rationally enhance the energy barrier in polynuclear lanthanide SMMs through fine-tuning of the electrostatic potential of the atoms along the magnetic axis.

  10. Detecting the barium daughter in 136Xe 0-νββ decay using single-molecule fluorescence imaging techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nygren, David R.

    2015-11-01

    Single-molecule fluorescent imaging may provide an avenue to efficiently detect the Ba++ daughter atom in the decay 136Xe → Ba + 2e-, and, unambiguously associate the birth point in space within the electron trajectories of the decay event. Chelation of doubly-charged alkaline earth elements such as calcium and barium by certain precursor molecules converts the resulting complex from a non-fluorescent to a fluorescent state. Repeated photo-excitation of a single fluorescent complex reveals both presence and location with high precision. This technique, widespread now in biochemistry, biophysics and biology, may permit a similar discriminating response in a large high-pressure xenon gas TPC for the Ba++ ion from xenon double-beta decay. The TPC measures the event time and energy of the two nascent electrons, as well as topology and position in 3-D from their trajectories in the gas. Measurement of the 2-D location of the molecular ion after arrival at the cathode plane permits an association of ion with the event. Demonstration of an efficient, highly specific detection of the barium daughter would provide a long-sought pathway to a background-free result in the search for this decay mode, of central importance for determining the nature of the neutrino.

  11. Tunable PIE and synchronized gating detections by FastFLIM for quantitative microscopy measurements of fast dynamics of single molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Yuansheng; Coskun, Ulas; Ferreon, Allan Chris; Barbieri, Beniamino; Liao, Shih-Chu Jeff

    2016-03-01

    The crosstalk between two fluorescent species causes problems in fluorescence microscopy imaging, especially for quantitative measurements such as co-localization, Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), fluorescence cross correlation spectroscopy (FCCS). In laser scanning confocal microscopy, the lasers can be switched on and off by acousto-optic tunable filters (AOTF) in the microsecond scale for alternative line scanning in order to avoid the crosstalk while minimizing the time delay between two lasers on the same pixel location. In contrast, the pulsed interleaved excitation (PIE) technique synchronizes two pulsed lasers of different wavelengths in the nanosecond scale to enable measuring superfast dynamics of two fluorescent species simultaneously and yet quantitatively without the crosstalk contamination. This feature is critical for many cell biology applications, e.g. accurate determination of stoichiometry in FRET measurements for studying protein-protein interactions or cell signal events, detection of weaker bindings in FCCS by eliminating the false cross correlation due to the crosstalk. The PIE has been used with the time correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) electronics. Here, we describe a novel PIE development using the digital frequency domain (DFD) technique -- FastFLIM, which provides tunable PIE setups and synchronized gating detections, tailored and optimized to specific applications. A few PIE setups by FastFLIM and measurement examples are described. Combined with the sensitivity of Alba and Q2 systems, the PIE allowed us to quantitatively measure the fast dynamics of single molecules.

  12. Single-molecule PCR analysis of an unstable microsatellite for detecting mutations in sperm of mice exposed to chemical mutagens.

    PubMed

    Beal, Marc A; Rowan-Carroll, Andrea; Campbell, Caleigh; Williams, Andrew; Somers, Christopher M; Marchetti, Francesco; Yauk, Carole L

    2015-05-01

    Single-molecule PCR (SM-PCR) analysis of long and repetitive DNA sequences, known as expanded simple tandem repeats (ESTRs), has been the most efficient method for studying germline mutation induction in endogenous sequences to date. However, the long length of these sequences makes mutation detection imprecise and laborious, and they have been characterized only in mice. Here, we explore the use of unstable microsatellite sequences that can be typed with high precision by capillary electrophoresis as alternative loci for detecting germline mutations. We screened 24 microsatellite loci across inbred mouse strains and identified Mm2.2.1 as the most polymorphic microsatellite locus. We then optimized SM-PCR of Mm2.2.1 to detect mutations in sperm. SM-PCR analysis of sperm from untreated B6C3F1 and Muta(™)Mouse samples revealed mutation frequencies that are consistent with rates derived from family pedigree analysis (∼ 5 × 10(-3)). To determine whether this locus can be used to detect chemically induced germline mutations, Muta(™)Mouse males were exposed by oral gavage to a single dose of 100mg/kg of N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) or to 100mg/kg of benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) for 28 days alongside vehicle treated controls. Sperm were collected 10 weeks post-ENU exposure to sample sperm exposed as spermatogonial stem cells and 6 weeks post-BaP exposure to sample sperm that were dividing spermatogonia when the exposure was terminated. Both treatments resulted in a significant (approximately 2-fold) increase in mutation frequency in sperm compared to the control animals. The work establishes the utility of this microsatellite for studying mutation induction in the germ cells of mice. Because microsatellites are found in virtually every species, this approach holds promise for other organisms, including humans.

  13. Data-driven techniques for detecting dynamical state changes in noisily measured 3D single-molecule trajectories.

    PubMed

    Calderon, Christopher P

    2014-11-12

    Optical microscopes and nanoscale probes (AFM, optical tweezers, etc.) afford researchers tools capable of quantitatively exploring how molecules interact with one another in live cells. The analysis of in vivo single-molecule experimental data faces numerous challenges due to the complex, crowded, and time changing environments associated with live cells. Fluctuations and spatially varying systematic forces experienced by molecules change over time; these changes are obscured by "measurement noise" introduced by the experimental probe monitoring the system. In this article, we demonstrate how the Hierarchical Dirichlet Process Switching Linear Dynamical System (HDP-SLDS) of Fox et al. [IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing 59] can be used to detect both subtle and abrupt state changes in time series containing "thermal" and "measurement" noise. The approach accounts for temporal dependencies induced by random and "systematic overdamped" forces. The technique does not require one to subjectively select the number of "hidden states" underlying a trajectory in an a priori fashion. The number of hidden states is simultaneously inferred along with change points and parameters characterizing molecular motion in a data-driven fashion. We use large scale simulations to study and compare the new approach to state-of-the-art Hidden Markov Modeling techniques. Simulations mimicking single particle tracking (SPT) experiments are the focus of this study.

  14. Enhancing the blocking temperature in single-molecule magnets by incorporating 3d-5d exchange interactions.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Kasper S; Schau-Magnussen, Magnus; Bendix, Jesper; Weihe, Høgni; Palii, Andrei V; Klokishner, Sophia I; Ostrovsky, Serghei; Reu, Oleg S; Mutka, Hannu; Tregenna-Piggott, Philip L W

    2010-12-03

    We report the first single-molecule magnet (SMM) to incorporate the [Os(CN)(6)](3-) moiety. The compound (1) has a trimeric, cyanide-bridged Mn(III)-Os(III)-Mn(III) skeleton in which Mn(III) designates a [Mn(5-Brsalen)(MeOH)](+) unit (5-Brsalen=N,N'-ethylenebis(5-bromosalicylideneiminato)). X-ray crystallographic experiments reveal that 1 is isostructural with the Mn(III)-Fe(III)-Mn(III) analogue (2). Both compounds exhibit a frequency-dependent out-of-phase χ''(T) alternating current (ac) susceptibility signal that is suggestive of SMM behaviour. From the Arrhenius expression, the effective barrier for 1 is found to be Δ(eff)/k(B)=19 K (τ(0)=5.0×10(-7) s; k(B)=Boltzmann constant), whereas only the onset (1.5 kHz, 1.8 K) of χ''(T) is observed for 2, thus indicating a higher blocking temperature for 1. The strong spin-orbit coupling present in Os(III) isolates the E'(1g(1/2))(O(h)*) Kramers doublet that exhibits orbital contributions to the single-ion anisotropy. Magnetic susceptibility and inelastic neutron-scattering measurements reveal that substitution of [Fe(CN)(6)](3-) by the [Os(CN)(6)](3-) anion results in larger ferromagnetic, anisotropic exchange interactions going from quasi-Ising exchange interactions in 2 to pure Ising exchange for 1 with J(parallel)(MnOs)=-30.6 cm(-1). The combination of diffuse magnetic orbitals and the Ising-type exchange interaction effectively contributes to a higher blocking temperature. This result is in accordance with theoretical predictions and paves the way for the design of a new generation of SMMs with enhanced SMM properties.

  15. Detection of subtle dynamical changes induced by unresolved "conformational coordinates" in single-molecule trajectories via goodness-of-fit tests.

    PubMed

    Calderon, Christopher P

    2010-03-11

    Single-molecule experiments are allowing researchers to track the evolution of a few order parameters characterizing complex biomolecules. At fine temporal resolution, artifacts of unresolved degrees of freedom, for example, those induced by collective molecular motion, often influence the dynamics. Reliably detecting subtle changes in dynamics at the nanoscale can be difficult due to the inherent stochasticity, but such changes can have relevance to understanding complex enzyme kinetics. Surrogate models can be used to summarize the information content in single-molecule time series (containing fluctuations occurring over multiple time scales). The focus in this article is on detecting slow time scale changes through the use of the surrogates. The conditional density, associated with the surrogates, allows one to formulate quantitative hypothesis tests which can detect the influence of unresolved coordinates in cases where the dynamics are modulated subtly. The relevance of quantitative (and appropriate) testing methods to analyze single-molecule time series is discussed and demonstrated. A brief discussion on some merits of using frequentist (versus Bayesian) time series methods to analyze single-molecule data is also presented. Idealized simulations mimicking features relevant to some enzyme systems where an "unresolved conformational coordinate" slowly evolves (1) with inertia and (2) diffusively are studied in the nonstationary (nonergodic) setting; however, the findings are also relevant to experimentally measured time series and stationary signals.

  16. Enhancing and optimizing electronic transport in biphenyl derivative single-molecule junctions attached to carbon nanotubes electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reis-Silva, J. C.; Ferreira, D. F. S.; Leal, J. F. P.; Pinheiro, F. A.; Del Nero, J.

    2017-02-01

    We investigate, by means of ab initio calculations based on non-equilibrium Green's function method coupled to density function theory, electronic transport in molecular junctions composed of biphenyl (BP) and biphenyl within (-2H+) defect (BP2D) molecules attached to metallic (9,0) carbon nanotubes. We demonstrate that the BP2D junction exhibits unprecedented electronic transport properties, and that its conductance can be up to three orders of magnitude higher than biphenyl single-molecule junctions. These findings are explained in terms of the non-planar molecular conformation of BP2D, and of the stronger electronic coupling between the BP2D molecule and the organic electrodes, which confers high stability to the junction. Our results suggest that BP2D attached to carbon nanotubes can be explored as an efficient and highly stable platform in single-molecule electronics with extraordinary transport properties.

  17. Plasmon Mapping in Metallic Nanostructures and its Application to Single Molecule Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering: Imaging Electromagnetic Hot-Spots and Analyte Location

    SciTech Connect

    Camden, Jon P

    2013-07-16

    A major component of this proposal is to elucidate the connection between optical and electron excitation of plasmon modes in metallic nanostructures. These accomplishments are reported: developed a routine protocol for obtaining spatially resolved, low energy EELS spectra, and resonance Rayleigh scattering spectra from the same nanostructures.; correlated optical scattering spectra and plasmon maps obtained using STEM/EELS.; and imaged electromagnetic hot spots responsible for single-molecule surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SMSERS).

  18. Subunits of highly Fluorescent Protein R-Phycoerythrin as Probes for Cell Imaging and Single-Molecule Detection

    SciTech Connect

    Isailovic, Dragan

    2005-01-01

    The purposes of our research were: (1) To characterize subunits of highly fluorescent protein R-Phycoerythrin (R-PE) and check their suitability for single-molecule detection (SMD) and cell imaging, (2) To extend the use of R-PE subunits through design of similar proteins that will be used as probes for microscopy and spectral imaging in a single cell, and (3) To demonstrate a high-throughput spectral imaging method that will rival spectral flow cytometry in the analysis of individual cells. We first demonstrated that R-PE subunits have spectroscopic and structural characteristics that make them suitable for SMD. Subunits were isolated from R-PE by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and detected as single molecules by total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM). In addition, R-PE subunits and their enzymatic digests were characterized by several separation and detection methods including HPLC, capillary electrophoresis, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrilamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and HPLC-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Favorable absorption and fluorescence of the R-PE subunits and digest peptides originate from phycoerythrobilin (PEB) and phycourobilin (PUB) chromophores that are covalently attached to cysteine residues. High absorption coefficients and strong fluorescence (even under denaturing conditions), broad excitation and emission fluorescence spectra in the visible region of electromagnetic spectrum, and relatively low molecular weights make these molecules suitable for use as fluorescence labels of biomolecules and cells. We further designed fluorescent proteins both in vitro and in vivo (in Escherichia coli) based on the highly specific attachment of PEB chromophore to genetically expressed apo-subunits of R-PE. In one example, apo-alpha and apo-beta R-PE subunits were cloned from red algae Polisiphonia boldii (P. boldii), and expressed in E. coli. Although expressed apo-subunits formed inclusion

  19. Single molecules: Thermodynamic limits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liphardt, Jan

    2012-09-01

    Technologies aimed at single-molecule resolution of non-equilibrium systems increasingly require sophisticated new ways of thinking about thermodynamics. An elegant extension to standard fluctuation theory grants access to the kinetic intermediate states of these systems -- as DNA-pulling experiments now demonstrate.

  20. Single-Molecule Bioelectronics

    PubMed Central

    Rosenstein, Jacob K.; Lemay, Serge G.; Shepard, Kenneth L.

    2014-01-01

    Experimental techniques which interface single biomolecules directly with microelectronic systems are increasingly being used in a wide range of powerful applications, from fundamental studies of biomolecules to ultra-sensitive assays. Here we review several technologies which can perform electronic measurements of single molecules in solution: ion channels, nanopore sensors, carbon nanotube field-effect transistors, electron tunneling gaps, and redox cycling. We discuss the shared features among these techniques that enable them to resolve individual molecules, and discuss their limitations. Recordings from each of these methods all rely on similar electronic instrumentation, and we discuss the relevant circuit implementations and potential for scaling these single-molecule bioelectronic interfaces to high-throughput arrayed sensing platforms. PMID:25529538

  1. Internally labeled Cy3/Cy5 DNA constructs show greatly enhanced photo-stability in single-molecule FRET experiments

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Wonbae; von Hippel, Peter H.; Marcus, Andrew H.

    2014-01-01

    DNA constructs labeled with cyanine fluorescent dyes are important substrates for single-molecule (sm) studies of the functional activity of protein–DNA complexes. We previously studied the local DNA backbone fluctuations of replication fork and primer–template DNA constructs labeled with Cy3/Cy5 donor–acceptor Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) chromophore pairs and showed that, contrary to dyes linked ‘externally’ to the bases with flexible tethers, direct ‘internal’ (and rigid) insertion of the chromophores into the sugar-phosphate backbones resulted in DNA constructs that could be used to study intrinsic and protein-induced DNA backbone fluctuations by both smFRET and sm Fluorescent Linear Dichroism (smFLD). Here we show that these rigidly inserted Cy3/Cy5 chromophores also exhibit two additional useful properties, showing both high photo-stability and minimal effects on the local thermodynamic stability of the DNA constructs. The increased photo-stability of the internal labels significantly reduces the proportion of false positive smFRET conversion ‘background’ signals, thereby simplifying interpretations of both smFRET and smFLD experiments, while the decreased effects of the internal probes on local thermodynamic stability also make fluctuations sensed by these probes more representative of the unperturbed DNA structure. We suggest that internal probe labeling may be useful in studies of many DNA–protein interaction systems. PMID:24627223

  2. Watching single molecules dance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehta, Amit Dinesh

    Molecular motors convert chemical energy, from ATP hydrolysis or ion flow, into mechanical motion. A variety of increasingly precise mechanical probes have been developed to monitor and perturb these motors at the single molecule level. Several outstanding questions can be best approached at the single molecule level. These include: how far does a motor progress per energy quanta consumed? how does its reaction cycle respond to load? how many productive catalytic cycles can it undergo per diffusional encounter with its track? and what is the mechanical stiffness of a single molecule connection? A dual beam optical trap, in conjunction with in vitro ensemble motility assays, has been used to characterize two members of the myosin superfamily: muscle myosin II and chick brain myosin V. Both move the helical polymer actin, but myosin II acts in large ensembles to drive muscle contraction or cytokinesis, while myosin V acts in small numbers to transport vesicles. An optical trapping apparatus was rendered sufficiently precise to identify a myosin working stroke with 1nm or so, barring systematic errors such as those perhaps due to random protein orientations. This and other light microscopic motility assays were used to characterize myosin V: unlike myosin II this vesicle transport protein moves through many increments of travel while remaining strongly bound to a single actin filament. The step size, stall force, and travel distance of myosin V reveal a remarkably efficient motor capable of moving along a helical track for over a micrometer without significantly spiraling around it. Such properties are fully consistent with the putative role of an organelle transport motor, present in small numbers to maintain movement over long ranges relative to cellular size scales. The contrast between myosin II and myosin V resembles that between a human running on the moon and one walking on earth, where the former allows for faster motion when in larger ensembles but for less

  3. Dynamically varying interactions between heregulin and ErbB proteins detected by single-molecule analysis in living cells

    PubMed Central

    Hiroshima, Michio; Saeki, Yuko; Okada-Hatakeyama, Mariko; Sako, Yasushi

    2012-01-01

    Heregulin (HRG) belongs to the family of EGFs and activates the receptor proteins ErbB3 and ErbB4 in a variety of cell types to regulate cell fate. The interactions between HRG and ErbB3/B4 are important to the pathological mechanisms underlying schizophrenia and some cancers. Here, we observed the reaction kinetics between fluorescently labeled single HRG molecules and ErbB3/B4 on the surfaces of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. The equilibrium association and the dissociation from equilibrium were also measured using single-molecule imaging techniques. The unitary association processes mirrored the EGF and ErbB1 interactions in HeLa cells [Teramura Y, et al. (2006) EMBO J 25:4215–4222], suggesting that the predimerization of the receptors, followed by intermediate formation (between the first and second ligand-binding events to a receptor dimer), accelerated the formation of doubly liganded signaling dimers of the receptor molecules. However, the dissociation analysis suggested that the first HRG dissociation from the doubly liganded dimer was rapid, but the second dissociation from the singly liganded dimer was slow. The dissociation rate constant from the liganded monomer was intermediate. The dynamic changes in the association and dissociation kinetics in relation to the dimerization of ErbB displayed negative cooperativity, which resulted in apparent low- and high-affinity sites of HRG association on the cell surface. PMID:22891299

  4. Detecting PKD1 variants in polycystic kidney disease patients by single-molecule long-read sequencing.

    PubMed

    Borràs, Daniel M; Vossen, Rolf; Liem, Michael; Buermans, Henk P J; Dauwerse, Hans; van Heusden, Dave; Gansevoort, Ron T; den Dunnen, Johan T; Janssen, Bart; Peters, Dorien J M; Losekoot, Monique; Anvar, Seyed Yahya

    2017-04-04

    A genetic diagnosis of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is challenging due to allelic heterogeneity, high GC-content, and homology of the PKD1 gene with six pseudogenes. Short-read next-generation sequencing (NGS) approaches, such as whole genome (WGS) and whole exome sequencing (WES), often fail at reliably characterizing complex regions such as PKD1. However, long-read single-molecule sequencing has been shown to be an alternative strategy that could overcome PKD1 complexities and discriminate between homologous regions of PKD1 and its pseudogenes. In this study, we present the increased power of resolution for complex regions using long-read sequencing to characterize a cohort of 19 patients with ADPKD. Our approach provided high sensitivity in identifying PKD1 pathogenic variants, diagnosing 94.7% of the patients. We show that reliable screening of ADPKD patients in a single test without interference of PKD1 homologous sequences, commonly introduced by residual amplification of PKD1 pseudogenes, by direct long-read sequencing is now possible. This strategy can be implemented in diagnostics and is highly suitable to sequence and resolve complex genomic regions that are of clinical relevance. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  5. Cross-Talk Between Ionic and Nanoribbon Current Signals in Graphene Nanoribbon-Nanopore Sensors for Single-Molecule Detection.

    PubMed

    Puster, Matthew; Balan, Adrian; Rodríguez-Manzo, Julio A; Danda, Gopinath; Ahn, Jae-Hyuk; Parkin, William; Drndić, Marija

    2015-12-16

    Nanopores are now being used not only as an ionic current sensor but also as a means to localize molecules near alternative sensors with higher sensitivity and/or selectivity. One example is a solid-state nanopore embedded in a graphene nanoribbon (GNR) transistor. Such a device possesses the high conductivity needed for higher bandwidth measurements and, because of its single-atomic-layer thickness, can improve the spatial resolution of the measurement. Here measurements of ionic current through the nanopore are shown during double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) translocation, along with the simultaneous response of the neighboring GNR due to changes in the surrounding electric potential. Cross-talk originating from capacitive coupling between the two measurement channels is observed, resulting in a transient response in the GNR during DNA translocation; however, a modulation in device conductivity is not observed via an electric-field-effect response during DNA translocation. A field-effect response would scale with GNR source-drain voltage (Vds), whereas the capacitive coupling does not scale with Vds . In order to take advantage of the high bandwidth potential of such sensors, the field-effect response must be enhanced. Potential field calculations are presented to outline a phase diagram for detection within the device parameter space, charting a roadmap for future optimization of such devices.

  6. Significant Heterogeneity and Slow Dynamics of the Unfolded Ubiquitin Detected by the Line Confocal Method of Single-Molecule Fluorescence Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Saito, Masataka; Kamonprasertsuk, Supawich; Suzuki, Satomi; Nanatani, Kei; Oikawa, Hiroyuki; Kushiro, Keiichiro; Takai, Madoka; Chen, Po-Ting; Chen, Eric H-L; Chen, Rita P-Y; Takahashi, Satoshi

    2016-09-01

    The conformation and dynamics of the unfolded state of ubiquitin doubly labeled regiospecifically with Alexa488 and Alexa647 were investigated using single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy. The line confocal fluorescence detection system combined with the rapid sample flow enabled the characterization of unfolded proteins at the improved structural and temporal resolutions compared to the conventional single-molecule methods. In the initial stage of the current investigation, however, the single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (sm-FRET) data of the labeled ubiquitin were flawed by artifacts caused by the adsorption of samples to the surfaces of the fused-silica flow chip and the sample delivery system. The covalent coating of 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine polymer to the flow chip surface was found to suppress the artifacts. The sm-FRET measurements based on the coated flow chip demonstrated that the histogram of the sm-FRET efficiencies of ubiquitin at the native condition were narrowly distributed, which is comparable to the probability density function (PDF) expected from the shot noise, demonstrating the structural homogeneity of the native state. In contrast, the histogram of the sm-FRET efficiencies of the unfolded ubiquitin obtained at a time resolution of 100 μs was distributed significantly more broadly than the PDF expected from the shot noise, demonstrating the heterogeneity of the unfolded state conformation. The variety of the sm-FRET efficiencies of the unfolded state remained even after evaluating the moving average of traces with a window size of 1 ms, suggesting that conformational averaging of the heterogeneous conformations mostly occurs in the time domain slower than 1 ms. Local structural heterogeneity around the labeled fluorophores was inferred as the cause of the structural heterogeneity. The heterogeneity and slow dynamics revealed by the line confocal tracking of sm-FRET might be common properties of the unfolded

  7. Ultra-high-density 3D DNA arrays within nanoporous biocompatible membranes for single-molecule-level detection and purification of circulating nucleic acids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aramesh, M.; Shimoni, O.; Fox, K.; Karle, T. J.; Lohrmann, A.; Ostrikov, K.; Prawer, S.; Cervenka, J.

    2015-03-01

    Extracellular nucleic acids freely circulating in blood and other physiologic fluids are important biomarkers for non-invasive diagnostics and early detection of cancer and other diseases, yet difficult to detect because they exist in very low concentrations and large volumes. Here we demonstrate a new broad-range sensor platform for ultrasensitive and selective detection of circulating DNA down to the single-molecule level. The biosensor is based on a chemically functionalized nanoporous diamond-like carbon (DLC) coated alumina membrane. The few nanometer-thick, yet perfect and continuous DLC-coating confers the chemical stability and biocompatibility of the sensor, allowing its direct application in biological conditions. The selective detection is based on complementary hybridization of a fluorescently-tagged circulating cancer oncomarker (a 21-mer nucleic acid) with covalently immobilized DNA on the surface of the membrane. The captured DNAs are detected in the nanoporous structure of the sensor using confocal scanning laser microscopy. The flow-through membrane sensor demonstrates broad-range sensitivity, spanning from 1015 molecules per cm2 down to single molecules, which is several orders of magnitude improvement compared to the flat DNA microarrays. Our study suggests that these flow-through type nanoporous sensors represent a new powerful platform for large volume sampling and ultrasensitive detection of different chemical biomarkers.Extracellular nucleic acids freely circulating in blood and other physiologic fluids are important biomarkers for non-invasive diagnostics and early detection of cancer and other diseases, yet difficult to detect because they exist in very low concentrations and large volumes. Here we demonstrate a new broad-range sensor platform for ultrasensitive and selective detection of circulating DNA down to the single-molecule level. The biosensor is based on a chemically functionalized nanoporous diamond-like carbon (DLC) coated

  8. Robust hypothesis tests for detecting statistical evidence of two-dimensional and three-dimensional interactions in single-molecule measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calderon, Christopher P.; Weiss, Lucien E.; Moerner, W. E.

    2014-05-01

    Experimental advances have improved the two- (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) spatial resolution that can be extracted from in vivo single-molecule measurements. This enables researchers to quantitatively infer the magnitude and directionality of forces experienced by biomolecules in their native environment. Situations where such force information is relevant range from mitosis to directed transport of protein cargo along cytoskeletal structures. Models commonly applied to quantify single-molecule dynamics assume that effective forces and velocity in the x ,y (or x ,y,z) directions are statistically independent, but this assumption is physically unrealistic in many situations. We present a hypothesis testing approach capable of determining if there is evidence of statistical dependence between positional coordinates in experimentally measured trajectories; if the hypothesis of independence between spatial coordinates is rejected, then a new model accounting for 2D (3D) interactions can and should be considered. Our hypothesis testing technique is robust, meaning it can detect interactions, even if the noise statistics are not well captured by the model. The approach is demonstrated on control simulations and on experimental data (directed transport of intraflagellar transport protein 88 homolog in the primary cilium).

  9. Single Molecule Mechanochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Shaowei; Zhang, Yanxing; Ho, Wilson; Wu, Ruqian; Ruqian Wu, Yanxing Zhang Team; Wilson Ho, Shaowei Li Team

    Mechanical forces can be used to trigger chemical reactions through bending and stretching of chemical bonds. Using the reciprocating movement of the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM), mechanical energy can be provided to a single molecule sandwiched between the tip and substrate. When the mechanical pulse center was moved to the outer ring feature of a CO molecule, the reaction rate was significantly increased compared with bare Cu surface and over Au atoms. First, DFT calculations show that the presence of CO makes the Cu cavity more attractive toward H2 Second, H2 prefers the horizontal adsorption geometry in the Cu-Cu and Au-Cu cavities and no hybridization occurs between the antibonding states of H2 and states of Cu atoms. While H2 loses electrons from its bonding state in all three cavities, the filling of its anti-bonding state only occurs in the CO-Cu cavity. Both make the CO-Cu cavity much more effectively to chop the H2 molecule. Work was supported by the National Science Foundation Center for Chemical Innovation on Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit (CaSTL) under Grant No. CHE-1414466.

  10. Coherent spectroscopy in the single molecule limit (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potma, Eric O.; Crampton, Kevin; Fast, Alex; Alfonso García, Alba; Apkarian, Vartkess A.

    2016-10-01

    Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is a popular technique for detecting and analyzing molecules at very low concentrations. The sensitivity of SERS is high enough to detect single molecules. It has proven difficult, however, to perform similar measurements in the so-called nonlinear optical regime, a regime in which the molecule is responding to multiple light pulses. Nonetheless, recent experiments indicate that after careful optimization, it is possible to generate signals derived from nonlinear analogs of SERS. Such measurements make it possible to view molecular vibrations in real time, which amounts to the femto- to pico-second range. In this contribution, we discuss in detail under which conditions detectable surface-enhanced coherent Raman signals can be expected, provide experimental evidence of coherent Raman scattering of single molecules, and highlight the unique information that can be attained from such measurements.

  11. DNA sequencing by a single molecule detection of labeled nucleotides sequentially cleaved from a single strand of DNA

    SciTech Connect

    Goodwin, P.M.; Schecker, J.A.; Wilkerson, C.W.; Hammond, M.L.; Ambrose, W.P.; Jett, J.H.; Martin, J.C.; Marrone, B.L.; Keller, R.A. ); Haces, A.; Shih, P.J.; Harding, J.D. )

    1993-01-01

    We are developing a laser-based technique for the rapid sequencing of large DNA fragments (several kb in size) at a rate of 100 to 1000 bases per second. Our approach relies on fluorescent labeling of the bases in a single fragment of DNA, attachment of this labeled DNA fragment to a support, movement of the supported DNA into a flowing sample stream, sequential cleavage of the end nucleotide from the DNA fragment with an exonuclease, and detection of the individual fluorescently labeled bases by laser-induced fluorescence.

  12. DNA sequencing by a single molecule detection of labeled nucleotides sequentially cleaved from a single strand of DNA

    SciTech Connect

    Goodwin, P.M.; Schecker, J.A.; Wilkerson, C.W.; Hammond, M.L.; Ambrose, W.P.; Jett, J.H.; Martin, J.C.; Marrone, B.L.; Keller, R.A.; Haces, A.; Shih, P.J.; Harding, J.D.

    1993-02-01

    We are developing a laser-based technique for the rapid sequencing of large DNA fragments (several kb in size) at a rate of 100 to 1000 bases per second. Our approach relies on fluorescent labeling of the bases in a single fragment of DNA, attachment of this labeled DNA fragment to a support, movement of the supported DNA into a flowing sample stream, sequential cleavage of the end nucleotide from the DNA fragment with an exonuclease, and detection of the individual fluorescently labeled bases by laser-induced fluorescence.

  13. Correlative Synchrotron Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and Single Molecule Super Resolution Microscopy for the Detection of Composition and Ultrastructure Alterations in Single Cells.

    PubMed

    Whelan, Donna R; Bell, Toby D M

    2015-12-18

    Single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) and synchrotron Fourier transform infrared (S-FTIR) spectroscopy are two techniques capable of elucidating unique and valuable biological detail. SMLM provides images of the structures and distributions of targeted biomolecules at spatial resolutions up to an order of magnitude better than the diffraction limit, whereas IR spectroscopy objectively measures the holistic biochemistry of an entire sample, thereby revealing any variations in overall composition. Both tools are currently applied extensively to detect cellular response to disease, chemical treatment, and environmental change. Here, these two techniques have been applied correlatively at the single cell level to probe the biochemistry of common fixation methods and have detected various fixation-induced losses of biomolecular composition and cellular ultrastructure. Furthermore, by extensive honing and optimizing of fixation protocols, many fixation artifacts previously considered pervasive and regularly identified using IR spectroscopy and fluorescence techniques have been avoided. Both paraformaldehyde and two-step glutaraldehyde fixation were identified as best preserving biochemistry for both SMLM and IR studies while other glutaraldehyde and methanol fixation protocols were demonstrated to cause significant biochemical changes and higher variability between samples. Moreover, the potential complementarity of the two techniques was strikingly demonstrated in the correlated detection of biochemical changes as well as in the detection of fixation-induced damage that was only revealed by one of the two techniques.

  14. Single molecule tracking

    DOEpatents

    Shera, E.B.

    1987-10-07

    A detection system is provided for identifying individual particles or molecules having characteristic emission in a flow train of the particles in a flow cell. A position sensitive sensor is located adjacent the flow cell in a position effective to detect the emissions from the particles within the flow cell and to assign spatial and temporal coordinates for the detected emissions. A computer is then enabled to predict spatial and temporal coordinates for the particle in the flow train as a function of a first detected emission. Comparison hardware or software then compares subsequent detected spatial and temporal coordinates with the predicted spatial and temporal coordinates to determine whether subsequently detected emissions originate from a particle in the train of particles. In one embodiment, the particles include fluorescent dyes which are excited to fluoresce a spectrum characteristic of the particular particle. Photons are emitted adjacent at least one microchannel plate sensor to enable spatial and temporal coordinates to be assigned. The effect of comparing detected coordinates with predicted coordinates is to define a moving sample volume which effectively precludes the effects of background emissions. 3 figs.

  15. Single molecule tracking

    DOEpatents

    Shera, E. Brooks

    1988-01-01

    A detection system is provided for identifying individual particles or molecules having characteristic emission in a flow train of the particles in a flow cell. A position sensitive sensor is located adjacent the flow cell in a position effective to detect the emissions from the particles within the flow cell and to assign spatial and temporal coordinates for the detected emissions. A computer is then enabled to predict spatial and temporal coordinates for the particle in the flow train as a function of a first detected emission. Comparison hardware or software then compares subsequent detected spatial and temporal coordinates with the predicted spatial and temporal coordinates to determine whether subsequently detected emissions originate from a particle in the train of particles. In one embodiment, the particles include fluorescent dyes which are excited to fluoresce a spectrum characteristic of the particular particle. Photones are emitted adjacent at least one microchannel plate sensor to enable spatial and temporal coordinates to be assigned. The effect of comparing detected coordinates with predicted coordinates is to define a moving sample volume which effectively precludes the effects of background emissions.

  16. Quantitative Aspects of Single Molecule Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Ober, Raimund J.; Tahmasbi, Amir; Ram, Sripad; Lin, Zhiping; Ward, E. Sally

    2015-01-01

    Single molecule microscopy is a relatively new optical microscopy technique that allows the detection of individual molecules such as proteins in a cellular context. This technique has generated significant interest among biologists, biophysicists and biochemists, as it holds the promise to provide novel insights into subcellular processes and structures that otherwise cannot be gained through traditional experimental approaches. Single molecule experiments place stringent demands on experimental and algorithmic tools due to the low signal levels and the presence of significant extraneous noise sources. Consequently, this has necessitated the use of advanced statistical signal and image processing techniques for the design and analysis of single molecule experiments. In this tutorial paper, we provide an overview of single molecule microscopy from early works to current applications and challenges. Specific emphasis will be on the quantitative aspects of this imaging modality, in particular single molecule localization and resolvability, which will be discussed from an information theoretic perspective. We review the stochastic framework for image formation, different types of estimation techniques and expressions for the Fisher information matrix. We also discuss several open problems in the field that demand highly non-trivial signal processing algorithms. PMID:26167102

  17. Single molecule fluorescence and force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Schütz, G J; Hinterdorfer, P

    2002-12-01

    The investigation of biomolecules has entered a new age since the development of methodologies capable of studies at the level of single molecules. In biology, most molecules show a complex dynamical behavior, with individual motions and transitions between different states occurring highly correlated in space and time within an arrangement of various elements. Recent advances in the development of new microscopy techniques with sensitivity at the single molecule have gained access to essentially new types of information obtainable from imaging biomolecular samples. These methodologies are described here in terms of their applicability to the in vivo detection and visualization of molecular processes on surfaces, membranes, and cells. First examples of single molecule microscopy on cell membranes revealed new basic insight into the lateral organization of the plasma membrane, providing the captivating perspective of an ultra-sensitive methodology as a general tool to study local processes and heterogeneities in living cells.

  18. Fluorescence Microscopy of Single Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zimmermann, Jan; van Dorp, Arthur; Renn, Alois

    2004-01-01

    The investigation of photochemistry and photophysics of individual quantum systems is described with the help of a wide-field fluorescence microscopy approach. The fluorescence single molecules are observed in real time.

  19. Single-molecule detection and tracking of RNA transcripts in living cells using phosphorothioate-optimized 2'-O-methyl RNA molecular beacons.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Dan; Yang, Yantao; Qu, Na; Chen, Mingming; Ma, Zhao; Krueger, Christopher J; Behlke, Mark A; Chen, Antony K

    2016-09-01

    Molecular Beacons (MBs) composed of 2'-O-methyl RNA (2Me) and phosphorothioate (PS) linkages throughout the backbone (2Me/PSFULL MBs) have enabled long-term imaging of RNA in living cells, but excess PS modification can induce nonspecific binding, causing false-positive signals. In this study, we evaluate the intracellular stability of MBs composed of 2Me with various PS modifications, and found that false-positive signals could be reduced to marginal levels when the MBs possess a fully PS-modified loop domain and a phosphodiester stem (2Me/PSLOOP MB). Additionally, 2Me/PSLOOP MBs exhibited uncompromised hybridization kinetics, prolonged functionality and >88% detection accuracy for single RNA transcripts, and could do so without interfering with gene expression or cell growth. Finally, 2Me/PSLOOP MBs could image the dynamics of single mRNA transcripts in the nucleus and the cytoplasm simultaneously, regardless of whether the MBs targeted the 5'- or the 3'-UTR. Together, these findings demonstrate the effectiveness of loop-domain PS modification in reducing nonspecific signals and the potential for sensitive and accurate imaging of individual RNAs at the single-molecule level. With the growing interest in the role of RNA localization and dynamics in health and disease, 2Me/PSLOOP MBs could enable new discoveries in RNA research.

  20. The molecular yo-yo method: Live jump detection improves throughput of single-molecule force spectroscopy for out-of-equilibrium transitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mack, A. H.; Schlingman, D. J.; Kamenetska, M.; Collins, R.; Regan, L.; Mochrie, S. G. J.

    2013-08-01

    By monitoring multiple molecular transitions, force-clamp, and trap-position-clamp methods have led to precise determinations of the free energies and free energy landscapes for molecular states populated in equilibrium at the same or similar forces. Here, we present a powerful new elaboration of the force-clamp and force-jump methods, applicable to transitions far from equilibrium. Specifically, we have implemented a live jump detection and force-clamp algorithm that intelligently adjusts and maintains the force on a single molecule in response to the measured state of that molecule. We are able to collect hundreds of individual molecular transitions at different forces, many times faster than previously, permitting us to accurately determine force-dependent lifetime distributions and reaction rates. Application of our method to unwinding and rewinding the nucleosome inner turn, using optical tweezers reveals experimental lifetime distributions that comprise a statistically meaningful number of transitions, and that are accurately single exponential. These measurements significantly reduce the error in the previously measured rates, and demonstrate the existence of a single, dominant free energy barrier at each force studied. A key benefit of the molecular yo-yo method for nucleosomes is that it reduces as far as possible the time spent in the tangentially bound state, which minimizes the loss of nucleosomes by dissociation.

  1. The molecular yo-yo method: live jump detection improves throughput of single-molecule force spectroscopy for out-of-equilibrium transitions.

    PubMed

    Mack, A H; Schlingman, D J; Kamenetska, M; Collins, R; Regan, L; Mochrie, S G J

    2013-08-01

    By monitoring multiple molecular transitions, force-clamp, and trap-position-clamp methods have led to precise determinations of the free energies and free energy landscapes for molecular states populated in equilibrium at the same or similar forces. Here, we present a powerful new elaboration of the force-clamp and force-jump methods, applicable to transitions far from equilibrium. Specifically, we have implemented a live jump detection and force-clamp algorithm that intelligently adjusts and maintains the force on a single molecule in response to the measured state of that molecule. We are able to collect hundreds of individual molecular transitions at different forces, many times faster than previously, permitting us to accurately determine force-dependent lifetime distributions and reaction rates. Application of our method to unwinding and rewinding the nucleosome inner turn, using optical tweezers reveals experimental lifetime distributions that comprise a statistically meaningful number of transitions, and that are accurately single exponential. These measurements significantly reduce the error in the previously measured rates, and demonstrate the existence of a single, dominant free energy barrier at each force studied. A key benefit of the molecular yo-yo method for nucleosomes is that it reduces as far as possible the time spent in the tangentially bound state, which minimizes the loss of nucleosomes by dissociation.

  2. Cryo-electron microscopy and single molecule fluorescent microscopy detect CD4 receptor induced HIV size expansion prior to cell entry

    SciTech Connect

    Pham, Son; Tabarin, Thibault; Garvey, Megan; Pade, Corinna; Rossy, Jérémie; Monaghan, Paul; Hyatt, Alex; Böcking, Till; Leis, Andrew; Gaus, Katharina; Mak, Johnson

    2015-12-15

    Viruses are often thought to have static structure, and they only remodel after the viruses have entered target cells. Here, we detected a size expansion of virus particles prior to viral entry using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and single molecule fluorescence imaging. HIV expanded both under cell-free conditions with soluble receptor CD4 (sCD4) targeting the CD4 binding site on the HIV-1 envelope protein (Env) and when HIV binds to receptor on cellular membrane. We have shown that the HIV Env is needed to facilitate receptor induced virus size expansions, showing that the ‘lynchpin’ for size expansion is highly specific. We demonstrate that the size expansion required maturation of HIV and an internal capsid core with wild type stability, suggesting that different HIV compartments are linked and are involved in remodelling. Our work reveals a previously unknown event in HIV entry, and we propose that this pre-entry priming process enables HIV particles to facilitate the subsequent steps in infection. - Highlights: • Cell free viruses are able to receive external trigger that leads to apparent size expansion. • Virus envelope and CD4 receptor engagement is the lynchpin of virus size expansion. • Internal capsid organisation can influence receptor mediated virus size expansion. • Pre-existing virus-associated lipid membrane in cell free virus can accommodate the receptor mediated virus size expansion.

  3. Single Molecule Electronics and Devices

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2012-01-01

    The manufacture of integrated circuits with single-molecule building blocks is a goal of molecular electronics. While research in the past has been limited to bulk experiments on self-assembled monolayers, advances in technology have now enabled us to fabricate single-molecule junctions. This has led to significant progress in understanding electron transport in molecular systems at the single-molecule level and the concomitant emergence of new device concepts. Here, we review recent developments in this field. We summarize the methods currently used to form metal-molecule-metal structures and some single-molecule techniques essential for characterizing molecular junctions such as inelastic electron tunnelling spectroscopy. We then highlight several important achievements, including demonstration of single-molecule diodes, transistors, and switches that make use of electrical, photo, and mechanical stimulation to control the electron transport. We also discuss intriguing issues to be addressed further in the future such as heat and thermoelectric transport in an individual molecule. PMID:22969345

  4. Single Molecule Raman Spectroscopy Under High Pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Yuanxi; Dlott, Dana

    2014-06-01

    Pressure effects on surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectra of Rhdoamine 6G adsorbed on silver nanoparticle surfaces was studied using a confocal Raman microscope. Colloidal silver nanoparticles were treated with Rhodamine 6G (R6G) and its isotopically substituted partner, R6G-d4. Mixed isotopomers let us identify single-molecule spectra, since multiple-molecule spectra would show vibrational transitions from both species. The nanoparticles were embedded into a poly vinyl alcohol film, and loaded into a diamond anvil cell for the high-pressure Raman scattering measurement. Argon was the pressure medium. Ambient pressure Raman scattering spectra showed few single-molecule spectra. At moderately high pressure ( 1GPa), a surprising effect was observed. The number of sites with observable spectra decreased dramatically, and most of the spectra that could be observed were due to single molecules. The effects of high pressure suppressed the multiple-molecule Raman sites, leaving only the single-molecule sites to be observed.

  5. Single-molecule fluorescence imaging of processive myosin with enhanced background suppression using linear zero-mode waveguides (ZMWs) and convex lens induced confinement (CLIC).

    PubMed

    Elting, Mary Williard; Leslie, Sabrina R; Churchman, L Stirling; Korlach, Jonas; McFaul, Christopher M J; Leith, Jason S; Levene, Michael J; Cohen, Adam E; Spudich, James A

    2013-01-14

    Resolving single fluorescent molecules in the presence of high fluorophore concentrations remains a challenge in single-molecule biophysics that limits our understanding of weak molecular interactions. Total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) imaging, the workhorse of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, enables experiments at concentrations up to about 100 nM, but many biological interactions have considerably weaker affinities, and thus require at least one species to be at micromolar or higher concentration. Current alternatives to TIRF often require three-dimensional confinement, and thus can be problematic for extended substrates, such as cytoskeletal filaments. To address this challenge, we have demonstrated and applied two new single-molecule fluorescence microscopy techniques, linear zero-mode waveguides (ZMWs) and convex lens induced confinement (CLIC), for imaging the processive motion of molecular motors myosin V and VI along actin filaments. Both technologies will allow imaging in the presence of higher fluorophore concentrations than TIRF microscopy. They will enable new biophysical measurements of a wide range of processive molecular motors that move along filamentous tracks, such as other myosins, dynein, and kinesin. A particularly salient application of these technologies will be to examine chemomechanical coupling by directly imaging fluorescent nucleotide molecules interacting with processive motors as they traverse their actin or microtubule tracks.

  6. Nanodevices for Single Molecule Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craighead, H. G.; Stavis, S. M.; Samiee, K. T.

    During the last two decades, biotechnology research has resulted in progress in fields as diverse as the life sciences, agriculture and healthcare. While existing technology enables the analysis of a variety of biological systems, new tools are needed for increasing the efficiency of current methods, and for developing new ones altogether. Interest has grown in single molecule analysis for these reasons.

  7. Towards Single-Molecule Optical Mapping of the Epigenome

    PubMed Central

    Levy-Sakin, Michal; Grunwald, Assaf; Kim, Soohong; Gassman, Natalie R.; Gottfried, Anna; Antelman, Josh; Kim, Younggyu; Ho, Sam; Samuel, Robin; Michalet, Xavier; Lin, Ron R.; Dertinger, Thomas; Kim, Andrew S.; Chung, Sangyoon; Colyer, Ryan A.; Weinhold, Elmar; Weiss, Shimon; Ebenstein, Yuval

    2014-01-01

    The last decade has seen an explosive growth in the utilization of single-molecule techniques for the study of complex systems. The ability to resolve phenomena otherwise masked by ensemble averaging has made these approaches especially attractive for the study of biological systems, where stochastic events lead to inherent inhomogeneity on the population level. The complex composition of the genome has made it an ideal system to study on the single-molecule level and methods aimed at resolving genetic information from long, individual, genomic DNA molecules have been in use for the last 30 years. These methods, and particularly optical based mapping of DNA, have been instrumental in highlighting genomic variation and contributed significantly to the assembly of many genomes including the human genome. Nanotechnology and nanoscopy have been a strong driving force for advancing genomic mapping approaches, allowing both better manipulation of DNA on the nano-scale and enhanced optical resolving power for analysis of genomic information. In the very last years, these developments have been adopted also for epigenetic studies. The common principle for these studies is the use of advanced optical microscopy for the detection of fluorescently labeled epigenetic marks on long, extended DNA molecules. Here we will discuss recent single-molecule studies for the mapping of chromatin composition and epigenetic DNA modifications, such as DNA methylation. PMID:24328256

  8. Illuminating single molecules in condensed matter.

    PubMed

    Moerner, W E; Orrit, M

    1999-03-12

    Efficient collection and detection of fluorescence coupled with careful minimization of background from impurities and Raman scattering now enable routine optical microscopy and study of single molecules in complex condensed matter environments. This ultimate method for unraveling ensemble averages leads to the observation of new effects and to direct measurements of stochastic fluctuations. Experiments at cryogenic temperatures open new directions in molecular spectroscopy, quantum optics, and solid-state dynamics. Room-temperature investigations apply several techniques (polarization microscopy, single-molecule imaging, emission time dependence, energy transfer, lifetime studies, and the like) to a growing array of biophysical problems where new insight may be gained from direct observations of hidden static and dynamic inhomogeneity.

  9. Single molecule thermodynamics in biological motors.

    PubMed

    Taniguchi, Yuichi; Karagiannis, Peter; Nishiyama, Masayoshi; Ishii, Yoshiharu; Yanagida, Toshio

    2007-04-01

    Biological molecular machines use thermal activation energy to carry out various functions. The process of thermal activation has the stochastic nature of output events that can be described according to the laws of thermodynamics. Recently developed single molecule detection techniques have allowed each distinct enzymatic event of single biological machines to be characterized providing clues to the underlying thermodynamics. In this study, the thermodynamic properties in the stepping movement of a biological molecular motor have been examined. A single molecule detection technique was used to measure the stepping movements at various loads and temperatures and a range of thermodynamic parameters associated with the production of each forward and backward step including free energy, enthalpy, entropy and characteristic distance were obtained. The results show that an asymmetry in entropy is a primary factor that controls the direction in which the motor will step. The investigation on single molecule thermodynamics has the potential to reveal dynamic properties underlying the mechanisms of how biological molecular machines work.

  10. Trapping and manipulating single molecules of DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shon, Min Ju

    This thesis presents the development and application of nanoscale techniques to trap and manipulate biomolecules, with a focus on DNA. These methods combine single-molecule microscopy and nano- and micro-fabrication to study biophysical properties of DNA and proteins. The Dimple Machine is a lab-on-a-chip device that can isolate and confine a small number of molecules from a bulk solution. It traps molecules in nanofabricated chambers, or "dimples", and the trapped molecules are then studied on a fluorescence microscope at the single-molecule level. The sampling of bulk solution by dimples is representative, reproducible, and automated, enabling highthroughput single-molecule experiments. The device was applied to study hybridization of oligonucleotides, particularly in the context of reaction thermodynamics and kinetics in nanoconfinement. The DNA Pulley is a system to study protein binding and the local mechanical properties of DNA. A molecule of DNA is tethered to a surface on one end, and a superparamagnetic bead is attached to the other. A magnet pulls the DNA taut, and a silicon nitride knife with a nanoscale blade scans the DNA along its contour. Information on the local properties of the DNA is extracted by tracking the bead with nanometer precision in a white-light microscope. The system can detect proteins bound to DNA and localize their recognition sites, as shown with a model protein, EcoRI restriction enzyme. Progress on the measurements of nano-mechanical properties of DNA is included.

  11. Single-Molecule Spectroscopy and Imaging Over the Decades

    PubMed Central

    Moerner, W. E.; Shechtman, Yoav; Wang, Quan

    2016-01-01

    As of 2015, it has been 26 years since the first optical detection and spectroscopy of single molecules in condensed matter. This area of science has expanded far beyond the early low temperature studies in crystals to include single molecules in cells, polymers, and in solution. The early steps relied upon high-resolution spectroscopy of inhomogeneously broadened optical absorption profiles of molecular impurities in solids at low temperatures. Spectral fine structure arising directly from the position-dependent fluctuations of the number of molecules in resonance led to the attainment of the single-molecule limit in 1989 using frequency-modulation laser spectroscopy. In the early 1990's, a variety of fascinating physical effects were observed for individual molecules, including imaging of the light from single molecules as well as observations of spectral diffusion, optical switching and the ability to select different single molecules in the same focal volume simply by tuning the pumping laser frequency. In the room temperature regime, researchers showed that bursts of light from single molecules could be detected in solution, leading to imaging and microscopy by a variety of methods. Studies of single copies of the green fluorescent protein also uncovered surprises, especially the blinking and photoinduced recovery of emitters, which stimulated further development of photoswitchable fluorescent protein labels. All of these early steps provided important fundamentals underpinning the development of super-resolution microscopy based on single-molecule localization and active control of emitting concentration. Current thrust areas include extensions to three-dimensional imaging with high precision, orientational analysis of single molecules, and direct measurements of photodynamics and transport properties for single molecules trapped in solution by suppression of Brownian motion. Without question, a huge variety of studies of single molecules performed by many

  12. Single-molecule electrophoresis. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Castro, A.; Shera, E.B.

    1996-05-22

    A novel method for the detection and identification of single molecules in solution has been devised, computer-simulated, and experimentally achieved. The technique involves the determination of electrophoretic velocities by measuring the time required by individual molecules to travel a fixed distance between two laser beams. Computer simulations of the process were performed beforehand in order to estimate the experimental feasibility of the method, and to determine the optimum values for the various experimental parameters. Examples of the use of the technique for the ultrasensitive detection and identification of rhodamine-6G, a mixture of DNA restriction fragments, and a mixture of proteins in aqueous solution are presented.

  13. The information content in single-molecule Raman nanoscopy

    SciTech Connect

    El-Khoury, Patrick Z.; Abellan, Patricia; Chantry, Ruth L.; Gong, Yu; Joly, Alan G.; Novikova, Irina V.; Evans, James E.; Aprà, Edoardo; Hu, Dehong; Ramasse, Quentin M.; Hess, Wayne P.

    2016-01-02

    Nowadays, it is possible to establish the chemical identity of a substance at the ultimate detection limit of a single molecule, i.e. the sensitivity required to probe 1.66 yoctomoles (1/NA), using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). It is also possible to image within an individual molecule, all while retaining chemical selectivity, using tip-enhanced Raman scattering (TERS). The potential applications of ultrasensitive SERS and TERS in chemical and biological detection and imaging are evident, and have attracted significant attention over the past decade. Rather than focusing on conventional single/few-molecule SERS and TERS experiments, where the objective is ultrasensitive spectroscopy and nanoscale chemical imaging, we consider the reverse problem herein. Namely, we review recent efforts ultimately aimed at probing different aspects of a molecule’s local environment through a detailed analysis of its SERS and TERS signatures. Particular attention is devoted to local electric field imaging using TERS; we describe how the vector components and absolute magnitude of a local electric field may be inferred from molecular Raman spectra and images. We also propose experiments that can potentially be used to cross-check the insights gained from the described SERS and TERS measurements. The ultimate goal of this review is to demonstrate that there is much more to single molecule Raman scattering than mere ultrasensitive chemical nanoscopy.

  14. Reversible Aptamer-Au Plasmon Rulers for Secreted Single Molecules

    DOE PAGES

    Lee, Somin Eunice; Chen, Qian; Bhat, Ramray; ...

    2015-06-03

    Plasmon rulers, consisting of pairs of gold nanoparticles, allow single-molecule analysis without photobleaching or blinking; however, current plasmon rulers are irreversible, restricting detection to only single events. Here, we present a reversible plasmon ruler, comprised of coupled gold nanoparticles linked by a single aptamer, capable of binding individual secreted molecules with high specificity. We show that the binding of target secreted molecules to the reversible plasmon ruler is characterized by single-molecule sensitivity, high specificity, and reversibility. Lastly, such reversible plasmon rulers should enable dynamic and adaptive live-cell measurement of secreted single molecules in their local microenvironment.

  15. Theory of single molecule emission spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Bel, Golan; Brown, Frank L. H.

    2015-05-07

    A general theory and calculation framework for the prediction of frequency-resolved single molecule photon counting statistics is presented. Expressions for the generating function of photon counts are derived, both for the case of naive “detection” based solely on photon emission from the molecule and also for experimentally realizable detection of emitted photons, and are used to explicitly calculate low-order photon-counting moments. The two cases of naive detection versus physical detection are compared to one another and it is demonstrated that the physical detection scheme resolves certain inconsistencies predicted via the naive detection approach. Applications to two different models for molecular dynamics are considered: a simple two-level system and a two-level absorber subject to spectral diffusion.

  16. Single molecule microscopy and spectroscopy: concluding remarks.

    PubMed

    van Hulst, Niek F

    2015-01-01

    Chemistry is all about molecules: control, synthesis, interaction and reaction of molecules. All too easily on a blackboard, one draws molecules, their structures and dynamics, to create an insightful picture. The dream is to see these molecules in reality. This is exactly what "Single Molecule Detection" provides: a look at molecules in action at ambient conditions; a breakthrough technology in chemistry, physics and biology. Within the realms of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Faraday Discussion on "Single Molecule Microscopy and Spectroscopy" was a very appropriate topic for presentation, deliberation and debate. Undoubtedly, the Faraday Discussions have a splendid reputation in stimulating scientific debates along the traditions set by Michael Faraday. Interestingly, back in the 1830's, Faraday himself pursued an experiment that led to the idea that atoms in a compound were joined by an electrical component. He placed two opposite electrodes in a solution of water containing a dissolved compound, and observed that one of the elements of the compound accumulated on one electrode, while the other was deposited on the opposite electrode. Although Faraday was deeply opposed to atomism, he had to recognize that electrical forces were responsible for the joining of atoms. Probably a direct view on the atoms or molecules in his experiment would have convinced him. As such, Michael Faraday might have liked the gathering at Burlington House in September 2015 (). Surely, with the questioning eyes of his bust on the 1st floor corridor, the non-believer Michael Faraday has incited each passer-by to enter into discussion and search for deeper answers at the level of single molecules. In these concluding remarks, highlights of the presented papers and discussions are summarized, complemented by a conclusion on future perspectives.

  17. Toward Single-Molecule Nanomechanical Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roukes, Michael

    2009-03-01

    Mass spectrometry (MS) has become a preeminent methodology of proteomics since it provides rapid and quantitative identification of protein species with relatively low sample consumption. Yet with the trend toward biological analysis at increasingly smaller scales, ultimately down to the volume of an individual cell, MS with few-to-single molecule resolution will be required. We report the first realization of MS based on single-biological-molecule detection with nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS). NEMS provide unparalleled mass resolution, now sufficient for detection of individual molecular species in real time. However, high sensitivity is only one of several components required for MS. We demonstrate a first complete prototype NEMS-MS system for single-molecule mass spectrometry providing proof-of-principle for this new technique. Nanoparticles and protein species are introduced by electrospray injection from the fluid phase in ambient conditions into vacuum and subsequently delivered to the NEMS detector by hexapole ion optics . Mass measurements are then recorded in real-time as analytes adsorb, one-by-one, onto a phase-locked, ultrahigh frequency (UHF) NEMS resonator. These first NEMS-MS spectra, obtained with modest resolution from only several hundred mass adsorption events, presage the future capabilities of this methodology. We outline the substantial improvements feasible in near term, through recent advances and technological avenues that are unique to NEMS-MS.

  18. Single-molecule emulsion PCR in microfluidic droplets.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Zhi; Jenkins, Gareth; Zhang, Wenhua; Zhang, Mingxia; Guan, Zhichao; Yang, Chaoyong James

    2012-06-01

    The application of microfluidic droplet PCR for single-molecule amplification and analysis has recently been extensively studied. Microfluidic droplet technology has the advantages of compartmentalizing reactions into discrete volumes, performing highly parallel reactions in monodisperse droplets, reducing cross-contamination between droplets, eliminating PCR bias and nonspecific amplification, as well as enabling fast amplification with rapid thermocycling. Here, we have reviewed the important technical breakthroughs of microfluidic droplet PCR in the past five years and their applications to single-molecule amplification and analysis, such as high-throughput screening, next generation DNA sequencing, and quantitative detection of rare mutations. Although the utilization of microfluidic droplet single-molecule PCR is still in the early stages, its great potential has already been demonstrated and will provide novel solutions to today's biomedical engineering challenges in single-molecule amplification and analysis.

  19. Single molecule detection of PARP1 and PARP2 interaction with DNA strand breaks and their poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation using high-resolution AFM imaging

    PubMed Central

    Sukhanova, Maria V.; Abrakhi, Sanae; Joshi, Vandana; Pastre, David; Kutuzov, Mikhail M.; Anarbaev, Rashid O.; Curmi, Patrick A.; Hamon, Loic; Lavrik, Olga I.

    2016-01-01

    PARP1 and PARP2 are implicated in the synthesis of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) after detection of DNA damage. The specificity of PARP1 and PARP2 interaction with long DNA fragments containing single- and/or double-strand breaks (SSBs and DSBs) have been studied using atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging in combination with biochemical approaches. Our data show that PARP1 localizes mainly on DNA breaks and exhibits a slight preference for nicks over DSBs, although the protein has a moderately high affinity for undamaged DNA. In contrast to PARP1, PARP2 is mainly detected at a single DNA nick site, exhibiting a low level of binding to undamaged DNA and DSBs. The enhancement of binding affinity of PARP2 for DNA containing a single nick was also observed using fluorescence titration. AFM studies reveal that activation of both PARPs leads to the synthesis of highly branched PAR whose size depends strongly on the presence of SSBs and DSBs for PARP1 and of SSBs for PARP2. The initial affinity between the PARP1, PARP2 and the DNA damaged site appears to influence both the size of the PAR synthesized and the time of residence of PARylated PARP1 and PARP2 on DNA damages. PMID:26673720

  20. Single Molecule Studies of Chromatin

    SciTech Connect

    Jeans, C; Thelen, M P; Noy, A

    2006-02-06

    In eukaryotic cells, DNA is packaged as chromatin, a highly ordered structure formed through the wrapping of the DNA around histone proteins, and further packed through interactions with a number of other proteins. In order for processes such as DNA replication, DNA repair, and transcription to occur, the structure of chromatin must be remodeled such that the necessary enzymes can access the DNA. A number of remodeling enzymes have been described, but our understanding of the remodeling process is hindered by a lack of knowledge of the fine structure of chromatin, and how this structure is modulated in the living cell. We have carried out single molecule experiments using atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study the packaging arrangements in chromatin from a variety of cell types. Comparison of the structures observed reveals differences which can be explained in terms of the cell type and its transcriptional activity. During the course of this project, sample preparation and AFM techniques were developed and optimized. Several opportunities for follow-up work are outlined which could provide further insight into the dynamic structural rearrangements of chromatin.

  1. Detecting protein-induced folding of the U4 snRNA kink-turn by single-molecule multiparameter FRET measurements

    PubMed Central

    WOŹNIAK, ANNA K.; NOTTROTT, STEPHANIE; KÜHN-HÖLSKEN, EVA; SCHRÖDER, GUNNAR F.; GRUBMÜLLER, HELMUT; LÜHRMANN, REINHARD; SEIDEL, CLAUS A.M.; OESTERHELT, FILIPP

    2005-01-01

    The kink-turn (k-turn), a new RNA structural motif found in the spliceosome and the ribosome, serves as a specific protein recognition element and as a structural building block. While the structure of the spliceosomal U4 snRNA k-turn/15.5K complex is known from a crystal structure, it is unclear whether the k-turn also exists in this folded conformation in the free U4 snRNA. Thus, we investigated the U4 snRNA k-turn by single-molecule FRET measurements in the absence and presence of the 15.5K protein and its dependence on the Na+ and Mg2+ ion concentration. We show that the unfolded U4 snRNA k-turn introduces a kink of 85° ± 15° in an RNA double helix. While Na+ and Mg2+ ions induce this more open conformation of the k-turn, binding of the 15.5K protein was found to induce the tightly kinked conformation in the RNA that increases the kink to 52° ± 15°. By comparison of the measured FRET distances with a computer-modeled structure, we show that this strong kink is due to the k-turn motif adopting its folded conformation. Thus, in the free U4 snRNA, the k-turn exists only in an unfolded conformation, and its folding is induced by binding of the 15.5K protein. PMID:16199764

  2. Single-molecule and single-nanoparticle SERS: from fundamental mechanisms to biomedical applications.

    PubMed

    Qian, X-M; Nie, S M

    2008-05-01

    This tutorial review discusses a new class of colloidal metal nanoparticles that is able to enhance the efficiencies of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) by as much as 10(14)-10(15) fold. This enormous enhancement allows spectroscopic detection and identification of single molecules located on the nanoparticle surface or at the junction of two particles under ambient conditions. Considerable progress has been made in understanding the enhancement mechanisms, including definitive evidence for the single-molecule origin of fluctuating SERS signals. For applications, SERS nanoparticle tags have been developed based on the use of embedded reporter molecules and a silica or polymer encapsulation layer. The SERS nanoparticle tags are capable of providing detailed spectroscopic information and are much brighter than semiconductor quantum dots in the near-infrared spectral window. These properties have raised new opportunities for multiplexed molecular diagnosis and in vivo Raman spectroscopy and imaging.

  3. Single-molecule optomechanics in "picocavities".

    PubMed

    Benz, Felix; Schmidt, Mikolaj K; Dreismann, Alexander; Chikkaraddy, Rohit; Zhang, Yao; Demetriadou, Angela; Carnegie, Cloudy; Ohadi, Hamid; de Nijs, Bart; Esteban, Ruben; Aizpurua, Javier; Baumberg, Jeremy J

    2016-11-11

    Trapping light with noble metal nanostructures overcomes the diffraction limit and can confine light to volumes typically on the order of 30 cubic nanometers. We found that individual atomic features inside the gap of a plasmonic nanoassembly can localize light to volumes well below 1 cubic nanometer ("picocavities"), enabling optical experiments on the atomic scale. These atomic features are dynamically formed and disassembled by laser irradiation. Although unstable at room temperature, picocavities can be stabilized at cryogenic temperatures, allowing single atomic cavities to be probed for many minutes. Unlike traditional optomechanical resonators, such extreme optical confinement yields a factor of 10(6) enhancement of optomechanical coupling between the picocavity field and vibrations of individual molecular bonds. This work sets the basis for developing nanoscale nonlinear quantum optics on the single-molecule level.

  4. Chemical principles of single-molecule electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Timothy A.; Neupane, Madhav; Steigerwald, Michael L.; Venkataraman, Latha; Nuckolls, Colin

    2016-03-01

    The field of single-molecule electronics harnesses expertise from engineering, physics and chemistry to realize circuit elements at the limit of miniaturization; it is a subfield of nanoelectronics in which the electronic components are single molecules. In this Review, we survey the field from a chemical perspective and discuss the structure-property relationships of the three components that form a single-molecule junction: the anchor, the electrode and the molecular bridge. The spatial orientation and electronic coupling between each component profoundly affect the conductance properties and functions of the single-molecule device. We describe the design principles of the anchor group, the influence of the electronic configuration of the electrode and the effect of manipulating the structure of the molecular backbone and of its substituent groups. We discuss single-molecule conductance switches as well as the phenomenon of quantum interference and then trace their fundamental roots back to chemical principles.

  5. Extracting Models in Single Molecule Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Presse, Steve

    2013-03-01

    Single molecule experiments can now monitor the journey of a protein from its assembly near a ribosome to its proteolytic demise. Ideally all single molecule data should be self-explanatory. However data originating from single molecule experiments is particularly challenging to interpret on account of fluctuations and noise at such small scales. Realistically, basic understanding comes from models carefully extracted from the noisy data. Statistical mechanics, and maximum entropy in particular, provide a powerful framework for accomplishing this task in a principled fashion. Here I will discuss our work in extracting conformational memory from single molecule force spectroscopy experiments on large biomolecules. One clear advantage of this method is that we let the data tend towards the correct model, we do not fit the data. I will show that the dynamical model of the single molecule dynamics which emerges from this analysis is often more textured and complex than could otherwise come from fitting the data to a pre-conceived model.

  6. Applications of capillary electrophoresis and laser-induced fluorescence detection to the analysis of trace species: From single cells to single molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Xue, Qifeng

    1995-09-26

    This Ph.D. Thesis describes several separation and detection schemes for the analysis of small volume and amount of samples, such as intracellular components and single enzymes developed during research. Indirect Laser-induced fluorescence detection and capillary electrophoresis were used to quantify lactate and pyruvate in single red blood cells. The assay of specific enzyme activities was achieved by monitoring the highly fluorescent enzymatic reaction product, NADH. LDH activity was found not to be a unique marker for diagnosis of leukemia. Reactions of single LDH-1 molecules were investigated by monitoring the reaction product with LIF detection.

  7. Single-molecule mechanochemical sensing using DNA origami nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Koirala, Deepak; Shrestha, Prakash; Emura, Tomoko; Hidaka, Kumi; Mandal, Shankar; Endo, Masayuki; Sugiyama, Hiroshi; Mao, Hanbin

    2014-07-28

    While single-molecule sensing offers the ultimate detection limit, its throughput is often restricted as sensing events are carried out one at a time in most cases. 2D and 3D DNA origami nanostructures are used as expanded single-molecule platforms in a new mechanochemical sensing strategy. As a proof of concept, six sensing probes are incorporated in a 7-tile DNA origami nanoassembly, wherein binding of a target molecule to any of these probes leads to mechanochemical rearrangement of the origami nanostructure, which is monitored in real time by optical tweezers. Using these platforms, 10 pM platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) are detected within 10 minutes, while demonstrating multiplex sensing of the PDGF and a target DNA in the same solution. By tapping into the rapid development of versatile DNA origami nanostructures, this mechanochemical platform is anticipated to offer a long sought solution for single-molecule sensing with improved throughput.

  8. Design and construction of wall-less nano-electrophoretic and nano in micro array high throughput devices for single cell ‘omics' single molecule detection analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Misevic, Gradimir N.; BenAssayag, Gerard; Rasser, Bernard; Sales, Philippe; Simic-Krstic, Jovana; Misevic, Nikola J.; Popescu, Octavian

    2014-09-01

    Single cell ‘omics' requires a technological platform with reliable and high throughput single cell analyses with single molecular detection and quantification. Presently available options are to either to detect many different macromolecules and metabolites extracted from many cells, thus obtaining partial ‘omics' of an average cell or to study only few single cells and be limited to semi-quantitative analyses and detection of a few abundant molecules. Here we present a new design and prototype proof of concept construction of high throughput nano-electrophoretic separation (NEA) device and nano in micro array (NiMA) affinity probe device for a complete single cell ‘omics' single bio-molecule polymers detection and quantification analyses. Prototype devices were constructed using gallium ion Focus Ion Beam (FIB), Gas Injection System (GIS) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) crossbeam instruments. The NEA device accommodates 100 different cell samplings per 1 cm2 chip with arrays of open nano-electrophoretic guides. The NiMA bio-sensor device on 1 cm2 can accommodate 2500 cells in a micro-well array which consists of 250,000 probe markers in nano-well array located in each micro-well. Using Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) we have demonstrated the direct detection of a single protein molecule and proved the feasibility of single bio-molecular detection and quantification concept for NEA and NIMA. Our concept validates high throughput and complete and quantitative single cell ‘omics' with single molecular detection analyses without labeling. Thus, it is superior to commonly used microfluidics, capillary electrophoresis and micro-arrays using mass spectrometry and fluorescent labeling for molecular detection.

  9. Massively Parallel Single-Molecule Manipulation Using Centrifugal Force

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Wesley; Halvorsen, Ken

    2011-03-01

    Precise manipulation of single molecules has led to remarkable insights in physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine. However, two issues that have impeded the widespread adoption of these techniques are equipment cost and the laborious nature of making measurements one molecule at a time. To meet these challenges, we have developed an approach that enables massively parallel single- molecule force measurements using centrifugal force. This approach is realized in the centrifuge force microscope, an instrument in which objects in an orbiting sample are subjected to a calibration-free, macroscopically uniform force- field while their micro-to-nanoscopic motions are observed. We demonstrate high- throughput single-molecule force spectroscopy with this technique by performing thousands of rupture experiments in parallel, characterizing force-dependent unbinding kinetics of an antibody-antigen pair in minutes rather than days. Currently, we are taking steps to integrate high-resolution detection, fluorescence, temperature control and a greater dynamic range in force. With significant benefits in efficiency, cost, simplicity, and versatility, single-molecule centrifugation has the potential to expand single-molecule experimentation to a wider range of researchers and experimental systems.

  10. Optical microscopy using a single-molecule light source

    PubMed

    Michaelis; Hettich; Mlynek; Sandoghdar

    2000-05-18

    Rapid progress in science on nanoscopic scales has promoted increasing interest in techniques of ultrahigh-resolution optical microscopy. The diffraction limit can be surpassed by illuminating an object in the near field through a sub-wavelength aperture at the end of a sharp metallic probe. Proposed modifications of this technique involve replacing the physical aperture by a nanoscopic active light source. Advances in the spatial and spectral detection of individual fluorescent molecules, using near-field and far-field methods, suggest the possibility of using a single molecule as the illumination source. Here we present optical images taken with a single molecule as a point-like source of illumination, by combining fluorescence excitation spectroscopy with shear-force microscopy. Our single-molecule probe has potential for achieving molecular resolution in optical microscopy; it should also facilitate controlled studies of nanometre-scale phenomena (such as resonant energy transfer) with improved lateral and axial spatial resolution.

  11. Simultaneous time and frequency resolved fluorescence microscopy of single molecules.

    SciTech Connect

    Hayden, Carl C.; Gradinaru, Claudiu C.; Chandler, David W.; Luong, A. Khai

    2005-01-01

    Single molecule fluorophores were studied for the first time with a new confocal fluorescence microscope that allows the wavelength and emission time to be simultaneously measured with single molecule sensitivity. In this apparatus, the photons collected from the sample are imaged through a dispersive optical system onto a time and position sensitive detector. This detector records the wavelength and emission time of each detected photon relative to an excitation laser pulse. A histogram of many events for any selected spatial region or time interval can generate a full fluorescence spectrum and correlated decay plot for the given selection. At the single molecule level, this approach makes entirely new types of temporal and spectral correlation spectroscopy of possible. This report presents the results of simultaneous time- and frequency-resolved fluorescence measurements of single rhodamine 6G (R6G), tetramethylrhodamine (TMR), and Cy3 embedded in thin films of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA).

  12. Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy in (bio)catalysis.

    PubMed

    Roeffaers, Maarten B J; De Cremer, Gert; Uji-i, Hiroshi; Muls, Benîot; Sels, Bert F; Jacobs, Pierre A; De Schryver, Frans C; De Vos, Dirk E; Hofkens, Johan

    2007-07-31

    The ever-improving time and space resolution and molecular detection sensitivity of fluorescence microscopy offer unique opportunities to deepen our insights into the function of chemical and biological catalysts. Because single-molecule microscopy allows for counting the turnover events one by one, one can map the distribution of the catalytic activities of different sites in solid heterogeneous catalysts, or one can study time-dependent activity fluctuations of individual sites in enzymes or chemical catalysts. By experimentally monitoring individuals rather than populations, the origin of complex behavior, e.g., in kinetics or in deactivation processes, can be successfully elucidated. Recent progress of temporal and spatial resolution in single-molecule fluorescence microscopy is discussed in light of its impact on catalytic assays. Key concepts are illustrated regarding the use of fluorescent reporters in catalytic reactions. Future challenges comprising the integration of other techniques, such as diffraction, scanning probe, or vibrational methods in single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy are suggested.

  13. SINGLE MOLECULE ENZYMOLOGY FINDS ITS STRIDE.

    PubMed

    Perkel, Jeffrey

    2015-10-01

    More techniques aimed at probing the nature of single molecules are being developed and advanced in biophysics labs. Jeffrey Perkel takes a look at the scientists leading the charge into the micro-world.

  14. Broadband single-molecule excitation spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Piatkowski, Lukasz; Gellings, Esther; van Hulst, Niek F.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 25 years, single-molecule spectroscopy has developed into a widely used tool in multiple disciplines of science. The diversity of routinely recorded emission spectra does underpin the strength of the single-molecule approach in resolving the heterogeneity and dynamics, otherwise hidden in the ensemble. In early cryogenic studies single molecules were identified by their distinct excitation spectra, yet measuring excitation spectra at room temperature remains challenging. Here we present a broadband Fourier approach that allows rapid recording of excitation spectra of individual molecules under ambient conditions and that is robust against blinking and bleaching. Applying the method we show that the excitation spectra of individual molecules exhibit an extreme distribution of solvatochromic shifts and distinct spectral shapes. Importantly, we demonstrate that the sensitivity and speed of the broadband technique is comparable to that of emission spectroscopy putting both techniques side-by-side in single-molecule spectroscopy. PMID:26794035

  15. Methods and applications in single molecule electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hihath, Joshua

    In recent years it has become possible to measure charge transport in a single molecule contacted to two metal electrodes. However, a thorough understanding of how a molecule behaves while contacted to two electrodes and how it interacts with its environment is still lacking. This thesis demonstrates various experimental methods for understanding and controlling charge transport in a single molecule junction and the application of these methods to various molecular systems to help elucidate the conduction mechanisms invoked. First, the conductance of DNA is examined in a controlled environment while varying the length, sequence, base-pair matching, bias, temperature, and electrochemical gate of the molecule. These studies show that the conductance of DNA is extremely sensitive to changes in length, sequence, and base-matching, but not as sensitive to temperature and electrochemical gate. Despite the variety of experimental methods applied, the subtleties of the conduction mechanism remain uncertain, and as such necessitate the development of additional tools for understanding the behavior of a single molecule junction. Next, the Conductance Screening Tool for Molecules (CSTM) is described. This is a new tool capable of creating 1000's of single molecules junctions in a matter of minutes. This tool has been used to study the conductance of alkanedithiols, molecules in an array, and single amino acid residues. This system allows for greater speed and flexibility in determining the conductance of a single molecule junction, and provides a capability for performing large-scale systematic studies of molecular systems to determine the conduction mechanism. Finally, an additional experimental method capable of extracting information about the interaction between a molecule and its environment is developed. Here, electron-phonon interactions in a single molecule contacted to two electrodes are studied. This method allows one to obtain a specific, chemical signature of a

  16. Methods of single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moerner, W. E.; Fromm, David P.

    2003-08-01

    Optical spectroscopy at the ultimate limit of a single molecule has grown over the past dozen years into a powerful technique for exploring the individual nanoscale behavior of molecules in complex local environments. Observing a single molecule removes the usual ensemble average, allowing the exploration of hidden heterogeneity in complex condensed phases as well as direct observation of dynamical state changes arising from photophysics and photochemistry, without synchronization. This article reviews the experimental techniques of single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy with emphasis on studies at room temperature where the same single molecule is studied for an extended period. Key to successful single-molecule detection is the need to optimize signal-to-noise ratio, and the physical parameters affecting both signal and noise are described in detail. Four successful microscopic methods including the wide-field techniques of epifluorescence and total internal reflection, as well as confocal and near-field optical scanning microscopies are described. In order to extract the maximum amount of information from an experiment, a wide array of properties of the emission can be recorded, such as polarization, spectrum, degree of energy transfer, and spatial position. Whatever variable is measured, the time dependence of the parameter can yield information about excited state lifetimes, photochemistry, local environmental fluctuations, enzymatic activity, quantum optics, and many other dynamical effects. Due to the breadth of applications now appearing, single-molecule spectroscopy and microscopy may be viewed as useful new tools for the study of dynamics in complex systems, especially where ensemble averaging or lack of synchronization may obscure the details of the process under study.

  17. Intracellular bottom-up generation of targeted nanosensors for single-molecule imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hou, Yanyan; Arai, Satoshi; Kitaguchi, Tetsuya; Suzuki, Madoka

    2016-02-01

    Organic dyes are useful tools for sensing cellular activities but unfavorable in single-molecule imaging, whereas quantum dots (QDs) are widely applied in single-molecule imaging but with few sensing applications. Here, to visualize cellular activities by monitoring the response of a single probe in living cells, we propose a bottom-up approach to generate nanoprobes where four organic dyes are conjugated to tetravalent single-chain avidin (scAVD) proteins via an intracellular click reaction. We demonstrate that the nanoprobes, exhibiting increased brightness and enhanced photostability, were detectable as single dots in living cells. The ease of intracellular targeting allowed the tracking of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) remodeling with nanometer spatial resolution. Conjugating thermosensitive dyes generated temperature-sensitive nanoprobes on ER membranes that successfully monitored local temperature changes in response to external heat pulses. Our approach is potentially a suitable tool for visualizing localized cellular activities with single probe sensitivity in living cells.Organic dyes are useful tools for sensing cellular activities but unfavorable in single-molecule imaging, whereas quantum dots (QDs) are widely applied in single-molecule imaging but with few sensing applications. Here, to visualize cellular activities by monitoring the response of a single probe in living cells, we propose a bottom-up approach to generate nanoprobes where four organic dyes are conjugated to tetravalent single-chain avidin (scAVD) proteins via an intracellular click reaction. We demonstrate that the nanoprobes, exhibiting increased brightness and enhanced photostability, were detectable as single dots in living cells. The ease of intracellular targeting allowed the tracking of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) remodeling with nanometer spatial resolution. Conjugating thermosensitive dyes generated temperature-sensitive nanoprobes on ER membranes that successfully monitored local

  18. The optics inside an automated single molecule array analyzer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGuigan, William; Fournier, David R.; Watson, Gary W.; Walling, Les; Gigante, Bill; Duffy, David C.; Rissin, David M.; Kan, Cheuk W.; Meyer, Raymond E.; Piech, Tomasz; Fishburn, Matthew W.

    2014-02-01

    Quanterix and Stratec Biomedical have developed an instrument that enables the automated measurement of multiple proteins at concentration ~1000 times lower than existing immunoassays. The instrument is based on Quanterix's proprietary Single Molecule Array technology (Simoa™ ) that facilitates the detection and quantification of biomarkers previously difficult to measure, thus opening up new applications in life science research and in-vitro diagnostics. Simoa is based on trapping individual beads in arrays of femtoliter-sized wells that, when imaged with sufficient resolution, allows for counting of single molecules associated with each bead. When used to capture and detect proteins, this approach is known as digital ELISA (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). The platform developed is a merger of many science and engineering disciplines. This paper concentrates on the optical technologies that have enabled the development of a fully-automated single molecule analyzer. At the core of the system is a custom, wide field-of-view, fluorescence microscope that images arrays of microwells containing single molecules bound to magnetic beads. A consumable disc containing 24 microstructure arrays was developed previously in collaboration with Sony DADC. The system cadence requirements, array dimensions, and requirement to detect single molecules presented significant optical challenges. Specifically, the wide field-of-view needed to image the entire array resulted in the need for a custom objective lens. Additionally, cost considerations for the system required a custom solution that leveraged the image processing capabilities. This paper will discuss the design considerations and resultant optical architecture that has enabled the development of an automated digital ELISA platform.

  19. Single molecule thermodynamics and nanopore-based thermometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reiner, Joseph E.; Robertson, Joseph W. F.; Burden, Lisa K.; Burden, Daniel L.; Kasianowicz, John J.

    2012-02-01

    The nanopore-based resistive pulse method measures the reduction in ionic current caused by the interaction of single molecules with the pore. It has great promise in addressing problems across a range of fields that include biomedicine and genomics. The technique requires the residence time of the molecules in the pore to exceed the inverse bandwidth of the detection system (˜ 10 μs). Efforts are underway to improve this by molecular modification of the pore wall, but little effort has focused on modifying the solution conditions in and around the pore. We address this issue by precisely controlling the solution temperature around a protein ion channel (alpha hemolysin) via laser-induced heating of gold nanoparticles. In this technique, the nanopore serves dual roles as both a highly local thermometer and single molecule sensor. Preliminary data suggests that the solution temperature can be controlled over a wide range, the nanopore conductance can be used to directly measure rapid changes in temperature, and the temperature change can dramatically alter the interaction kinetics of single molecules with the nanopore. The method will improve the development of biochip sensors and lead to a new platform for single molecule thermodynamic studies.

  20. Single Molecule Fluorescence Microscopy on Planar Supported Bilayers

    PubMed Central

    Axmann, Markus; Schütz, Gerhard J.; Huppa, Johannes B.

    2015-01-01

    In the course of a single decade single molecule microscopy has changed from being a secluded domain shared merely by physicists with a strong background in optics and laser physics to a discipline that is now enjoying vivid attention by life-scientists of all venues 1. This is because single molecule imaging has the unique potential to reveal protein behavior in situ in living cells and uncover cellular organization with unprecedented resolution below the diffraction limit of visible light 2. Glass-supported planar lipid bilayers (SLBs) are a powerful tool to bring cells otherwise growing in suspension in close enough proximity to the glass slide so that they can be readily imaged in noise-reduced Total Internal Reflection illumination mode 3,4. They are very useful to study the protein dynamics in plasma membrane-associated events as diverse as cell-cell contact formation, endocytosis, exocytosis and immune recognition. Simple procedures are presented how to generate highly mobile protein-functionalized SLBs in a reproducible manner, how to determine protein mobility within and how to measure protein densities with the use of single molecule detection. It is shown how to construct a cost-efficient single molecule microscopy system with TIRF illumination capabilities and how to operate it in the experiment. PMID:26555335

  1. Single molecule study of silicon quantum dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    So, Woong Young; Li, Qi; Jin, Rongchao; Peteanu, Linda

    2016-09-01

    Recently, fluorescent Silicon (Si) Quantum Dots (QDs) have attracted much interest due to their high quantum yield, use of non-toxic and environmentally-benign chemicals, and water-solubility. However, more research is necessary to understand the energy level characteristics and single molecule behavior to enable their development for imaging applications. Therefore, single molecule time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy of fluorescent Si QDs (cyan, green, and yellow) is needed. A rigorous analysis of time-resolved photon correlation spectroscopy and fluorescence lifetime data on single Si QDs at room temperature is presented.

  2. Life at the Single Molecule Level

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, Xiaoliang Sunny

    2011-03-04

    In a living cell, gene expression—the transcription of DNA to messenger RNA followed by translation to protein—occurs stochastically, as a consequence of the low copy number of DNA and mRNA molecules involved. Can one monitor these processes in a living cell in real time? How do cells with identical genes exhibit different phenotypes? Recent advances in single-molecule imaging in living bacterial cells allow these questions to be answered at the molecular level in a quantitative manner. It was found that rare events of single molecules can have important biological consequences.

  3. Enhanced photoacoustic detection using photonic crystal substrate

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, Yunfei; Liu, Kaiyang; McClelland, John; Lu, Meng

    2014-04-21

    This paper demonstrates the enhanced photoacoustic sensing of surface-bound light absorbing molecules and metal nanoparticles using a one-dimensional photonic crystal (PC) substrate. The PC structure functions as an optical resonator at the wavelength where the analyte absorption is strong. The optical resonance of the PC sensor provides an intensified evanescent field with respect to the excitation light source and results in enhanced optical absorption by surface-immobilized samples. For the analysis of a light absorbing dye deposited on the PC surface, the intensity of photoacoustic signal was enhanced by more than 10-fold in comparison to an un-patterned acrylic substrate. The technique was also applied to detect gold nanorods and exhibited more than 40 times stronger photoacoustic signals. The demonstrated approach represents a potential path towards single molecule absorption spectroscopy with greater performance and inexpensive instrumentation.

  4. Single Molecule Analysis Research Tool (SMART): An Integrated Approach for Analyzing Single Molecule Data

    PubMed Central

    Mabuchi, Hideo; Herschlag, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Single molecule studies have expanded rapidly over the past decade and have the ability to provide an unprecedented level of understanding of biological systems. A common challenge upon introduction of novel, data-rich approaches is the management, processing, and analysis of the complex data sets that are generated. We provide a standardized approach for analyzing these data in the freely available software package SMART: Single Molecule Analysis Research Tool. SMART provides a format for organizing and easily accessing single molecule data, a general hidden Markov modeling algorithm for fitting an array of possible models specified by the user, a standardized data structure and graphical user interfaces to streamline the analysis and visualization of data. This approach guides experimental design, facilitating acquisition of the maximal information from single molecule experiments. SMART also provides a standardized format to allow dissemination of single molecule data and transparency in the analysis of reported data. PMID:22363412

  5. Single-molecule techniques for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Gary M; Visscher, Koen

    2004-08-01

    Single-molecule techniques offer a number of key benefits over conventional in vitro assay methods for drug screening, as they use less material and unlock the ability to observe transient states. By observing such states, it should be possible to screen for chemical compounds that isolate these steps. The benefit of this is twofold: (a) inhibitors can be found that target key phases in biochemical processes, e.g., transcription initiation; and (b) the total number of drug targets increases as many biochemical processes consist of many transient steps, e.g., transcription promoter binding, initiation, elongation, and termination. Although single-molecule methods offer exciting opportunities for new ways of discovering drugs, there are a number of obstacles to their adoption for drug screening. The main hurdle is to develop robust apparatus that will allow many thousands of individual single molecule experiments to be performed in parallel. By using recently developed integrated microfluidics technology, this hurdle may be overcome. Here, a number of potential single-molecule approaches to drug screening are presented along with a discussion of the benefits and technical obstacles that must be overcome.

  6. Near-field single molecule spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, X.S.; Dunn, R.C.

    1995-02-01

    The high spatial resolution and sensitivity of near-field fluorescence microscopy allows one to study spectroscopic and dynamical properties of individual molecules at room temperature. Time-resolved experiments which probe the dynamical behavior of single molecules are discussed. Ground rules for applying near-field spectroscopy and the effect of the aluminum coated near-field probe on spectroscopic measurements are presented.

  7. Nanoscience: Single-molecule instant replay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camillone, Nicholas

    2016-11-01

    A nanoscale imaging method that uses ultrashort light pulses to initiate and follow the motion of a single molecule adsorbed on a solid surface opens a window onto the physical and chemical dynamics of molecules on surfaces. See Letter p.263

  8. Single-molecule Michaelis-Menten equations.

    PubMed

    Kou, S C; Cherayil, Binny J; Min, Wei; English, Brian P; Xie, X Sunney

    2005-10-20

    This paper summarizes our present theoretical understanding of single-molecule kinetics associated with the Michaelis-Menten mechanism of enzymatic reactions. Single-molecule enzymatic turnover experiments typically measure the probability density f(t) of the stochastic waiting time t for individual turnovers. While f(t) can be reconciled with ensemble kinetics, it contains more information than the ensemble data; in particular, it provides crucial information on dynamic disorder, the apparent fluctuation of the catalytic rates due to the interconversion among the enzyme's conformers with different catalytic rate constants. In the presence of dynamic disorder, f(t) exhibits a highly stretched multiexponential decay at high substrate concentrations and a monoexponential decay at low substrate concentrations. We derive a single-molecule Michaelis-Menten equation for the reciprocal of the first moment of f(t), 1/, which shows a hyperbolic dependence on the substrate concentration [S], similar to the ensemble enzymatic velocity. We prove that this single-molecule Michaelis-Menten equation holds under many conditions, in particular when the intercoversion rates among different enzyme conformers are slower than the catalytic rate. However, unlike the conventional interpretation, the apparent catalytic rate constant and the apparent Michaelis constant in this single-molecule Michaelis-Menten equation are complicated functions of the catalytic rate constants of individual conformers. We also suggest that the randomness parameter r, defined as <(t - )2> / t2, can serve as an indicator for dynamic disorder in the catalytic step of the enzymatic reaction, as it becomes larger than unity at high substrate concentrations in the presence of dynamic disorder.

  9. High thermopower of mechanically stretched single-molecule junctions

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Morikawa, Takanori; He, Yuhui; Arima, Akihide

    2015-01-01

    Metal-molecule-metal junction is a promising candidate for thermoelectric applications that utilizes quantum confinement effects in the chemically defined zero-dimensional atomic structure to achieve enhanced dimensionless figure of merit ZT. A key issue in this new class of thermoelectric nanomaterials is to clarify the sensitivity of thermoelectricity on the molecular junction configurations. Here we report simultaneous measurements of the thermoelectric voltage and conductance on Au-1,4-benzenedithiol (BDT)-Au junctions mechanically-stretched in-situ at sub-nanoscale. We obtained the average single-molecule conductance and thermopower of 0.01 G0 and 15 μV/K, respectively, suggesting charge transport through the highest occupied molecular orbital. Meanwhile, we found the single-molecule thermoelectric transport properties extremely-sensitive to the BDT bridge configurations, whereby manifesting the importance to design the electrode-molecule contact motifs for optimizing the thermoelectric performance of molecular junctions. PMID:26112999

  10. High thermopower of mechanically stretched single-molecule junctions.

    PubMed

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Morikawa, Takanori; He, Yuhui; Arima, Akihide; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2015-06-26

    Metal-molecule-metal junction is a promising candidate for thermoelectric applications that utilizes quantum confinement effects in the chemically defined zero-dimensional atomic structure to achieve enhanced dimensionless figure of merit ZT. A key issue in this new class of thermoelectric nanomaterials is to clarify the sensitivity of thermoelectricity on the molecular junction configurations. Here we report simultaneous measurements of the thermoelectric voltage and conductance on Au-1,4-benzenedithiol (BDT)-Au junctions mechanically-stretched in-situ at sub-nanoscale. We obtained the average single-molecule conductance and thermopower of 0.01 G0 and 15 μV/K, respectively, suggesting charge transport through the highest occupied molecular orbital. Meanwhile, we found the single-molecule thermoelectric transport properties extremely-sensitive to the BDT bridge configurations, whereby manifesting the importance to design the electrode-molecule contact motifs for optimizing the thermoelectric performance of molecular junctions.

  11. Modeling of Single Molecule Cytoplasmic Dynein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Clare

    2010-03-01

    A living cell has an infrastructure much like that of a city. We will describe the transportation system that consists of roads (filaments) and molecular motors (proteins) that haul cargo along these roads. Dynein is one type of motor protein that walks along microtubules towards the nucleus of the cell. Dynein is more complicated in its structure and function than other motors. Experiments have found that, unlike other motors, dynein can take different size steps along microtubules depending on load and ATP concentration. We use Monte Carlo simulations to model the molecular motor function of cytoplasmic dynein at the single molecule level. The theory relates dynein's enzymatic properties to its mechanical force production. Our simulations reproduce the main features of recent single molecule experiments. We make testable predictions that should guide future experiments related to dynein function.

  12. Superresolution Imaging using Single-Molecule Localization

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, George; Davidson, Michael; Manley, Suliana; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Superresolution imaging is a rapidly emerging new field of microscopy that dramatically improves the spatial resolution of light microscopy by over an order of magnitude (∼10–20-nm resolution), allowing biological processes to be described at the molecular scale. Here, we discuss a form of superresolution microscopy based on the controlled activation and sampling of sparse subsets of photoconvertible fluorescent molecules. In this single-molecule based imaging approach, a wide variety of probes have proved valuable, ranging from genetically encodable photoactivatable fluorescent proteins to photoswitchable cyanine dyes. These have been used in diverse applications of superresolution imaging: from three-dimensional, multicolor molecule localization to tracking of nanometric structures and molecules in living cells. Single-molecule-based superresolution imaging thus offers exciting possibilities for obtaining molecular-scale information on biological events occurring at variable timescales. PMID:20055680

  13. The symmetry of single-molecule conduction.

    PubMed

    Solomon, Gemma C; Gagliardi, Alessio; Pecchia, Alessandro; Frauenheim, Thomas; Di Carlo, Aldo; Reimers, Jeffrey R; Hush, Noel S

    2006-11-14

    We introduce the conductance point group which defines the symmetry of single-molecule conduction within the nonequilibrium Green's function formalism. It is shown, either rigorously or to within a very good approximation, to correspond to a molecular-conductance point group defined purely in terms of the properties of the conducting molecule. This enables single-molecule conductivity to be described in terms of key qualitative chemical descriptors that are independent of the nature of the molecule-conductor interfaces. We apply this to demonstrate how symmetry controls the conduction through 1,4-benzenedithiol chemisorbed to gold electrodes as an example system, listing also the molecular-conductance point groups for a range of molecules commonly used in molecular electronics research.

  14. Automated imaging system for single molecules

    DOEpatents

    Schwartz, David Charles; Runnheim, Rodney; Forrest, Daniel

    2012-09-18

    There is provided a high throughput automated single molecule image collection and processing system that requires minimal initial user input. The unique features embodied in the present disclosure allow automated collection and initial processing of optical images of single molecules and their assemblies. Correct focus may be automatically maintained while images are collected. Uneven illumination in fluorescence microscopy is accounted for, and an overall robust imaging operation is provided yielding individual images prepared for further processing in external systems. Embodiments described herein are useful in studies of any macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, peptides and proteins. The automated image collection and processing system and method of same may be implemented and deployed over a computer network, and may be ergonomically optimized to facilitate user interaction.

  15. Laser-Assisted Single Molecule Refolding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Rui; Marshall, Myles; Aleman, Elvin; Lamichhane, Rajan; Rueda, David

    2010-03-01

    In vivo, many RNA molecules can adopt multiple conformations depending on their biological context such as the HIV Dimerization Initiation Sequence (DIS) or the DsrA RNA in bacteria. It is quite common that the initial interaction between the two RNAs takes place via complementary unpaired regions, thus forming a so-called kissing complex. However, the exact kinetic mechanism by which the two RNA molecules reach the dimerized state is still not well understood. To investigate the refolding energy surface of RNA molecules, we have developed new technology based on the combination of single molecule spectroscopy with laser induced temperature jump kinetics, called Laser Assisted Single-molecule Refolding (LASR). LASR enables us to induce folding reactions of otherwise kinetically trapped RNAs at the single molecule level, and to characterize their folding landscape. LASR provides an exciting new approach to study molecular memory effects and kinetically trapped RNAs in general. LASR should be readily applicable to study DNA and protein folding as well.

  16. Model systems for single molecule polymer dynamics.

    PubMed

    Latinwo, Folarin; Schroeder, Charles M

    2011-01-01

    Double stranded DNA (dsDNA) has long served as a model system for single molecule polymer dynamics. However, dsDNA is a semiflexible polymer, and the structural rigidity of the DNA double helix gives rise to local molecular properties and chain dynamics that differ from flexible chains, including synthetic organic polymers. Recently, we developed single stranded DNA (ssDNA) as a new model system for single molecule studies of flexible polymer chains. In this work, we discuss model polymer systems in the context of "ideal" and "real" chain behavior considering thermal blobs, tension blobs, hydrodynamic drag and force-extension relations. In addition, we present monomer aspect ratio as a key parameter describing chain conformation and dynamics, and we derive dynamical scaling relations in terms of this molecular-level parameter. We show that asymmetric Kuhn segments can suppress monomer-monomer interactions, thereby altering global chain dynamics. Finally, we discuss ssDNA in the context of a new model system for single molecule polymer dynamics. Overall, we anticipate that future single polymer studies of flexible chains will reveal new insight into the dynamic behavior of "real" polymers, which will highlight the importance of molecular individualism and the prevalence of non-linear phenomena.

  17. Single-Molecule Imaging of Nuclear Transport

    PubMed Central

    Goryaynov, Alexander; Sarma, Ashapurna; Ma, Jiong; Yang, Weidong

    2010-01-01

    The utility of single molecule fluorescence microscopy approaches has been proven to be of a great avail in understanding biological reactions over the last decade. The investigation of molecular interactions with high temporal and spatial resolutions deep within cells has remained challenging due to the inherently weak signals arising from individual molecules. Recent works by Yang et al. demonstrated that narrow-field epifluorescence microscopy allows visualization of nucleocytoplasmic transport at the single molecule level. By the single molecule approach, important kinetics, such as nuclear transport time and efficiency, for signal-dependent and independent cargo molecules have been obtained. Here we described a protocol for the methodological approach with an improved spatiotemporal resolution of 0.4 ms and 12 nm. The improved resolution enabled us to capture transient active transport and passive diffusion events through the nuclear pore complexes (NPC) in semi-intact cells. We expect this method to be used in elucidating other binding and trafficking events within cells. PMID:20548283

  18. Model systems for single molecule polymer dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Latinwo, Folarin

    2012-01-01

    Double stranded DNA (dsDNA) has long served as a model system for single molecule polymer dynamics. However, dsDNA is a semiflexible polymer, and the structural rigidity of the DNA double helix gives rise to local molecular properties and chain dynamics that differ from flexible chains, including synthetic organic polymers. Recently, we developed single stranded DNA (ssDNA) as a new model system for single molecule studies of flexible polymer chains. In this work, we discuss model polymer systems in the context of “ideal” and “real” chain behavior considering thermal blobs, tension blobs, hydrodynamic drag and force–extension relations. In addition, we present monomer aspect ratio as a key parameter describing chain conformation and dynamics, and we derive dynamical scaling relations in terms of this molecular-level parameter. We show that asymmetric Kuhn segments can suppress monomer–monomer interactions, thereby altering global chain dynamics. Finally, we discuss ssDNA in the context of a new model system for single molecule polymer dynamics. Overall, we anticipate that future single polymer studies of flexible chains will reveal new insight into the dynamic behavior of “real” polymers, which will highlight the importance of molecular individualism and the prevalence of non-linear phenomena. PMID:22956980

  19. Single Molecule Spectroscopy of Monomeric LHCII: Experiment and Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malý, Pavel; Gruber, J. Michael; van Grondelle, Rienk; Mančal, Tomáš

    2016-05-01

    We derive approximate equations of motion for excited state dynamics of a multilevel open quantum system weakly interacting with light to describe fluorescence-detected single molecule spectra. Based on the Frenkel exciton theory, we construct a model for the chlorophyll part of the LHCII complex of higher plants and its interaction with previously proposed excitation quencher in the form of the lutein molecule Lut 1. The resulting description is valid over a broad range of timescales relevant for single molecule spectroscopy, i.e. from ps to minutes. Validity of these equations is demonstrated by comparing simulations of ensemble and single-molecule spectra of monomeric LHCII with experiments. Using a conformational change of the LHCII protein as a switching mechanism, the intensity and spectral time traces of individual LHCII complexes are simulated, and the experimental statistical distributions are reproduced. Based on our model, it is shown that with reasonable assumptions about its interaction with chlorophylls, Lut 1 can act as an efficient fluorescence quencher in LHCII.

  20. Single-molecule imaging of hyaluronan in human synovial fluid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kappler, Joachim; Kaminski, Tim P.; Gieselmann, Volkmar; Kubitscheck, Ulrich; Jerosch, Jörg

    2010-11-01

    Human synovial fluid contains a high concentration of hyaluronan, a high molecular weight glycosaminoglycan that provides viscoelasticity and contributes to joint lubrication. In osteoarthritis synovial fluid, the concentration and molecular weight of hyaluronan decrease, thus impairing shock absorption and lubrication. Consistently, substitution of hyaluronan (viscosupplementation) is a widely used treatment for osteoarthritis. So far, the organization and dynamics of hyaluronan in native human synovial fluid and its action mechanism in viscosupplementation are poorly characterized at the molecular level. Here, we introduce highly sensitive single molecule microscopy to analyze the conformation and interactions of fluorescently labeled hyaluronan molecules in native human synovial fluid. Our findings are consistent with a random coil conformation of hyaluronan in human synovial fluid, and point to specific interactions of hyaluronan molecules with the synovial fluid matrix. Furthermore, single molecule microscopy is capable of detecting the breakdown of the synovial fluid matrix in osteoarthritis. Thus, single molecule microscopy is a useful new method to probe the structure of human synovial fluid and its changes in disease states like osteoarthritis.

  1. Decoding Single Molecule Time Traces with Dynamic Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Wonseok; Lee, Il-Buem; Hong, Seok-Cheol

    2016-01-01

    Single molecule time trajectories of biomolecules provide glimpses into complex folding landscapes that are difficult to visualize using conventional ensemble measurements. Recent experiments and theoretical analyses have highlighted dynamic disorder in certain classes of biomolecules, whose dynamic pattern of conformational transitions is affected by slower transition dynamics of internal state hidden in a low dimensional projection. A systematic means to analyze such data is, however, currently not well developed. Here we report a new algorithm—Variational Bayes-double chain Markov model (VB-DCMM)—to analyze single molecule time trajectories that display dynamic disorder. The proposed analysis employing VB-DCMM allows us to detect the presence of dynamic disorder, if any, in each trajectory, identify the number of internal states, and estimate transition rates between the internal states as well as the rates of conformational transition within each internal state. Applying VB-DCMM algorithm to single molecule FRET data of H-DNA in 100 mM-Na+ solution, followed by data clustering, we show that at least 6 kinetic paths linking 4 distinct internal states are required to correctly interpret the duplex-triplex transitions of H-DNA. PMID:28027304

  2. Field Regulation of Single Molecule Conductivity by a Charged Atom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolkow, Robert

    2006-03-01

    A new concept for a single molecule transistor is demonstrated [1]. A single chargeable atom adjacent to a molecule shifts molecular energy levels into alignment with electrode levels, thereby gating current through the molecule. Seemingly paradoxically, the silicon substrate to which the molecule is covalently attached provides 2, not 1, effective contacts to the molecule. This is achieved because the single charged silicon atom is at a substantially different potential than the remainder of the substrate. Charge localization at one dangling bond is ensured by covalently capping all other surface atoms. Dopant level control and local Fermi level control can change the charge state of that atom. The same configuration is shown to be an effective transducer to an electrical signal of a single molecule detection event. Because the charged atom induced shifting results in conductivity changes of substantial magnitude, these effects are easily observed at room temperature. [1] Paul G. Piva1,Gino A. DiLabio, Jason L. Pitters, Janik Zikovsky, Moh'd Rezeq, Stanislav Dogel, Werner A. Hofer & Robert A. Wolkow, Field regulation of single-molecule conductivity by a charged surface atom, NATURE 435, 658-661 (2005)

  3. Single Molecule Spectroscopy of Monomeric LHCII: Experiment and Theory

    PubMed Central

    Malý, Pavel; Gruber, J. Michael; van Grondelle, Rienk; Mančal, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    We derive approximate equations of motion for excited state dynamics of a multilevel open quantum system weakly interacting with light to describe fluorescence-detected single molecule spectra. Based on the Frenkel exciton theory, we construct a model for the chlorophyll part of the LHCII complex of higher plants and its interaction with previously proposed excitation quencher in the form of the lutein molecule Lut 1. The resulting description is valid over a broad range of timescales relevant for single molecule spectroscopy, i.e. from ps to minutes. Validity of these equations is demonstrated by comparing simulations of ensemble and single-molecule spectra of monomeric LHCII with experiments. Using a conformational change of the LHCII protein as a switching mechanism, the intensity and spectral time traces of individual LHCII complexes are simulated, and the experimental statistical distributions are reproduced. Based on our model, it is shown that with reasonable assumptions about its interaction with chlorophylls, Lut 1 can act as an efficient fluorescence quencher in LHCII. PMID:27189196

  4. Current status of single-molecule spectroscopy: Theoretical aspects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, YounJoon; Barkai, Eli; Silbey, Robert J.

    2002-12-01

    We survey the current status of single-molecule spectroscopy in the view point of theoretical aspects. After an explanation of basic concepts in single-molecule spectroscopy, we focus on the following topics: (1) line shape phenomena in disordered media, (2) photon counting statistics for time-dependent fluctuations in single-molecule spectroscopy, (3) fluorescence intensity fluctuations for nonergodic systems, (4) time-resolved single-molecule fluorescence for conformational dynamics of single biomolecules, (5) single-molecule reaction dynamics at room temperature, and (6) quantum jump method of single quantum system. We conclude this paper with some open questions and perspectives of single-molecule spectroscopy.

  5. Single molecule and single cell epigenomics.

    PubMed

    Hyun, Byung-Ryool; McElwee, John L; Soloway, Paul D

    2015-01-15

    Dynamically regulated changes in chromatin states are vital for normal development and can produce disease when they go awry. Accordingly, much effort has been devoted to characterizing these states under normal and pathological conditions. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) is the most widely used method to characterize where in the genome transcription factors, modified histones, modified nucleotides and chromatin binding proteins are found; bisulfite sequencing (BS-seq) and its variants are commonly used to characterize the locations of DNA modifications. Though very powerful, these methods are not without limitations. Notably, they are best at characterizing one chromatin feature at a time, yet chromatin features arise and function in combination. Investigators commonly superimpose separate ChIP-seq or BS-seq datasets, and then infer where chromatin features are found together. While these inferences might be correct, they can be misleading when the chromatin source has distinct cell types, or when a given cell type exhibits any cell to cell variation in chromatin state. These ambiguities can be eliminated by robust methods that directly characterize the existence and genomic locations of combinations of chromatin features in very small inputs of cells or ideally, single cells. Here we review single molecule epigenomic methods under development to overcome these limitations, the technical challenges associated with single molecule methods and their potential application to single cells.

  6. Transport mirages in single-molecule devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaudenzi, R.; Misiorny, M.; Burzurí, E.; Wegewijs, M. R.; van der Zant, H. S. J.

    2017-03-01

    Molecular systems can exhibit a complex, chemically tailorable inner structure which allows for targeting of specific mechanical, electronic, and optical properties. At the single-molecule level, two major complementary ways to explore these properties are molecular quantum-dot structures and scanning probes. This article outlines comprehensive principles of electron-transport spectroscopy relevant to both these approaches and presents a new, high-resolution experiment on a high-spin single-molecule junction exemplifying these principles. Such spectroscopy plays a key role in further advancing our understanding of molecular and atomic systems, in particular, the relaxation of their spin. In this joint experimental and theoretical analysis, particular focus is put on the crossover between the resonant regime [single-electron tunneling] and the off-resonant regime [inelastic electron (co)tunneling spectroscopy (IETS)]. We show that the interplay of these two processes leads to unexpected mirages of resonances not captured by either of the two pictures alone. Although this turns out to be important in a large fraction of the possible regimes of level positions and bias voltages, it has been given little attention in molecular transport studies. Combined with nonequilibrium IETS—four-electron pump-probe excitations—these mirages provide crucial information on the relaxation of spin excitations. Our encompassing physical picture is supported by a master-equation approach that goes beyond weak coupling. The present work encourages the development of a broader connection between the fields of molecular quantum-dot and scanning probe spectroscopy.

  7. Advances in magnetic tweezers for single molecule and cell biophysics.

    PubMed

    Kilinc, Devrim; Lee, Gil U

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic tweezers (MTW) enable highly accurate forces to be transduced to molecules to study mechanotransduction at the molecular or cellular level. We review recent MTW studies in single molecule and cell biophysics that demonstrate the flexibility of this technique. We also discuss technical advances in the method on several fronts, i.e., from novel approaches for the measurement of torque to multiplexed biophysical assays. Finally, we describe multi-component nanorods with enhanced optical and magnetic properties and discuss their potential as future MTW probes.

  8. Single-Molecule Imaging of Individual Amyloid Protein Aggregates in Human Biofluids.

    PubMed

    Horrocks, Mathew H; Lee, Steven F; Gandhi, Sonia; Magdalinou, Nadia K; Chen, Serene W; Devine, Michael J; Tosatto, Laura; Kjaergaard, Magnus; Beckwith, Joseph S; Zetterberg, Henrik; Iljina, Marija; Cremades, Nunilo; Dobson, Christopher M; Wood, Nicholas W; Klenerman, David

    2016-03-16

    The misfolding and aggregation of proteins into amyloid fibrils characterizes many neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. We report here a method, termed SAVE (single aggregate visualization by enhancement) imaging, for the ultrasensitive detection of individual amyloid fibrils and oligomers using single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. We demonstrate that this method is able to detect the presence of amyloid aggregates of α-synuclein, tau, and amyloid-β. In addition, we show that aggregates can also be identified in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Significantly, we see a twofold increase in the average aggregate concentration in CSF from Parkinson's disease patients compared to age-matched controls. Taken together, we conclude that this method provides an opportunity to characterize the structural nature of amyloid aggregates in a key biofluid, and therefore has the potential to study disease progression in both animal models and humans to enhance our understanding of neurodegenerative disorders.

  9. Single-Molecule Imaging of Individual Amyloid Protein Aggregates in Human Biofluids

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The misfolding and aggregation of proteins into amyloid fibrils characterizes many neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. We report here a method, termed SAVE (single aggregate visualization by enhancement) imaging, for the ultrasensitive detection of individual amyloid fibrils and oligomers using single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. We demonstrate that this method is able to detect the presence of amyloid aggregates of α-synuclein, tau, and amyloid-β. In addition, we show that aggregates can also be identified in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Significantly, we see a twofold increase in the average aggregate concentration in CSF from Parkinson’s disease patients compared to age-matched controls. Taken together, we conclude that this method provides an opportunity to characterize the structural nature of amyloid aggregates in a key biofluid, and therefore has the potential to study disease progression in both animal models and humans to enhance our understanding of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:26800462

  10. Single Molecule Studies on Dynamics in Liquid Crystals

    PubMed Central

    Täuber, Daniela; von Borczyskowski, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Single molecule (SM) methods are able to resolve structure related dynamics of guest molecules in liquid crystals (LC). Highly diluted small dye molecules on the one hand explore structure formation and LC dynamics, on the other hand they report about a distortion caused by the guest molecules. The anisotropic structure of LC materials is used to retrieve specific conformation related properties of larger guest molecules like conjugated polymers. This in particular sheds light on organization mechanisms within biological cells, where large molecules are found in nematic LC surroundings. This review gives a short overview related to the application of highly sensitive SM detection schemes in LC. PMID:24077123

  11. PREFACE: Nanoelectronics, sensors and single molecule biophysics Nanoelectronics, sensors and single molecule biophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Nongjian

    2012-04-01

    This special section of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter (JPCM) is dedicated to Professor Stuart M Lindsay on the occasion of his 60th birthday and in recognition of his outstanding contributions to multiple research areas, including light scattering spectroscopy, scanning probe microscopy, biophysics, solid-liquid interfaces and molecular and nanoelectronics. It contains a collection of 14 papers in some of these areas, including a feature article by Lindsay. Each paper was subject to the normal rigorous review process of JPCM. In Lindsay's paper, he discusses the next generations of hybrid chemical-CMOS devices for low cost and personalized medical diagnosis. The discussion leads to several papers on nanotechnology for biomedical applications. Kawaguchi et al report on the detection of single pollen allergen particles using electrode embedded microchannels. Stern et al describe a structural study of three-dimensional DNA-nanoparticle assemblies. Hihath et al measure the conductance of methylated DNA, and discuss the possibility of electrical detection DNA methylation. Portillo et al study the electrostatic effects on the aggregation of prion proteins and peptides with atomic force microscopy. In an effort to understand the interactions between nanostructures and cells, Lamprecht et al report on the mapping of the intracellular distribution of carbon nanotubes with a confocal Raman imaging technique, and Wang et al focus on the intracellular delivery of gold nanoparticles using fluorescence microscopy. Park and Kristic provide theoretical analysis of micro- and nano-traps and their biological applications. This section also features several papers on the fundamentals of electron transport in single atomic wires and molecular junctions. The papers by Xu et al and by Wandlowksi et al describe new methods to measure conductance and forces in single molecule junctions and metallic atomic wires. Scullion et al report on the conductance of molecules with similar

  12. A starting point for fluorescence-based single-molecule measurements in biomolecular research.

    PubMed

    Gust, Alexander; Zander, Adrian; Gietl, Andreas; Holzmeister, Phil; Schulz, Sarah; Lalkens, Birka; Tinnefeld, Philip; Grohmann, Dina

    2014-09-30

    Single-molecule fluorescence techniques are ideally suited to provide information about the structure-function-dynamics relationship of a biomolecule as static and dynamic heterogeneity can be easily detected. However, what type of single-molecule fluorescence technique is suited for which kind of biological question and what are the obstacles on the way to a successful single-molecule microscopy experiment? In this review, we provide practical insights into fluorescence-based single-molecule experiments aiming for scientists who wish to take their experiments to the single-molecule level. We especially focus on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) experiments as these are a widely employed tool for the investigation of biomolecular mechanisms. We will guide the reader through the most critical steps that determine the success and quality of diffusion-based confocal and immobilization-based total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. We discuss the specific chemical and photophysical requirements that make fluorescent dyes suitable for single-molecule fluorescence experiments. Most importantly, we review recently emerged photoprotection systems as well as passivation and immobilization strategies that enable the observation of fluorescently labeled molecules under biocompatible conditions. Moreover, we discuss how the optical single-molecule toolkit has been extended in recent years to capture the physiological complexity of a cell making it even more relevant for biological research.

  13. Single molecule measurements and biological motors.

    PubMed

    Knight, Alex E; Mashanov, Gregory; Molloy, Justin E

    2005-12-01

    Recent technological advances in lasers and optical detectors have enabled a variety of new, single molecule technologies to be developed. Using intense and highly collimated laser light sources in addition to super-sensitive cameras, the fluorescence of single fluorophores can now be imaged in aqueous solution. Also, laser optical tweezers have enabled the piconewton forces produced by pair of interacting biomolecules to be measured directly. However, for a researcher new to the field to begin to use such techniques in their own research might seem a daunting prospect. Most of the equipment that is in use is custom-built. However, most of the equipment is essence fairly simple and the aim of this article is to provide an entry point to the field for a newcomer. It focuses mainly on those practical aspects which are not particularly well covered in the literature, and aims to provide an overview of the field as a whole with references and web links to more detailed sources elsewhere. Indeed, the opportunity to publish an article such as this on the Internet affords many new opportunities (and more space!) for presenting scientific ideas and information. For example, we have illustrated the nature of optical trap data with an interactive Java simulation; provided links to relevant web sites and technical documents, and included a large number of colour figures and plots. Our group's research focuses on molecular motors, and the bias of this article reflects this. It turns out that molecular motors have been a paradigm (or prototype) for single molecule research and the field has seen a rapid development in the techniques. It is hoped that the methods described here will be broadly applicable to other biological systems.

  14. Single Molecule Conductance of Oligothiophene Derivatives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dell, Emma J.

    This thesis studies the electronic properties of small organic molecules based on the thiophene motif. If we are to build next-generation devices, advanced materials must be designed which possess requisite electronic functionality. Molecules present attractive candidates for these ad- vanced materials since nanoscale devices are particularly sought after. However, selecting a molecule that is suited to a certain electronic function remains a challenge, and characterization of electronic behavior is therefore critical. Single molecule conductance measurements are a powerful tool to determine properties on the nanoscale and, as such, can be used to investigate novel building blocks that may fulfill the design requirements of next-generation devices. Combining these conductance results with strategic chemical synthesis allows for the development of new families of molecules that show attractive properties for future electronic devices. Since thiophene rings are the fruitflies of organic semiconductors on the bulk scale, they present an intriguing starting point for building functional materials on the nanoscale, and therefore form the structural basis of all molecules studied herein. First, the single-molecule conductance of a family of bithiophene derivatives was measured. A broad distribution in the single-molecule conductance of bithiophene was found compared with that of a biphenyl. This increased breadth in the conductance distribution was shown to be explained by the difference in 5-fold symmetry of thiophene rings as compared to the 6-fold symmetry of benzene rings. The reduced symmetry of thiophene rings results in a restriction on the torsion angle space available to these molecules when bound between two metal electrodes in a junction, causing each molecular junction to sample a different set of conformers in the conductance measurements. By contrast, the rotations of biphenyl are essentially unimpeded by junction binding, allowing each molecular junction

  15. Spectroscopic characterization of Venus at the single molecule level.

    PubMed

    David, Charlotte C; Dedecker, Peter; De Cremer, Gert; Verstraeten, Natalie; Kint, Cyrielle; Michiels, Jan; Hofkens, Johan

    2012-02-01

    Venus is a recently developed, fast maturating, yellow fluorescent protein that has been used as a probe for in vivo applications. In the present work the photophysical characteristics of Venus were analyzed spectroscopically at the bulk and single molecule level. Through time-resolved single molecule measurements we found that single molecules of Venus display pronounced fluctuations in fluorescence emission, with clear fluorescence on- and off-times. These fluorescence intermittencies were found to occupy a broad range of time scales, ranging from milliseconds to several seconds. Such long off-times can complicate the analysis of single molecule counting experiments or single-molecule FRET experiments.

  16. Cavity optomechanical spring sensing of single molecules

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Wenyan; Jiang, Wei C; Lin, Qiang; Lu, Tao

    2016-01-01

    Label-free bio-sensing is a critical functionality underlying a variety of health- and security-related applications. Micro-/nano-photonic devices are well suited for this purpose and have emerged as promising platforms in recent years. Here we propose and demonstrate an approach that utilizes the optical spring effect in a high-Q coherent optomechanical oscillator to dramatically enhance the sensing resolution by orders of magnitude compared with conventional approaches, allowing us to detect single bovine serum albumin proteins with a molecular weight of 66 kDa at a signal-to-noise ratio of 16.8. The unique optical spring sensing approach opens up a distinctive avenue that not only enables biomolecule sensing and recognition at individual level, but is also of great promise for broad physical sensing applications that rely on sensitive detection of optical cavity resonance shift to probe external physical parameters. PMID:27460277

  17. Cavity optomechanical spring sensing of single molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Wenyan; Jiang, Wei C.; Lin, Qiang; Lu, Tao

    2016-07-01

    Label-free bio-sensing is a critical functionality underlying a variety of health- and security-related applications. Micro-/nano-photonic devices are well suited for this purpose and have emerged as promising platforms in recent years. Here we propose and demonstrate an approach that utilizes the optical spring effect in a high-Q coherent optomechanical oscillator to dramatically enhance the sensing resolution by orders of magnitude compared with conventional approaches, allowing us to detect single bovine serum albumin proteins with a molecular weight of 66 kDa at a signal-to-noise ratio of 16.8. The unique optical spring sensing approach opens up a distinctive avenue that not only enables biomolecule sensing and recognition at individual level, but is also of great promise for broad physical sensing applications that rely on sensitive detection of optical cavity resonance shift to probe external physical parameters.

  18. Single molecule junction conductance and binding geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamenetska, Maria

    This Thesis addresses the fundamental problem of controlling transport through a metal-organic interface by studying electronic and mechanical properties of single organic molecule-metal junctions. Using a Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) we image, probe energy-level alignment and perform STM-based break junction (BJ) measurements on molecules bound to a gold surface. Using Scanning Tunneling Microscope-based break-junction (STM-BJ) techniques, we explore the effect of binding geometry on single-molecule conductance by varying the structure of the molecules, metal-molecule binding chemistry and by applying sub-nanometer manipulation control to the junction. These experiments are performed both in ambient conditions and in ultra high vacuum (UHV) at cryogenic temperatures. First, using STM imaging and scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) measurements we explore binding configurations and electronic properties of an amine-terminated benzene derivative on gold. We find that details of metal-molecule binding affect energy-level alignment at the interface. Next, using the STM-BJ technique, we form and rupture metal-molecule-metal junctions ˜104 times to obtain conductance-vs-extension curves and extract most likely conductance values for each molecule. With these measurements, we demonstrated that the control of junction conductance is possible through a choice of metal-molecule binding chemistry and sub-nanometer positioning. First, we show that molecules terminated with amines, sulfides and phosphines bind selectively on gold and therefore demonstrate constant conductance levels even as the junction is elongated and the metal-molecule attachment point is modified. Such well-defined conductance is also obtained with paracyclophane molecules which bind to gold directly through the pi system. Next, we are able to create metal-molecule-metal junctions with more than one reproducible conductance signatures that can be accessed by changing junction geometry. In the

  19. Hydrogel Droplet Microfluidics for High-Throughput Single Molecule/Cell Analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Zhi; Yang, Chaoyong James

    2017-01-17

    molecule/cell analysis. The hydrogel can act as a 3D cell culture matrix to mimic the extracellular environment for long-term single cell culture, which allows further heterogeneity study in proliferation, drug screening, and metastasis at the single-cell level. The sol-gel transition allows reactions in solution to be performed rapidly and efficiently with product storage in the gel for flexible downstream manipulation and analysis. More importantly, controllable sol-gel regulation provides a new way to maintain phenotype-genotype linkages in the hydrogel matrix for high throughput molecular evolution. In this Account, we will review the hydrogel droplet generation on microfluidics, single molecule/cell encapsulation in hydrogel droplets, as well as the progress made by our group and others in the application of hydrogel droplet microfluidics for single molecule/cell analysis, including single cell culture, single molecule/cell detection, single cell sequencing, and molecular evolution.

  20. SMART Timing: Principles of Single Molecule Techniques Course at the University of Michigan 2014

    PubMed Central

    Bartke, Rebecca M.; Cameron, Elizabeth L.; Cristie-David, Ajitha S.; Custer, Thomas C.; Denies, Maxwell S.; Farhat, May Daher; Dhakal, Soma; Ghosh, Soumi; Heinicke, Laurie A.; Hoff, J. Damon; Hou, Qian; Kahlscheuer, Matthew L.; Karslake, Joshua; Krieger, Adam G.; Li, Jieming; Li, Xiang; Lund, Paul E.; Vo, Nguyen N.; Park, Jun; Pitchiaya, Sethuramasundaram; Rai, Victoria; Smith, David J.; Suddala, Krishna C.; Wang, Jiarui; Widom, Julia R.; Walter, Nils G.

    2015-01-01

    Four days after the announcement of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for “the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy” based on single molecule detection, the Single Molecule Analysis in Real-Time (SMART) Center at the University of Michigan hosted a “Principles of Single Molecule Techniques 2014” course. Through a combination of plenary lectures and an Open House at the SMART Center, the course took a snapshot of a technology with an especially broad and rapidly expanding range of applications in the biomedical and materials sciences. Highlighting the continued rapid emergence of technical and scientific advances, the course underscored just how brightly the future of the single molecule field shines. PMID:25546606

  1. PhotoGate microscopy to track single molecules in crowded environments

    PubMed Central

    Belyy, Vladislav; Shih, Sheng-Min; Bandaria, Jigar; Huang, Yongjian; Lawrence, Rosalie E.; Zoncu, Roberto; Yildiz, Ahmet

    2017-01-01

    Tracking single molecules inside cells reveals the dynamics of biological processes, including receptor trafficking, signalling and cargo transport. However, individual molecules often cannot be resolved inside cells due to their high density. Here we develop the PhotoGate technique that controls the number of fluorescent particles in a region of interest by repeatedly photobleaching its boundary. PhotoGate bypasses the requirement of photoactivation to track single particles at surface densities two orders of magnitude greater than the single-molecule detection limit. Using this method, we observe ligand-induced dimerization of a receptor tyrosine kinase at the cell surface and directly measure binding and dissociation of signalling molecules from early endosomes in a dense cytoplasm with single-molecule resolution. We additionally develop a numerical simulation suite for rapid quantitative optimization of Photogate experimental conditions. PhotoGate yields longer tracking times and more accurate measurements of complex stoichiometry than existing single-molecule imaging methods. PMID:28071667

  2. Single molecule force spectroscopy of asphaltene aggregates.

    PubMed

    Long, Jun; Xu, Zhenghe; Masliyah, Jacob H

    2007-05-22

    Asphaltene aggregation and deposition cause severe problems in nearly all phases of petroleum processing. To resolve those problems, understanding the aggregation mechanisms is a prerequisite and has attracted the interest of a great number of investigators. However, to date, the nature and extent of asphaltene aggregation remain widely debated. In the present study, we attempt to investigate asphaltene aggregation from a completely new perspective. The technique of single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) was used to investigate the response of single asphaltene aggregates under an external pulling force. Force curves representing the stretching of single asphaltene aggregates were obtained in simple electrolyte solutions (KCl and calcium) and organic solvents (toluene and heptane). These force curves were well-fitted by the modified worm-like chain model, indicating that those asphaltene aggregates acted like long-chain polymers under pulling by an external force. It was found that lower solution pH values and the presence of divalent cations resulted in a lower bending rigidity of the formed aggregates. The information retrieved from the force curves suggests that asphaltene molecules with a structure featuring small aromatic clusters connected by aliphatic chains do exist and that asphaltene aggregation could occur through a linear polymerization mechanism. The current study extends the application scope of SMFS.

  3. Single-molecule mechanics of mussel adhesion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Haeshin; Scherer, Norbert F.; Messersmith, Phillip B.

    2006-08-01

    The glue proteins secreted by marine mussels bind strongly to virtually all inorganic and organic surfaces in aqueous environments in which most adhesives function poorly. Studies of these functionally unique proteins have revealed the presence of the unusual amino acid 3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine (dopa), which is formed by posttranslational modification of tyrosine. However, the detailed binding mechanisms of dopa remain unknown, and the chemical basis for mussels' ability to adhere to both inorganic and organic surfaces has never been fully explained. Herein, we report a single-molecule study of the substrate and oxidation-dependent adhesive properties of dopa. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements of a single dopa residue contacting a wet metal oxide surface reveal a surprisingly high strength yet fully reversible, noncovalent interaction. The magnitude of the bond dissociation energy as well as the inability to observe this interaction with tyrosine suggests that dopa is critical to adhesion and that the binding mechanism is not hydrogen bond formation. Oxidation of dopa, as occurs during curing of the secreted mussel glue, dramatically reduces the strength of the interaction to metal oxide but results in high strength irreversible covalent bond formation to an organic surface. A new picture of the interfacial adhesive role of dopa emerges from these studies, in which dopa exploits a remarkable combination of high strength and chemical multifunctionality to accomplish adhesion to substrates of widely varying composition from organic to metallic. 3,4-dihydroxylphenylalanine | atomic force microscopy | mussel adhesive protein

  4. Geometric Phases in Single Molecule Magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenochio, Brian Canchola

    The characterization of the material properties of Single Molecule Magnets (SMMs) has grown in importance over the last few decades with the rise of novel applications such as high-density magnetic storage and quantum computation. Many of the applications require the probing of SMMs with spectroscopic methods that make use of electromagnetic radiation. The interaction with these time-dependent fields leads to energy shifts, which can be attributed to the geometric phase acquired by the system or the Bloch-Siegert shift. We model an SMM by a giant spin Hamiltonian, and use Floquet perturbation theory to find the geometric phase shifts. The locations where the phase shift between two levels is zero is useful for performing accurate spectroscopies, whereas the regions where relative phase differences exist are useful in applications like quantum computing. Using the same giant spin Hamiltonian, we can use Floquet theory and Salwen perturbation theory to determine the Bloch-Siegert shift and derive a modified version of the Rabi formula for transition probabilities between the energy states Ealpha → Ealpha+/-1, Ealpha → Ealpha+/-3, and Ealpha → Ealpha+/-5 , where alpha is the index of an arbitrary initial state. The shifted eigenvalues and modified transition probabilities can be useful in spectroscopies where accurate values for the energy-splitting between magnetic states needs to be determined.

  5. Grafting single molecule magnets on gold nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Perfetti, Mauro; Pineider, Francesco; Poggini, Lorenzo; Otero, Edwige; Mannini, Matteo; Sorace, Lorenzo; Sangregorio, Claudio; Cornia, Andrea; Sessoli, Roberta

    2014-01-29

    The chemical synthesis and characterization of the first hybrid material composed by gold nanoparticles and single molecule magnets (SMMs) are described. Gold nanoparticles are functionalized via ligand exchange using a tetrairon(III) SMM containing two 1,2-dithiolane end groups. The grafting is evidenced by the shift of the plasmon resonance peak recorded with a UV-vis spectrometer, by the suppression of nuclear magnetic resonance signals, by X-ray photoemission spectroscopy peaks, and by transmission electron microscopy images. The latter evidence the formation of aggregates of nanoparticles as a consequence of the cross-linking ability of Fe4 through the two 1,2-dithiolane rings located on opposite sides of the metal core. The presence of intact Fe4 molecules is directly proven by synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray magnetic circular dichroism spectroscopy, while a detailed magnetic characterization, obtained using electron paramagnetic resonance and alternating-current susceptibility, confirms the persistence of SMM behavior in this new hybrid nanostructure.

  6. Multiplexed single-molecule force proteolysis measurements using magnetic tweezers.

    PubMed

    Adhikari, Arjun S; Chai, Jack; Dunn, Alexander R

    2012-07-25

    The generation and detection of mechanical forces is a ubiquitous aspect of cell physiology, with direct relevance to cancer metastasis(1), atherogenesis(2) and wound healing(3). In each of these examples, cells both exert force on their surroundings and simultaneously enzymatically remodel the extracellular matrix (ECM). The effect of forces on ECM has thus become an area of considerable interest due to its likely biological and medical importance(4-7). Single molecule techniques such as optical trapping(8), atomic force microscopy(9), and magnetic tweezers(10,11) allow researchers to probe the function of enzymes at a molecular level by exerting forces on individual proteins. Of these techniques, magnetic tweezers (MT) are notable for their low cost and high throughput. MT exert forces in the range of ~1-100 pN and can provide millisecond temporal resolution, qualities that are well matched to the study of enzyme mechanism at the single-molecule level(12). Here we report a highly parallelizable MT assay to study the effect of force on the proteolysis of single protein molecules. We present the specific example of the proteolysis of a trimeric collagen peptide by matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP-1); however, this assay can be easily adapted to study other substrates and proteases.

  7. Single-Molecule Electrical Random Resequencing of DNA and RNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohshiro, Takahito; Matsubara, Kazuki; Tsutsui, Makusu; Furuhashi, Masayuki; Taniguchi, Masateru; Kawai, Tomoji

    2012-07-01

    Two paradigm shifts in DNA sequencing technologies--from bulk to single molecules and from optical to electrical detection--are expected to realize label-free, low-cost DNA sequencing that does not require PCR amplification. It will lead to development of high-throughput third-generation sequencing technologies for personalized medicine. Although nanopore devices have been proposed as third-generation DNA-sequencing devices, a significant milestone in these technologies has been attained by demonstrating a novel technique for resequencing DNA using electrical signals. Here we report single-molecule electrical resequencing of DNA and RNA using a hybrid method of identifying single-base molecules via tunneling currents and random sequencing. Our method reads sequences of nine types of DNA oligomers. The complete sequence of 5'-UGAGGUA-3' from the let-7 microRNA family was also identified by creating a composite of overlapping fragment sequences, which was randomly determined using tunneling current conducted by single-base molecules as they passed between a pair of nanoelectrodes.

  8. Single-Molecule Microscopy and Force Spectroscopy of Membrane Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, Andreas; Janovjak, Harald; Fotiadis, Dimtrios; Kedrov, Alexej; Cisneros, David; Müller, Daniel J.

    Single-molecule atomic force microscopy (AFM) provides novel ways to characterize the structure-function relationship of native membrane proteins. High-resolution AFM topographs allow observing the structure of single proteins at sub-nanometer resolution as well as their conformational changes, oligomeric state, molecular dynamics and assembly. We will review these feasibilities illustrating examples of membrane proteins in native and reconstituted membranes. Classification of individual topographs of single proteins allows understanding the principles of motions of their extrinsic domains, to learn about their local structural flexibilities and to find the entropy minima of certain conformations. Combined with the visualization of functionally related conformational changes these insights allow understanding why certain flexibilities are required for the protein to function and how structurally flexible regions allow certain conformational changes. Complementary to AFM imaging, single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) experiments detect molecular interactions established within and between membrane proteins. The sensitivity of this method makes it possible to measure interactions that stabilize secondary structures such as transmembrane α-helices, polypeptide loops and segments within. Changes in temperature or protein-protein assembly do not change the locations of stable structural segments, but influence their stability established by collective molecular interactions. Such changes alter the probability of proteins to choose a certain unfolding pathway. Recent examples have elucidated unfolding and refolding pathways of membrane proteins as well as their energy landscapes.

  9. 'Single molecule': theory and experiments, an introduction.

    PubMed

    Riveline, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    At scales below micrometers, Brownian motion dictates most of the behaviors. The simple observation of a colloid is striking: a permanent and random motion is seen, whereas inertial forces play a negligible role. This Physics, where velocity is proportional to force, has opened new horizons in biology. The random feature is challenged in living systems where some proteins--molecular motors--have a directed motion whereas their passive behaviors of colloid should lead to a Brownian motion. Individual proteins, polymers of living matter such as DNA, RNA, actin or microtubules, molecular motors, all these objects can be viewed as chains of colloids. They are submitted to shocks from molecules of the solvent. Shapes taken by these biopolymers or dynamics imposed by motors can be measured and modeled from single molecules to their collective effects. Thanks to the development of experimental methods such as optical tweezers, Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), micropipettes, and quantitative fluorescence (such as Förster Resonance Energy Transfer, FRET), it is possible to manipulate these individual biomolecules in an unprecedented manner: experiments allow to probe the validity of models; and a new Physics has thereby emerged with original biological insights. Theories based on statistical mechanics are needed to explain behaviors of these systems. When force-extension curves of these molecules are extracted, the curves need to be fitted with models that predict the deformation of free objects or submitted to a force. When velocity of motors is altered, a quantitative analysis is required to explain the motions of individual molecules under external forces. This lecture will give some elements of introduction to the lectures of the session 'Nanophysics for Molecular Biology'.

  10. 'Single molecule': theory and experiments, an introduction

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    At scales below micrometers, Brownian motion dictates most of the behaviors. The simple observation of a colloid is striking: a permanent and random motion is seen, whereas inertial forces play a negligible role. This Physics, where velocity is proportional to force, has opened new horizons in biology. The random feature is challenged in living systems where some proteins - molecular motors - have a directed motion whereas their passive behaviors of colloid should lead to a Brownian motion. Individual proteins, polymers of living matter such as DNA, RNA, actin or microtubules, molecular motors, all these objects can be viewed as chains of colloids. They are submitted to shocks from molecules of the solvent. Shapes taken by these biopolymers or dynamics imposed by motors can be measured and modeled from single molecules to their collective effects. Thanks to the development of experimental methods such as optical tweezers, Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), micropipettes, and quantitative fluorescence (such as Förster Resonance Energy Transfer, FRET), it is possible to manipulate these individual biomolecules in an unprecedented manner: experiments allow to probe the validity of models; and a new Physics has thereby emerged with original biological insights. Theories based on statistical mechanics are needed to explain behaviors of these systems. When force-extension curves of these molecules are extracted, the curves need to be fitted with models that predict the deformation of free objects or submitted to a force. When velocity of motors is altered, a quantitative analysis is required to explain the motions of individual molecules under external forces. This lecture will give some elements of introduction to the lectures of the session 'Nanophysics for Molecular Biology'. PMID:24565227

  11. From single molecule to single tubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Chin-Lin

    2012-02-01

    Biological systems often make decisions upon conformational changes and assembly of single molecules. In vivo, epithelial cells (such as the mammary gland cells) can respond to extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules, type I collagen (COL), and switch their morphology from a lobular lumen (100-200 micron) to a tubular lumen (1mm-1cm). However, how cells make such a morphogenetic decision through interactions with each other and with COL is unclear. Using a temporal control of cell-ECM interaction, we find that epithelial cells, in response to a fine-tuned percentage of type I collagen (COL) in ECM, develop various linear patterns. Remarkably, these patterns allow cells to self-assemble into a tubule of length ˜ 1cm and diameter ˜ 400 micron in the liquid phase (i.e., scaffold-free conditions). In contrast with conventional thought, the linear patterns arise through bi-directional transmission of traction force, but not through diffusible biochemical factors secreted by cells. In turn, the transmission of force evokes a long-range (˜ 600 micron) intercellular mechanical interaction. A feedback effect is encountered when the mechanical interaction modifies cell positioning and COL alignment. Micro-patterning experiments further reveal that such a feedback is a novel cell-number-dependent, rich-get-richer process, which allows cells to integrate mechanical interactions into long-range (> 1mm) linear coordination. Our results suggest a mechanism cells can use to form and coordinate long-range tubular patterns, independent of those controlled by diffusible biochemical factors, and provide a new strategy to engineer/regenerate epithelial organs using scaffold-free self-assembly methods.

  12. Compact halo-ligand-conjugated quantum dots for multicolored single-molecule imaging of overcrowding GPCR proteins on cell membranes.

    PubMed

    Komatsuzaki, Akihito; Ohyanagi, Tatsuya; Tsukasaki, Yoshikazu; Miyanaga, Yukihiro; Ueda, Masahiro; Jin, Takashi

    2015-03-25

    To detect single molecules within the optical diffraction limit (< ca. 200 nm), a multicolored imaging technique is developed using Halo-ligand conjugated quantum dots (Halo-QDs; <6 nm in diameter). Using three types of Halo-QDs, multicolored single-molecule fluorescence imaging of GPCR proteins in Dictyostelium cells is achieved.

  13. A brief introduction to single-molecule fluorescence methods.

    PubMed

    van den Wildenberg, Siet M J L; Prevo, Bram; Peterman, Erwin J G

    2011-01-01

    One of the more popular single-molecule approaches in biological science is single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, which is the subject of the following section of this volume. Fluorescence methods provide the sensitivity required to study biology on the single-molecule level, but they also allow access to useful measurable parameters on time and length scales relevant for the biomolecular world. Before several detailed experimental approaches are addressed, we first give a general overview of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. We start with discussing the phenomenon of fluorescence in general and the history of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. Next, we review fluorescent probes in more detail and the equipment required to visualize them on the single-molecule level. We end with a description of parameters measurable with such approaches, ranging from protein counting and tracking, to distance measurements with Förster Resonance Energy Transfer and orientation measurements with fluorescence polarization.

  14. SINGLE MOLECULE APPROACHES TO BIOLOGY, 2010 GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE, JUNE 27-JULY 2, 2010, ITALY

    SciTech Connect

    Professor William Moerner

    2010-07-09

    The 2010 Gordon Conference on Single-Molecule Approaches to Biology focuses on cutting-edge research in single-molecule science. Tremendous technical developments have made it possible to detect, identify, track, and manipulate single biomolecules in an ambient environment or even in a live cell. Single-molecule approaches have changed the way many biological problems are addressed, and new knowledge derived from these approaches continues to emerge. The ability of single-molecule approaches to avoid ensemble averaging and to capture transient intermediates and heterogeneous behavior renders them particularly powerful in elucidating mechanisms of biomolecular machines: what they do, how they work individually, how they work together, and finally, how they work inside live cells. The burgeoning use of single-molecule methods to elucidate biological problems is a highly multidisciplinary pursuit, involving both force- and fluorescence-based methods, the most up-to-date advances in microscopy, innovative biological and chemical approaches, and nanotechnology tools. This conference seeks to bring together top experts in molecular and cell biology with innovators in the measurement and manipulation of single molecules, and will provide opportunities for junior scientists and graduate students to present their work in poster format and to exchange ideas with leaders in the field. A number of excellent poster presenters will be selected for short oral talks. Topics as diverse as single-molecule sequencing, DNA/RNA/protein interactions, folding machines, cellular biophysics, synthetic biology and bioengineering, force spectroscopy, new method developments, superresolution imaging in cells, and novel probes for single-molecule imaging will be on the program. Additionally, the collegial atmosphere of this Conference, with programmed discussion sessions as well as opportunities for informal gatherings in the afternoons and evenings in the beauty of the Il Ciocco site in

  15. Quantitative single-molecule imaging by confocal laser scanning microscopy.

    PubMed

    Vukojevic, Vladana; Heidkamp, Marcus; Ming, Yu; Johansson, Björn; Terenius, Lars; Rigler, Rudolf

    2008-11-25

    A new approach to quantitative single-molecule imaging by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) is presented. It relies on fluorescence intensity distribution to analyze the molecular occurrence statistics captured by digital imaging and enables direct determination of the number of fluorescent molecules and their diffusion rates without resorting to temporal or spatial autocorrelation analyses. Digital images of fluorescent molecules were recorded by using fast scanning and avalanche photodiode detectors. In this way the signal-to-background ratio was significantly improved, enabling direct quantitative imaging by CLSM. The potential of the proposed approach is demonstrated by using standard solutions of fluorescent dyes, fluorescently labeled DNA molecules, quantum dots, and the Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein in solution and in live cells. The method was verified by using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. The relevance for biological applications, in particular, for live cell imaging, is discussed.

  16. The Single-Molecule Approach to Membrane Protein Stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Michael G; Hallworth, Richard

    2016-01-01

    The advent of techniques for imaging solitary fluorescent molecules has made possible many new kinds of biological experiments. Here, we describe the application of single-molecule imaging to the problem of subunit stoichiometry in membrane proteins. A membrane protein of unknown stoichiometry, prestin, is coupled to the fluorescent enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) and synthesized in the human embryonic kidney (HEK) cell line. We prepare adherent membrane fragments containing prestin-eGFP by osmotic lysis. The molecules are then exposed to continuous low-level excitation until their fluorescence reaches background levels. Their fluorescence decreases in discrete equal-amplitude steps, consistent with the photobleaching of single fluorophores. We count the number of steps required to photobleach each molecule. The molecular stoichiometry is then deduced using a binomial model.

  17. Single-molecule optomechanics in “picocavities”

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benz, Felix; Schmidt, Mikolaj K.; Dreismann, Alexander; Chikkaraddy, Rohit; Zhang, Yao; Demetriadou, Angela; Carnegie, Cloudy; Ohadi, Hamid; de Nijs, Bart; Esteban, Ruben; Aizpurua, Javier; Baumberg, Jeremy J.

    2016-11-01

    Trapping light with noble metal nanostructures overcomes the diffraction limit and can confine light to volumes typically on the order of 30 cubic nanometers. We found that individual atomic features inside the gap of a plasmonic nanoassembly can localize light to volumes well below 1 cubic nanometer (“picocavities”), enabling optical experiments on the atomic scale. These atomic features are dynamically formed and disassembled by laser irradiation. Although unstable at room temperature, picocavities can be stabilized at cryogenic temperatures, allowing single atomic cavities to be probed for many minutes. Unlike traditional optomechanical resonators, such extreme optical confinement yields a factor of 106 enhancement of optomechanical coupling between the picocavity field and vibrations of individual molecular bonds. This work sets the basis for developing nanoscale nonlinear quantum optics on the single-molecule level.

  18. Development of Single-Molecule DNA Sequencing Platform Based on Single-Molecule Electrical Conductance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-05-25

    indicate that they are nearly harmless to cultured cells (17-20). The bio-distribution of injected GNPs has shown a size-dependent accumulation in liver ...Animals” of National Chiao Tung University. Four-week-old male BALB/C mice were housed at 22±2 C with a 12-h light/dark cycle and fed standard...Conference, Protein Folding Dynamics, 5-10 Jan, 2014, Hotel Galvez in Galveston TX, United States Guewha Steven Huang , Single-Molecule Kinetics of

  19. Automatic Bayesian single molecule identification for localization microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yunqing; Hendriks, Johnny; Gensch, Thomas; Dai, Luru; Li, Junbai

    2016-01-01

    Single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) is on its way to become a mainstream imaging technique in the life sciences. However, analysis of SMLM data is biased by user provided subjective parameters required by the analysis software. To remove this human bias we introduce here the Auto-Bayes method that executes the analysis of SMLM data automatically. We demonstrate the success of the method using the photoelectron count of an emitter as selection characteristic. Moreover, the principle can be used for any characteristic that is bimodally distributed with respect to false and true emitters. The method also allows generation of an emitter reliability map for estimating quality of SMLM-based structures. The potential of the Auto-Bayes method is shown by the fact that our first basic implementation was able to outperform all software packages that were compared in the ISBI online challenge in 2015, with respect to molecule detection (Jaccard index). PMID:27641933

  20. Single molecule epigenetic analysis in a nanofluidic channel.

    PubMed

    Cipriany, Benjamin R; Zhao, Ruqian; Murphy, Patrick J; Levy, Stephen L; Tan, Christine P; Craighead, Harold G; Soloway, Paul D

    2010-03-15

    Epigenetic states are governed by DNA methylation and a host of modifications to histones bound with DNA. These states are essential for proper developmentally regulated gene expression and are perturbed in many diseases. There is great interest in identifying epigenetic mark placement genome wide and understanding how these marks vary among cell types, with changes in environment or according to health and disease status. Current epigenomic analyses employ bisulfite sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation, but query only one type of epigenetic mark at a time, DNA methylation, or histone modifications and often require substantial input material. To overcome these limitations, we established a method using nanofluidics and multicolor fluorescence microscopy to detect DNA and histones in individual chromatin fragments at about 10 Mbp/min. We demonstrated its utility for epigenetic analysis by identifying DNA methylation on individual molecules. This technique will provide the unprecedented opportunity for genome wide, simultaneous analysis of multiple epigenetic states on single molecules.

  1. Nonlinear coherent spectroscopy in the single molecule limit (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potma, Eric O.

    2015-10-01

    Detecting coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) signals from signal molecules is a longstanding experimental challenge. Driving the vibrational CARS response with surface plasmon fields has proven notoriously difficult due to strong background contributions, unfavorable heat dissipation and the phase dispersion of the plasmon modes in the ensemble. In this work we overcome previous experimental limitations and demonstrate time-resolved, vibrational CARS from molecules in the low copy number limit, down to the single molecule level. Our measurements, which are performed under ambient and non-electronic resonance conditions, establish that the coherent response from vibrational modes of individual molecules can be studied experimentally, opening up a new realm of molecular spectroscopic investigations.

  2. Single-molecule experiments in biological physics: methods and applications.

    PubMed

    Ritort, F

    2006-08-16

    I review single-molecule experiments (SMEs) in biological physics. Recent technological developments have provided the tools to design and build scientific instruments of high enough sensitivity and precision to manipulate and visualize individual molecules and measure microscopic forces. Using SMEs it is possible to manipulate molecules one at a time and measure distributions describing molecular properties, characterize the kinetics of biomolecular reactions and detect molecular intermediates. SMEs provide additional information about thermodynamics and kinetics of biomolecular processes. This complements information obtained in traditional bulk assays. In SMEs it is also possible to measure small energies and detect large Brownian deviations in biomolecular reactions, thereby offering new methods and systems to scrutinize the basic foundations of statistical mechanics. This review is written at a very introductory level, emphasizing the importance of SMEs to scientists interested in knowing the common playground of ideas and the interdisciplinary topics accessible by these techniques. The review discusses SMEs from an experimental perspective, first exposing the most common experimental methodologies and later presenting various molecular systems where such techniques have been applied. I briefly discuss experimental techniques such as atomic-force microscopy (AFM), laser optical tweezers (LOTs), magnetic tweezers (MTs), biomembrane force probes (BFPs) and single-molecule fluorescence (SMF). I then present several applications of SME to the study of nucleic acids (DNA, RNA and DNA condensation) and proteins (protein-protein interactions, protein folding and molecular motors). Finally, I discuss applications of SMEs to the study of the nonequilibrium thermodynamics of small systems and the experimental verification of fluctuation theorems. I conclude with a discussion of open questions and future perspectives.

  3. Nanopore sensing at ultra-low concentrations using single-molecule dielectrophoretic trapping

    PubMed Central

    Freedman, Kevin J.; Otto, Lauren M.; Ivanov, Aleksandar P.; Barik, Avijit; Oh, Sang-Hyun; Edel, Joshua B.

    2016-01-01

    Single-molecule techniques are being developed with the exciting prospect of revolutionizing the healthcare industry by generating vast amounts of genetic and proteomic data. One exceptionally promising route is in the use of nanopore sensors. However, a well-known complexity is that detection and capture is predominantly diffusion limited. This problem is compounded when taking into account the capture volume of a nanopore, typically 108–1010 times smaller than the sample volume. To rectify this disproportionate ratio, we demonstrate a simple, yet powerful, method based on coupling single-molecule dielectrophoretic trapping to nanopore sensing. We show that DNA can be captured from a controllable, but typically much larger, volume and concentrated at the tip of a metallic nanopore. This enables the detection of single molecules at concentrations as low as 5 fM, which is approximately a 103 reduction in the limit of detection compared with existing methods, while still maintaining efficient throughput. PMID:26732171

  4. Nanopore sensing at ultra-low concentrations using single-molecule dielectrophoretic trapping.

    PubMed

    Freedman, Kevin J; Otto, Lauren M; Ivanov, Aleksandar P; Barik, Avijit; Oh, Sang-Hyun; Edel, Joshua B

    2016-01-06

    Single-molecule techniques are being developed with the exciting prospect of revolutionizing the healthcare industry by generating vast amounts of genetic and proteomic data. One exceptionally promising route is in the use of nanopore sensors. However, a well-known complexity is that detection and capture is predominantly diffusion limited. This problem is compounded when taking into account the capture volume of a nanopore, typically 10(8)-10(10) times smaller than the sample volume. To rectify this disproportionate ratio, we demonstrate a simple, yet powerful, method based on coupling single-molecule dielectrophoretic trapping to nanopore sensing. We show that DNA can be captured from a controllable, but typically much larger, volume and concentrated at the tip of a metallic nanopore. This enables the detection of single molecules at concentrations as low as 5 fM, which is approximately a 10(3) reduction in the limit of detection compared with existing methods, while still maintaining efficient throughput.

  5. Nanopore sensing at ultra-low concentrations using single-molecule dielectrophoretic trapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freedman, Kevin J.; Otto, Lauren M.; Ivanov, Aleksandar P.; Barik, Avijit; Oh, Sang-Hyun; Edel, Joshua B.

    2016-01-01

    Single-molecule techniques are being developed with the exciting prospect of revolutionizing the healthcare industry by generating vast amounts of genetic and proteomic data. One exceptionally promising route is in the use of nanopore sensors. However, a well-known complexity is that detection and capture is predominantly diffusion limited. This problem is compounded when taking into account the capture volume of a nanopore, typically 108-1010 times smaller than the sample volume. To rectify this disproportionate ratio, we demonstrate a simple, yet powerful, method based on coupling single-molecule dielectrophoretic trapping to nanopore sensing. We show that DNA can be captured from a controllable, but typically much larger, volume and concentrated at the tip of a metallic nanopore. This enables the detection of single molecules at concentrations as low as 5 fM, which is approximately a 103 reduction in the limit of detection compared with existing methods, while still maintaining efficient throughput.

  6. Capabilities for measuring the diffusivity of a single molecule by recycling it in a nanochannel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Bo; Davis, Lloyd

    2014-03-01

    Analysis of the fractions of fluorescently labeled molecules with different diffusivities within a microliter drop of solution is often used for high-throughput screening of molecular binding interactions in pharmaceutical drug discovery research. Assays frequently employ fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, an ensemble technique that is able to resolve fast diffusing small ligands from those bound to much larger biomolecules with considerably slower diffusion. Single-molecule measurements have the potential to resolve species with different diffusivities and to count the numbers of molecules of each species. Single-molecule recycling in a nanochannel, which entails detection of bursts of fluorescence photons from the repeated passage of a molecule through a focused laser beam as the flow along a nanochannel is periodically alternated, can be used to determine the diffusivity of a single molecule from the fluctuations in the intervals between successive detections. We discuss Monte Carlo studies to determine favorable experimental conditions for determining single-molecule diffusivities, together with a weighted-sliding-sum photon burst detection algorithm for flow-control and maximum-likelihood based analysis of recycle times. We also discuss incorporation of the algorithms into our experimental apparatus for single-molecule recycling, which uses a LabView real-time system for photon count analysis and flow control.

  7. Ultrasensitive surface-enhanced Raman scattering detection in common fluids

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Shikuan; Dai, Xianming; Stogin, Birgitt Boschitsch; Wong, Tak-Sing

    2016-01-01

    Detecting target analytes with high specificity and sensitivity in any fluid is of fundamental importance to analytical science and technology. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has proven to be capable of detecting single molecules with high specificity, but achieving single-molecule sensitivity in any highly diluted solutions remains a challenge. Here we demonstrate a universal platform that allows for the enrichment and delivery of analytes into the SERS-sensitive sites in both aqueous and nonaqueous fluids, and its subsequent quantitative detection of Rhodamine 6G (R6G) down to ∼75 fM level (10−15 mol⋅L−1). Our platform, termed slippery liquid-infused porous surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SLIPSERS), is based on a slippery, omniphobic substrate that enables the complete concentration of analytes and SERS substrates (e.g., Au nanoparticles) within an evaporating liquid droplet. Combining our SLIPSERS platform with a SERS mapping technique, we have systematically quantified the probability, p(c), of detecting R6G molecules at concentrations c ranging from 750 fM (p > 90%) down to 75 aM (10−18 mol⋅L−1) levels (p ≤ 1.4%). The ability to detect analytes down to attomolar level is the lowest limit of detection for any SERS-based detection reported thus far. We have shown that analytes present in liquid, solid, or air phases can be extracted using a suitable liquid solvent and subsequently detected through SLIPSERS. Based on this platform, we have further demonstrated ultrasensitive detection of chemical and biological molecules as well as environmental contaminants within a broad range of common fluids for potential applications related to analytical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, environmental monitoring, and national security. PMID:26719413

  8. Single molecule image formation, reconstruction and processing: introduction.

    PubMed

    Ashok, Amit; Piestun, Rafael; Stallinga, Sjoerd

    2016-07-01

    The ability to image at the single molecule scale has revolutionized research in molecular biology. This feature issue presents a collection of articles that provides new insights into the fundamental limits of single molecule imaging and reports novel techniques for image formation and analysis.

  9. Single-molecule spectroscopy and dynamics at room temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, X.S.

    1996-12-01

    The spirit of studying single-molecule behaviors dates back to the turn of the century. In addition to Einstein`s well-known work on Brownian motion, there has been a tradition for studying single {open_quotes}macromolecules{close_quotes} or a small number of molecules either by light scattering or by fluorescence using an optical microscope. Modern computers have allowed detailed studies of single-molecule behaviors in condensed media through molecular dynamics simulations. Optical spectroscopy offers a wealth of information on the structure, interaction, and dynamics of molecular species. With the motivation of removing {open_quotes}inhomogeneous broadening{close_quotes}, spectroscopic techniques have evolved from spectral hole burning, fluorescence line narrowing, and photo-echo to the recent pioneering work on single-molecule spectroscopy in solids at cryogenic temperatures. High-resolution spectroscopic work on single molecules relies on zero phonon lines which appear at cryogenic temperatures, and have narrow line widths and large absorption cross sections. Recent advances in near-field and confocal fluorescence have allowed not only fluorescence imaging of single molecules with high spatial resolutions but also single-molecule spectroscopy at room temperature. In this Account, the author provides a physical chemist`s perspective on experimental and theoretical developments on room-temperature single-molecule spectroscopy and dynamics, with the emphasis on the information obtainable from single-molecule experiments. 61 refs., 9 figs.

  10. Action spectroscopy for single-molecule reactions - Experiments and theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y.; Motobayashi, K.; Frederiksen, T.; Ueba, H.; Kawai, M.

    2015-05-01

    We review several representative experimental results of action spectroscopy (AS) of single molecules on metal surfaces using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) by M. Kawai's group over last decade. The experimental procedures to observe STM-AS are described. A brief description of a low-temperature STM and experimental setup are followed by key experimental techniques of how to determine an onset bias voltage of a reaction and how to measure a current change associated with reactions and finally how to observe AS for single molecule reactions. The experimental results are presented for vibrationally mediated chemical transformation of trans-2-butene to 1.3-butadiene molecule and rotational motion of a single cis-2-butene molecule among four equivalent orientations on Pd(1 1 0). The AS obtained from the motion clearly detects more vibrational modes than inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy with an STM. AS is demonstrated as a useful and novel single molecule vibrational spectroscopy. The AS for a lateral hopping of water dimer on Pt(1 1 1) is presented as an example of novelty. Several distinct vibrational modes are detected as the thresholds in the AS. The assignment of the vibrational modes determined from the analysis of the AS is made from a view of the adsorption geometry of hydrogen-bond donor or acceptor molecules in water dimer. A generic theory of STM-AS, i.e., a reaction rate or yield as a function of bias voltage, is presented using a single adsorbate resonance model for single molecule reactions induced by the inelastic tunneling current. Formulas for the reaction rate R (V) and Y (V) , i.e., reaction yield per electron Y (V) = eR (V) / I are derived. It provides a versatile framework to analyze any vibrationally mediated reactions of single adsorbates on metal surfaces. Numerical examples are presented to demonstrate generic features of the vibrational generation rate and Y (V) at different levels of approximations and to show how the effective

  11. Analyzing Single-Molecule Time Series via Nonparametric Bayesian Inference

    PubMed Central

    Hines, Keegan E.; Bankston, John R.; Aldrich, Richard W.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to measure the properties of proteins at the single-molecule level offers an unparalleled glimpse into biological systems at the molecular scale. The interpretation of single-molecule time series has often been rooted in statistical mechanics and the theory of Markov processes. While existing analysis methods have been useful, they are not without significant limitations including problems of model selection and parameter nonidentifiability. To address these challenges, we introduce the use of nonparametric Bayesian inference for the analysis of single-molecule time series. These methods provide a flexible way to extract structure from data instead of assuming models beforehand. We demonstrate these methods with applications to several diverse settings in single-molecule biophysics. This approach provides a well-constrained and rigorously grounded method for determining the number of biophysical states underlying single-molecule data. PMID:25650922

  12. Single Molecule Screening of Disease DNA Without Amplification

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Ji-Young

    2006-01-01

    The potential of single molecule detection as an analysis tool in biological and medical fields is well recognized today. This fast evolving technique will provide fundamental sensitivity to pick up individual pathogen molecules, and therefore contribute to a more accurate diagnosis and a better chance for a complete cure. Many studies are being carried out to successfully apply this technique in real screening fields. In this dissertation, several attempts are shown that have been made to test and refine the application of the single molecule technique as a clinical screening method. A basic applicability was tested with a 100% target content sample, using electrophoretic mobility and multiple colors as identification tools. Both electrophoretic and spectral information of individual molecule were collected within a second, while the molecule travels along the flow in a capillary. Insertion of a transmission grating made the recording of the whole spectrum of a dye-stained molecule possible without adding complicated instrumental components. Collecting two kinds of information simultaneously and combining them allowed more thorough identification, up to 98.8% accuracy. Probing mRNA molecules with fluorescently labeled cDNA via hybridization was also carried out. The spectral differences among target, probe, and hybrid were interpreted in terms of dispersion distances after transmission grating, and used for the identification of each molecule. The probes were designed to have the least background when they are free, but have strong fluorescence after hybridization via fluorescence resonance energy transfer. The mRNA-cDNA hybrids were further imaged in whole blood, plasma, and saliva, to test how far a crude preparation can be tolerated. Imaging was possible with up to 50% of clear bio-matrix contents, suggesting a simple lysis and dilution would be sufficient for imaging for some cells. Real pathogen DNA of human papillomavirus (HPV) type-I6 in human genomic DNA

  13. Silicon photon-counting avalanche diodes for single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Michalet, Xavier; Ingargiola, Antonino; Colyer, Ryan A.; Scalia, Giuseppe; Weiss, Shimon; Maccagnani, Piera; Gulinatti, Angelo; Rech, Ivan; Ghioni, Massimo

    2014-01-01

    Solution-based single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy is a powerful experimental tool with applications in cell biology, biochemistry and biophysics. The basic feature of this technique is to excite and collect light from a very small volume and work in a low concentration regime resulting in rare burst-like events corresponding to the transit of a single molecule. Detecting photon bursts is a challenging task: the small number of emitted photons in each burst calls for high detector sensitivity. Bursts are very brief, requiring detectors with fast response time and capable of sustaining high count rates. Finally, many bursts need to be accumulated to achieve proper statistical accuracy, resulting in long measurement time unless parallelization strategies are implemented to speed up data acquisition. In this paper we will show that silicon single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) best meet the needs of single-molecule detection. We will review the key SPAD parameters and highlight the issues to be addressed in their design, fabrication and operation. After surveying the state-of-the-art SPAD technologies, we will describe our recent progress towards increasing the throughput of single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy in solution using parallel arrays of SPADs. The potential of this approach is illustrated with single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer measurements. PMID:25309114

  14. Optical microcavity: sensing down to single molecules and atoms.

    PubMed

    Yoshie, Tomoyuki; Tang, Lingling; Su, Shu-Yu

    2011-01-01

    This review article discusses fundamentals of dielectric, low-loss, optical micro-resonator sensing, including figures of merit and a variety of microcavity designs, and future perspectives in microcavity-based optical sensing. Resonance frequency and quality (Q) factor are altered as a means of detecting a small system perturbation, resulting in realization of optical sensing of a small amount of sample materials, down to even single molecules. Sensitivity, Q factor, minimum detectable index change, noises (in sensor system components and microcavity system including environments), microcavity size, and mode volume are essential parameters to be considered for optical sensing applications. Whispering gallery mode, photonic crystal, and slot-type microcavities typically provide compact, high-quality optical resonance modes for optical sensing applications. Surface Bloch modes induced on photonic crystals are shown to be a promising candidate thanks to large field overlap with a sample and ultra-high-Q resonances. Quantum optics effects based on microcavity quantum electrodynamics (QED) would provide novel single-photo-level detection of even single atoms and molecules via detection of doublet vacuum Rabi splitting peaks in strong coupling.

  15. Surface enhanced Raman scattering detection of single R6G molecules on nanoporous gold films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Hongwen; Zhang, L.; Yamaguchi, Y.; Iwasaki, H.; Inouye, Y.; Xue, Q. K.; Chen, M. W.

    2011-03-01

    Detecting single molecules with high sensitivity and molecular specificity is of great practical interest in many fields such as chemistry, biology, medicine, and pharmacology. For this purpose, cheap and highly active substrates are of crucial importance. Recently, nanoporous metals (NPMs), with a three-dimensional continuous network structure and pore channels usually much smaller than the wavelength of visible light, revealed outstanding optical properties in surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). In this work, we further modify the nanoporous gold films by growing a high density of gold nano-tips on the surface. Extremely focused electromagnetic fields can be produced at the apex of the nano-tips, resulting in so-called hot spots. With this NPM-based and affordable substrate, single molecule-detection is achievable with ultrahigh enhancement in SERS.

  16. Quenching the Quantum Tunneling of Magnetization in Heterometallic Octanuclear {TM(III)4 Dy(III)4 } (TM=Co and Cr) Single-Molecule Magnets by Modification of the Bridging Ligands and Enhancing the Magnetic Exchange Coupling.

    PubMed

    Vignesh, Kuduva R; Langley, Stuart K; Murray, Keith S; Rajaraman, Gopalan

    2017-01-31

    We report the synthesis, structural characterisation, magnetic properties and provide an ab initio analysis of the magnetic behaviour of two new heterometallic octanuclear coordination complexes containing Co(III) and Dy(III) ions. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction studies revealed molecular formulae of [Co(III)4 Dy(III)4 (μ-OH)4 (μ3 -OMe)4 {O2 CC(CH3 )3 }4 (tea)4 (H2 O)4 ]⋅4 H2 O (1) and [Co(III)4 Dy(III)4 (μ-F)4 (μ3 -OH)4 (o-tol)8 (mdea)4 ]⋅ 3 H2 O⋅EtOH⋅MeOH (2; tea(3-) =triply deprotonated triethanolamine; mdea(2-) =doubly deprotonated N-methyldiethanolamine; o-tol=o-toluate), and both complexes display an identical metallic core topology. Furthermore, the theoretical, magnetic and SMM properties of the isostructural complex, [Cr(III)4 Dy(III)4 (μ-F4 )(μ3 -OMe)1.25 (μ3 -OH)2.75 (O2 CPh)8 (mdea)4 ] (3), are discussed and compared with a structurally similar complex, [Cr(III)4 Dy(III)4 (μ3 -OH)4 (μ-N3 )4 (mdea)4 (O2 CC(CH3 )3 )4 ] (4). DC and AC magnetic susceptibility data revealed single-molecule magnet (SMM) behaviour for 1-4. Each complex displays dynamic behaviour, highlighting the effect of ligand and transition metal ion replacement on SMM properties. Complexes 2, 3 and 4 exhibited slow magnetic relaxation with barrier heights (Ueff ) of 39.0, 55.0 and 10.4 cm(-1) respectively. Complex 1, conversely, did not exhibit slow relaxation of magnetisation above 2 K. To probe the variance in the observed Ueff  values, calculations by using CASSCF, RASSI-SO and POLY_ANISO routine were performed on these complexes to estimate the nature of the magnetic coupling and elucidate the mechanism of magnetic relaxation. Calculations gave values of JDy-Dy as -1.6, 1.6 and 2.8 cm(-1) for complexes 1, 2 and 3, respectively, whereas the JDy-Cr interaction was estimated to be -1.8 cm(-1) for complex 3. The developed mechanism for magnetic relaxation revealed that replacement of the hydroxide ion by fluoride quenched the quantum tunnelling of

  17. Imaging Live Cells at the Nanometer-Scale with Single-Molecule Microscopy: Obstacles and Achievements in Experiment Optimization for Microbiology

    PubMed Central

    Haas, Beth L.; Matson, Jyl S.; DiRita, Victor J.; Biteen, Julie S.

    2015-01-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy enables biological investigations inside living cells to achieve millisecond- and nanometer-scale resolution. Although single-molecule-based methods are becoming increasingly accessible to non-experts, optimizing new single-molecule experiments can be challenging, in particular when super-resolution imaging and tracking are applied to live cells. In this review, we summarize common obstacles to live-cell single-molecule microscopy and describe the methods we have developed and applied to overcome these challenges in live bacteria. We examine the choice of fluorophore and labeling scheme, approaches to achieving single-molecule levels of fluorescence, considerations for maintaining cell viability, and strategies for detecting single-molecule signals in the presence of noise and sample drift. We also discuss methods for analyzing single-molecule trajectories and the challenges presented by the finite size of a bacterial cell and the curvature of the bacterial membrane. PMID:25123183

  18. Intersystem Crossing Mechanisms and Single Molecule Fluorescence: Terrylene in Anthracene Crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Kol'chenko, M.A.; Nicolet, A.; Orrit, M.; Kozankiewicz, B.

    2005-05-15

    Single molecule spectroscopy requires molecules with low triplet yields and/or short triplet lifetimes. The intersystem crossing (ISC) rate may be dramatically enhanced by the host matrix. Comparing the fluorescence intensity of single terrylene molecules in para-terphenyl, naphthalene, and anthracene crystals, we found a reduction of the saturation intensity by three orders of magnitude in the latter case. The fluorescence autocorrelation function indicates that the bottleneck state is the terrylene triplet. We propose a ping-pong mechanism between host and guest. This intermolecular ISC mechanism, which can open whenever the host triplet lies lower than the guest singlet, was overlooked in previous single molecule investigations.

  19. Bifunctional nanoarrays for probing the immune response at the single-molecule level.

    PubMed

    Cai, Haogang; Depoil, David; Palma, Matteo; Sheetz, Michael P; Dustin, Michael L; Wind, Shalom J

    2013-11-01

    Bifunctional nanoarrays were created to simulate the immunological synapse and probe the T-cell immune response at the single-molecule level. Sub-5 nm AuPd nanodot arrays were fabricated using both e-beam and nanoimprint lithography. The nanoarrays were then functionalized by two costimulatory molecules: antibody UCHT1 Fab, which binds to the T-cell receptor (TCR) and activates the immune response, bound to metallic nanodots; and intercellular adhesion molecule-1, which enhances cell adhesion, on the surrounding area. Initial T-cell experiments show successful attachment and activation on the bifunctional nanoarrays. This nanoscale platform for single-molecule control of TCR in living T-cells provides a new approach to explore how its geometric arrangement affects T-cell activation and behavior, with potential applications in immunotherapy. This platform also serves as a general model for single-molecule nanoarrays where more than one molecular species is required.

  20. Closing the gap between single molecule and bulk FRET analysis of nucleosomes.

    PubMed

    Gansen, Alexander; Hieb, Aaron R; Böhm, Vera; Tóth, Katalin; Langowski, Jörg

    2013-01-01

    Nucleosome structure and stability affect genetic accessibility by altering the local chromatin morphology. Recent FRET experiments on nucleosomes have given valuable insight into the structural transformations they can adopt. Yet, even if performed under seemingly identical conditions, experiments performed in bulk and at the single molecule level have given mixed answers due to the limitations of each technique. To compare such experiments, however, they must be performed under identical conditions. Here we develop an experimental framework that overcomes the conventional limitations of each method: single molecule FRET experiments are carried out at bulk concentrations by adding unlabeled nucleosomes, while bulk FRET experiments are performed in microplates at concentrations near those used for single molecule detection. Additionally, the microplate can probe many conditions simultaneously before expending valuable instrument time for single molecule experiments. We highlight this experimental strategy by exploring the role of selective acetylation of histone H3 on nucleosome structure and stability; in bulk, H3-acetylated nucleosomes were significantly less stable than non-acetylated nucleosomes. Single molecule FRET analysis further revealed that acetylation of histone H3 promoted the formation of an additional conformational state, which is suppressed at higher nucleosome concentrations and which could be an important structural intermediate in nucleosome regulation.

  1. Single-Molecule Spectroscopy, Imaging, and Photocontrol: Foundations for Super-Resolution Microscopy (Nobel Lecture).

    PubMed

    Moerner, W E William E

    2015-07-06

    The initial steps toward optical detection and spectroscopy of single molecules in condensed matter arose out of the study of inhomogeneously broadened optical absorption profiles of molecular impurities in solids at low temperatures. Spectral signatures relating to the fluctuations of the number of molecules in resonance led to the attainment of the single-molecule limit in 1989 using frequency-modulation laser spectroscopy. In the early 90s, many fascinating physical effects were observed for individual molecules, and the imaging of single molecules as well as observations of spectral diffusion, optical switching and the ability to select different single molecules in the same focal volume simply by tuning the pumping laser frequency provided important forerunners of the later super-resolution microscopy with single molecules. In the room temperature regime, imaging of single copies of the green fluorescent protein also uncovered surprises, especially the blinking and photoinduced recovery of emitters, which stimulated further development of photoswitchable fluorescent protein labels. Because each single fluorophore acts a light source roughly 1 nm in size, microscopic observation and localization of individual fluorophores is a key ingredient to imaging beyond the optical diffraction limit. Combining this with active control of the number of emitting molecules in the pumped volume led to the super-resolution imaging of Eric Betzig and others, a new frontier for optical microscopy beyond the diffraction limit. The background leading up to these observations is described and current developments are summarized.

  2. Nobel Lecture: Single-molecule spectroscopy, imaging, and photocontrol: Foundations for super-resolution microscopy*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moerner, W. E. William E.

    2015-10-01

    The initial steps toward optical detection and spectroscopy of single molecules in condensed matter arose out of the study of inhomogeneously broadened optical absorption profiles of molecular impurities in solids at low temperatures. Spectral signatures relating to the fluctuations of the number of molecules in resonance led to the attainment of the single-molecule limit in 1989 using frequency-modulation laser spectroscopy. In the early 1990s, many fascinating physical effects were observed for individual molecules, and the imaging of single molecules as well as observations of spectral diffusion, optical switching and the ability to select different single molecules in the same focal volume simply by tuning the pumping laser frequency provided important forerunners of the later super-resolution microscopy with single molecules. In the room-temperature regime, imaging of single copies of the green fluorescent protein also uncovered surprises, especially the blinking and photoinduced recovery of emitters, which stimulated further development of photoswitchable fluorescent protein labels. Because each single fluorophore acts as a light source roughly 1 nm in size, microscopic observation and localization of individual fluorophores is a key ingredient to imaging beyond the optical diffraction limit. Combining this with active control of the number of emitting molecules in the pumped volume led to the super-resolution imaging of Eric Betzig and others, a new frontier for optical microscopy beyond the diffraction limit. The background leading up to these observations is described and selected current developments are summarized.

  3. Single-molecule imaging in live cell using gold nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Leduc, Cécile; Si, Satyabrata; Gautier, Jérémie J; Gao, Zhenghong; Shibu, Edakkattuparambil S; Gautreau, Alexis; Giannone, Grégory; Cognet, Laurent; Lounis, Brahim

    2015-01-01

    Optimal single particle tracking experiments in live cells requires small and photostable probes, which do not modify the behavior of the molecule of interest. Current fluorescence-based microscopy of single molecules and nanoparticles is often limited by bleaching and blinking or by the probe size. As an alternative, we present in this chapter the synthesis of a small and highly specific gold nanoprobe whose detection is based on its absorption properties. We first present a protocol to synthesize 5-nm-diameter gold nanoparticles and functionalize them with a nanobody, a single-domain antibody from camelid, targeting the widespread green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged proteins with a high affinity. Then we describe how to detect and track these individual gold nanoparticles in live cell using photothermal imaging microscopy. The combination of a probe with small size, perfect photostability, high specificity, and versatility through the vast existing library of GFP-proteins, with a highly sensitive detection technique enables long-term tracking of proteins with minimal hindrance in confined and crowded environments such as intracellular space.

  4. Single-molecule imaging at high hydrostatic pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vass, Hugh; Lucas Black, S.; Flors, Cristina; Lloyd, Diarmuid; Bruce Ward, F.; Allen, Rosalind J.

    2013-04-01

    Direct microscopic fluorescence imaging of single molecules can provide a wealth of mechanistic information, but up to now, it has not been possible under high pressure conditions, due to limitations in microscope pressure cell design. We describe a pressure cell window design that makes it possible to image directly single molecules at high hydrostatic pressure. We demonstrate our design by imaging single molecules of Alexa Fluor 647 dye bound to DNA, at 120 and 210 bar, and following their fluorescence photodynamics. We further show that the failure pressure of this type of pressure cell window can be in excess of 1 kbar.

  5. Stochastic single-molecule dynamics of synaptic membrane protein domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahraman, Osman; Li, Yiwei; Haselwandter, Christoph A.

    2016-09-01

    Motivated by single-molecule experiments on synaptic membrane protein domains, we use a stochastic lattice model to study protein reaction and diffusion processes in crowded membranes. We find that the stochastic reaction-diffusion dynamics of synaptic proteins provide a simple physical mechanism for collective fluctuations in synaptic domains, the molecular turnover observed at synaptic domains, key features of the single-molecule trajectories observed for synaptic proteins, and spatially inhomogeneous protein lifetimes at the cell membrane. Our results suggest that central aspects of the single-molecule and collective dynamics observed for membrane protein domains can be understood in terms of stochastic reaction-diffusion processes at the cell membrane.

  6. Highlights from Faraday Discussion 184: Single-Molecule Microscopy and Spectroscopy, London, UK, September 2015.

    PubMed

    Gellings, E; Faez, S; Piatkowski, L

    2016-02-07

    The 2015 Faraday Discussion on single-molecule microscopy and spectroscopy brought together leading scientists involved in various topics of single-molecule research. It attracted almost a hundred delegates from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and experience levels - from experimentalists to theoreticians, from biologists to materials scientists, from masters students to Nobel Prize Laureates. The meeting was merely a reflection of how big of an impact the ability to detect individual molecules has had on science over the past quarter of a century. In the following we give an overview of the topics covered during this meeting and briefly highlight the content of each presentation.

  7. Understanding the physics of DNA using nanoscale single-molecule manipulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frey, Eric W.; Gooding, Ashton A.; Wijeratne, Sitara; Kiang, Ching-Hwa

    2012-10-01

    Processes for decoding the genetic information in cells, including transcription, replication, recombination and repair, involve the deformation of DNA from its equilibrium structures such as bending, stretching, twisting, and unzipping of the double helix. Single-molecule manipulation techniques have made it possible to control DNA conformation and simultaneously detect the induced changes, revealing a rich variety of mechanically-induced conformational changes and thermodynamic states. These single-molecule techniques helped us to reveal the physics of DNA and the processes involved in the passing on of the genetic code.

  8. Single-molecule analysis of DNA replication in Xenopus egg extracts.

    PubMed

    Yardimci, Hasan; Loveland, Anna B; van Oijen, Antoine M; Walter, Johannes C

    2012-06-01

    The recent advent in single-molecule imaging and manipulation methods has made a significant impact on the understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying many essential cellular processes. Single-molecule techniques such as electron microscopy and DNA fiber assays have been employed to study the duplication of genome in eukaryotes. Here, we describe a single-molecule assay that allows replication of DNA attached to the functionalized surface of a microfluidic flow cell in a soluble Xenopus leavis egg extract replication system and subsequent visualization of replication products via fluorescence microscopy. We also explain a method for detection of replication proteins, through fluorescently labeled antibodies, on partially replicated DNA immobilized at both ends to the surface.

  9. Red light, green light: probing single molecules using alternating-laser excitation.

    PubMed

    Santoso, Yusdi; Hwang, Ling Chin; Le Reste, Ludovic; Kapanidis, Achillefs N

    2008-08-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence methods, particularly single-molecule FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer), have provided novel insights into the structure, interactions and dynamics of biological systems. ALEX (alternating-laser excitation) spectroscopy is a new method that extends single-molecule FRET by providing simultaneous information about structure and stoichiometry; this new information allows the detection of interactions in the absence of FRET and extends the dynamic range of distance measurements that are accessible through FRET. In the present article, we discuss combinations of ALEX with confocal microscopy for studying in-solution and in-gel molecules; we also discuss combining ALEX with TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence) for studying surface-immobilized molecules. We also highlight applications of ALEX to the study of protein-nucleic acid interactions.

  10. Single-molecule imaging of telomerase activity via linear plasmon rulers.

    PubMed

    Qian, Guang-Sheng; Zhang, Ting-Ting; Zhao, Wei; Xu, Jing-Juan; Chen, Hong-Yuan

    2017-04-12

    Plasmon rulers (PRs) exploit the potential of plasmon coupling between individual pairs of noble metal nanoparticles in biological processes, especially single-molecule detection. Herein, for the first time, we report a strategy based on Ag PRs for in situ monitoring of the extension process of telomerase primer (TSP) activated by a single telomerase.

  11. Mapping DNA polymerase errors by single-molecule sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Lee, David F.; Lu, Jenny; Chang, Seungwoo; Loparo, Joseph J.; Xie, Xiaoliang S.

    2016-01-01

    Genomic integrity is compromised by DNA polymerase replication errors, which occur in a sequence-dependent manner across the genome. Accurate and complete quantification of a DNA polymerase's error spectrum is challenging because errors are rare and difficult to detect. We report a high-throughput sequencing assay to map in vitro DNA replication errors at the single-molecule level. Unlike previous methods, our assay is able to rapidly detect a large number of polymerase errors at base resolution over any template substrate without quantification bias. To overcome the high error rate of high-throughput sequencing, our assay uses a barcoding strategy in which each replication product is tagged with a unique nucleotide sequence before amplification. This allows multiple sequencing reads of the same product to be compared so that sequencing errors can be found and removed. We demonstrate the ability of our assay to characterize the average error rate, error hotspots and lesion bypass fidelity of several DNA polymerases. PMID:27185891

  12. Single-molecule localization software applied to photon counting imaging.

    PubMed

    Hirvonen, Liisa M; Kilfeather, Tiffany; Suhling, Klaus

    2015-06-01

    Centroiding in photon counting imaging has traditionally been accomplished by a single-step, noniterative algorithm, often implemented in hardware. Single-molecule localization techniques in superresolution fluorescence microscopy are conceptually similar, but use more sophisticated iterative software-based fitting algorithms to localize the fluorophore. Here, we discuss common features and differences between single-molecule localization and photon counting imaging and investigate the suitability of single-molecule localization software for photon event localization. We find that single-molecule localization software packages designed for superresolution microscopy-QuickPALM, rapidSTORM, and ThunderSTORM-can work well when applied to photon counting imaging with a microchannel-plate-based intensified camera system: photon event recognition can be excellent, fixed pattern noise can be low, and the microchannel plate pores can easily be resolved.

  13. Computer systems for annotation of single molecule fragments

    DOEpatents

    Schwartz, David Charles; Severin, Jessica

    2016-07-19

    There are provided computer systems for visualizing and annotating single molecule images. Annotation systems in accordance with this disclosure allow a user to mark and annotate single molecules of interest and their restriction enzyme cut sites thereby determining the restriction fragments of single nucleic acid molecules. The markings and annotations may be automatically generated by the system in certain embodiments and they may be overlaid translucently onto the single molecule images. An image caching system may be implemented in the computer annotation systems to reduce image processing time. The annotation systems include one or more connectors connecting to one or more databases capable of storing single molecule data as well as other biomedical data. Such diverse array of data can be retrieved and used to validate the markings and annotations. The annotation systems may be implemented and deployed over a computer network. They may be ergonomically optimized to facilitate user interactions.

  14. An Improved Surface Passivation Method for Single-Molecule Studies

    PubMed Central

    Hua, Boyang; Young Han, Kyu; Zhou, Ruobo; Kim, Hajin; Shi, Xinghua; Abeysirigunawardena, Sanjaya C.; Jain, Ankur; Singh, Digvijay; Aggarwal, Vasudha; Woodson, Sarah A.; Ha, Taekjip

    2014-01-01

    We herein report a surface passivation method for in vitro single-molecule studies, which more efficiently prevents non-specific binding of biomolecules as compared to the polyethylene glycol surface. The new surface does not perturb the behavior and activities of tethered biomolecules. It can also be used for single-molecule imaging in the presence of high concentrations of labeled species in solution. Reduction in preparation time and cost is another major advantage. PMID:25306544

  15. Single molecule conformational analysis of DNA G-quadruplexes

    PubMed Central

    Shirude, Pravin S.; Balasubramanian, Shankar

    2008-01-01

    Single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) can be employed to study conformational heterogeneity and real-time dynamics of biological macromolecules. Here we present single molecule studies on human genomic DNA G-quadruplex sequences that occur in the telomeres and in the promoter of a proto-oncogene. The findings are discussed with respect to the proposed biological function(s) of such motifs in living cells. PMID:18295608

  16. Probing molecular choreography through single-molecule biochemistry.

    PubMed

    van Oijen, Antoine M; Dixon, Nicholas E

    2015-12-01

    Single-molecule approaches are having a dramatic impact on views of how proteins work. The ability to observe molecular properties at the single-molecule level allows characterization of subpopulations and acquisition of detailed kinetic information that would otherwise be hidden in the averaging over an ensemble of molecules. In this Perspective, we discuss how such approaches have successfully been applied to in vitro-reconstituted systems of increasing complexity.

  17. Wide-range quantification of human thyroid-stimulating hormone using gold-nanopatterned single-molecule sandwich immunoassay chip.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seungah; Kang, Seong Ho

    2012-09-15

    We performed wide-range quantification of human thyroid-stimulating hormone (hTSH) using a gold nano-patterned sandwich immunoassay chip. Objective-type total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) was used to detect hTSH at the single-molecule level. A gold spot with a diameter of 100 nm on a 10-mm square glass substrate was fabricated by electron beam nanolithography. When hTSH bound to antibodies conjugated to each 100-nm gold spot, there was an increase in the relative fluorescent intensity (RFI). The detection limit of this "TSH-nanoarray chip" was 360 zM (equivalent to five molecules), which demonstrated that a TSH-nanoarray chip could be used for detection at the single-molecule level. A linear response was observed over a wide dynamic range (from 360 zM to 36 pM, R=0.9812) without a fluorescence quenching effect. A significant enhancement in the sensitivity (~12,000-fold) was achieved with the 100-nm gold nano-patterned chip compared with results obtained using a traditional chemiluminescence immunoassay for the evaluation of TSH in human serum.

  18. Super-resolution Localization and Defocused Fluorescence Microscopy on Resonantly Coupled Single-Molecule, Single-Nanorod Hybrids.

    PubMed

    Su, Liang; Yuan, Haifeng; Lu, Gang; Rocha, Susana; Orrit, Michel; Hofkens, Johan; Uji-i, Hiroshi

    2016-02-23

    Optical antennas made of metallic nanostructures dramatically enhance single-molecule fluorescence to boost the detection sensitivity. Moreover, emission properties detected at the optical far field are dictated by the antenna. Here we study the emission from molecule-antenna hybrids by means of super-resolution localization and defocused imaging. Whereas gold nanorods make single-crystal violet molecules in the tip's vicinity visible in fluorescence, super-resolution localization on the enhanced molecular fluorescence reveals geometrical centers of the nanorod antenna instead. Furthermore, emission angular distributions of dyes linked to the nanorod surface resemble that of nanorods in defocused imaging. The experimental observations are consistent with numerical calculations using the finite-difference time-domain method.

  19. Super-resolution Localization and Defocused Fluorescence Microscopy on Resonantly Coupled Single-Molecule, Single-Nanorod Hybrids

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Optical antennas made of metallic nanostructures dramatically enhance single-molecule fluorescence to boost the detection sensitivity. Moreover, emission properties detected at the optical far field are dictated by the antenna. Here we study the emission from molecule–antenna hybrids by means of super-resolution localization and defocused imaging. Whereas gold nanorods make single-crystal violet molecules in the tip’s vicinity visible in fluorescence, super-resolution localization on the enhanced molecular fluorescence reveals geometrical centers of the nanorod antenna instead. Furthermore, emission angular distributions of dyes linked to the nanorod surface resemble that of nanorods in defocused imaging. The experimental observations are consistent with numerical calculations using the finite-difference time-domain method. PMID:26815168

  20. DNA origami based Au-Ag-core-shell nanoparticle dimers with single-molecule SERS sensitivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prinz, J.; Heck, C.; Ellerik, L.; Merk, V.; Bald, I.

    2016-03-01

    DNA origami nanostructures are a versatile tool to arrange metal nanostructures and other chemical entities with nanometer precision. In this way gold nanoparticle dimers with defined distance can be constructed, which can be exploited as novel substrates for surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). We have optimized the size, composition and arrangement of Au/Ag nanoparticles to create intense SERS hot spots, with Raman enhancement up to 1010, which is sufficient to detect single molecules by Raman scattering. This is demonstrated using single dye molecules (TAMRA and Cy3) placed into the center of the nanoparticle dimers. In conjunction with the DNA origami nanostructures novel SERS substrates are created, which can in the future be applied to the SERS analysis of more complex biomolecular targets, whose position and conformation within the SERS hot spot can be precisely controlled.DNA origami nanostructures are a versatile tool to arrange metal nanostructures and other chemical entities with nanometer precision. In this way gold nanoparticle dimers with defined distance can be constructed, which can be exploited as novel substrates for surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). We have optimized the size, composition and arrangement of Au/Ag nanoparticles to create intense SERS hot spots, with Raman enhancement up to 1010, which is sufficient to detect single molecules by Raman scattering. This is demonstrated using single dye molecules (TAMRA and Cy3) placed into the center of the nanoparticle dimers. In conjunction with the DNA origami nanostructures novel SERS substrates are created, which can in the future be applied to the SERS analysis of more complex biomolecular targets, whose position and conformation within the SERS hot spot can be precisely controlled. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Additional information about materials and methods, designs of DNA origami templates, height profiles, additional SERS spectra, assignment of DNA

  1. Manipulating Kondo temperature via single molecule switching.

    PubMed

    Iancu, Violeta; Deshpande, Aparna; Hla, Saw-Wai

    2006-04-01

    Two conformations of isolated single TBrPP-Co molecules on a Cu(111) surface are switched by applying +2.2 V voltage pulses from a scanning tunneling microscope tip at 4.6 K. The TBrPP-Co has a spin-active cobalt atom caged at its center, and the interaction between the spin of this cobalt atom and free electrons from the Cu(111) substrate can cause a Kondo resonance. Tunneling spectroscopy data reveal that switching from the saddle to a planar molecular conformation enhances spin-electron coupling, which increases the associated Kondo temperature from 130 to 170 K. This result demonstrates that the Kondo temperature can be manipulated just by changing molecular conformation without altering chemical composition of the molecule.

  2. Uncovering hierarchical data structure in single molecule transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Ben H.; Ivie, Jeffrey A.; Johnson, Tyler K.; Monti, Oliver L. A.

    2017-03-01

    Interpretation of single molecule transport data is complicated by the fact that all such data are inherently highly stochastic in nature. Features are often broad, seemingly unstructured and distributed over more than an order of magnitude. However, the distribution contains information necessary for capturing the full variety of processes relevant in nanoscale transport, and a better understanding of its hierarchical structure is needed to gain deeper insight into the physics and chemistry of single molecule electronics. Here, we describe a novel data analysis approach based on hierarchical clustering to aid in the interpretation of single molecule conductance-displacement histograms. The primary purpose of statistically partitioning transport data is to provide avenues for unbiased hypothesis generation in single molecule break junction experiments by revealing otherwise potentially hidden aspects in the conductance data. Our approach is generalizable to the analysis of a wide variety of other single molecule experiments in molecular electronics, as well as in single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, force microscopy, and ion-channel conductance measurements.

  3. Single-molecule force-conductance spectroscopy of hydrogen-bonded complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirrotta, Alessandro; De Vico, Luca; Solomon, Gemma C.; Franco, Ignacio

    2017-03-01

    The emerging ability to study physical properties at the single-molecule limit highlights the disparity between what is observable in an ensemble of molecules and the heterogeneous contributions of its constituent parts. A particularly convenient platform for single-molecule studies are molecular junctions where forces and voltages can be applied to individual molecules, giving access to a series of electromechanical observables that can form the basis of highly discriminating multidimensional single-molecule spectroscopies. Here, we computationally examine the ability of force and conductance to inform about molecular recognition events at the single-molecule limit. For this, we consider the force-conductance characteristics of a prototypical class of hydrogen bonded bimolecular complexes sandwiched between gold electrodes. The complexes consist of derivatives of a barbituric acid and a Hamilton receptor that can form up to six simultaneous hydrogen bonds. The simulations combine classical molecular dynamics of the mechanical deformation of the junction with non-equilibrium Green's function computations of the electronic transport. As shown, in these complexes hydrogen bonds mediate transport either by directly participating as a possible transport pathway or by stabilizing molecular conformations with enhanced conductance properties. Further, we observe that force-conductance correlations can be very sensitive to small changes in the chemical structure of the complexes and provide detailed information about the behavior of single molecules that cannot be gleaned from either measurement alone. In fact, there are regions during the elongation that are only mechanically active, others that are only conductance active, and regions where both force and conductance changes as the complex is mechanically manipulated. The implication is that force and conductance provide complementary information about the evolution of molecules in junctions that can be used to

  4. Design and development of a field-deployable single-molecule detector (SMD) for the analysis of molecular markers†

    PubMed Central

    Emory, Jason M.; Peng, Zhiyong; Young, Brandon; Hupert, Mateusz L.; Rousselet, Arnold; Patterson, Donald; Ellison, Brad; Soper, Steven A.

    2012-01-01

    Single-molecule detection (SMD) has demonstrated some attractive benefits for many types of biomolecular analyses including enhanced processing speed by eliminating processing steps, elimination of ensemble averaging and single-molecule sensitivity. However, it's wide spread use has been hampered by the complex instrumentation required for its implementation when using fluorescence as the readout modality. We report herein a simple and compact fluorescence single-molecule instrument that is straightforward to operate and consisted of fiber optics directly coupled to a microfluidic device. The integrated fiber optics served as waveguides to deliver the laser excitation light to the sample and collecting the resulting emission, simplifying the optical requirements associated with traditional SMD instruments by eliminating the need for optical alignment and simplification of the optical train. Additionally, the use of a vertical cavity surface emitting laser and a single photon avalanche diode serving as the excitation source and photon transducer, respectively, as well as a field programmable gate array (FPGA) integrated into the processing electronics assisted in reducing the instrument footprint. This small footprint SMD platform was tested using fluorescent microspheres and single AlexaFluor 660 molecules to determine the optimal operating parameters and system performance. As a demonstration of the utility of this instrument for biomolecular analyses, molecular beacons (MBs) were designed to probe bacterial cells for the gene encoding Gram-positive species. The ability to monitor biomarkers using this simple and portable instrument will have a number of important applications, such as strain-specific detection of pathogenic bacteria or the molecular diagnosis of diseases requiring rapid turn-around-times directly at the point-of-use. PMID:22005669

  5. Pushing the Sample-Size Limit of Infrared Vibrational Nanospectroscopy: From Monolayer toward Single Molecule Sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaoji G; Rang, Mathias; Craig, Ian M; Raschke, Markus B

    2012-07-05

    While scattering-scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM) has demonstrated its potential to extend infrared (IR) spectroscopy into the nanometer scale, it has not yet reached its full potential in terms of spectroscopic sensitivity. We combine broadband femtosecond mid-IR excitation with an optimized spectral irradiance of ∼2 W/cm(2)/ cm(-1) (power/area/bandwidth) and a combination of tip- and substrate enhancement to demonstrate single-monolayer sensitivity with exceptional signal-to-noise ratio. Using interferometric time domain detection, the near-field IR s-SNOM spectral phase directly reflects the molecular vibrational resonances and their intrinsic line shapes. We probe the stretching resonance of ∼1000 carbonyl groups at 1700 cm(-1) in a self-assembled monolayer of 16-mercaptohexadecanoic acid (MHDA) on an evaporated gold substrate with spectroscopic contrast and sensitivity of ≲100 vibrational oscillators. From these results we provide a roadmap for achieving true single-molecule IR vibrational spectroscopy in s-SNOM by implementing optical antenna resonant enhancement, increased spectral pump power, and improved detection schemes.

  6. Single molecule tools for enzymology, structural biology, systems biology and nanotechnology: an update

    PubMed Central

    Widom, Julia R.; Dhakal, Soma; Heinicke, Laurie A.; Walter, Nils G.

    2015-01-01

    Toxicology is the highly interdisciplinary field studying the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. It requires sensitive tools to detect such effects. After their initial implementation during the 1990s, single-molecule fluorescence detection tools were quickly recognized for their potential to contribute greatly to many different areas of scientific inquiry. In the intervening time, technical advances in the field have generated ever-improving spatial and temporal resolution, and have enabled the application of single-molecule fluorescence to increasingly complex systems, such as live cells. In this review, we give an overview of the optical components necessary to implement the most common versions of single-molecule fluorescence detection. We then discuss current applications to enzymology and structural studies, systems biology, and nanotechnology, presenting the technical considerations that are unique to each area of study, along with noteworthy recent results. We also highlight future directions that have the potential to revolutionize these areas of study by further exploiting the capabilities of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. PMID:25212907

  7. Single-molecule tools for enzymology, structural biology, systems biology and nanotechnology: an update.

    PubMed

    Widom, Julia R; Dhakal, Soma; Heinicke, Laurie A; Walter, Nils G

    2014-11-01

    Toxicology is the highly interdisciplinary field studying the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. It requires sensitive tools to detect such effects. After their initial implementation during the 1990s, single-molecule fluorescence detection tools were quickly recognized for their potential to contribute greatly to many different areas of scientific inquiry. In the intervening time, technical advances in the field have generated ever-improving spatial and temporal resolution and have enabled the application of single-molecule fluorescence to increasingly complex systems, such as live cells. In this review, we give an overview of the optical components necessary to implement the most common versions of single-molecule fluorescence detection. We then discuss current applications to enzymology and structural studies, systems biology, and nanotechnology, presenting the technical considerations that are unique to each area of study, along with noteworthy recent results. We also highlight future directions that have the potential to revolutionize these areas of study by further exploiting the capabilities of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy.

  8. Detailed analysis of complex single molecule FRET data with the software MASH

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hadzic, Mélodie C. A. S.; Kowerko, Danny; Börner, Richard; Zelger-Paulus, Susann; Sigel, Roland K. O.

    2016-04-01

    The processing and analysis of surface-immobilized single molecule FRET (Förster resonance energy transfer) data follows systematic steps (e.g. single molecule localization, clearance of different sources of noise, selection of the conformational and kinetic model, etc.) that require a solid knowledge in optics, photophysics, signal processing and statistics. The present proceeding aims at standardizing and facilitating procedures for single molecule detection by guiding the reader through an optimization protocol for a particular experimental data set. Relevant features were determined from single molecule movies (SMM) imaging Cy3- and Cy5-labeled Sc.ai5γ group II intron molecules synthetically recreated, to test the performances of four different detection algorithms. Up to 120 different parameterizations per method were routinely evaluated to finally establish an optimum detection procedure. The present protocol is adaptable to any movie displaying surface-immobilized molecules, and can be easily reproduced with our home-written software MASH (multifunctional analysis software for heterogeneous data) and script routines (both available in the download section of www.chem.uzh.ch/rna).

  9. Quantum dots for quantitative imaging: from single molecules to tissue

    PubMed Central

    Vu, Tania Q.; Lam, Wai Yan; Hatch, Ellen W.; Lidke, Diane S.

    2015-01-01

    Since their introduction to biological imaging, quantum dots (QDs) have progressed from a little known, but attractive technology to one that has gained broad application in many areas of biology. The versatile properties of these fluorescent nanoparticles have allowed investigators to conduct biological studies with extended spatiotemporal capabilities that were previously not possible. In this review, we focus on QD applications that provide enhanced quantitative information on protein dynamics and localization, including single particle tracking (SPT) and immunohistochemistry (IHC), and finish by examining prospects of upcoming applications, such as correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) and super-resolution. Advances in single molecule imaging, including multi-color and 3D QD tracking, have provided new insights into the mechanisms of cell signaling and protein trafficking. New forms of QD tracking in vivo have allowed for observation of biological processes with molecular level resolution in the physiological context of the whole animal. Further methodological development of multiplexed QD-based immunohistochemistry assays are allowing more quantitative analysis of key proteins in tissue samples. These advances highlight the unique quantitative data sets that QDs can provide to further our understanding of biological and disease processes. PMID:25620410

  10. Single-Molecule Sequencing of the Drosophila serrata Genome

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Scott L.; Delaney, Emily K.; Kopp, Artyom; Chenoweth, Stephen F.

    2017-01-01

    Long-read sequencing technology promises to greatly enhance de novo assembly of genomes for nonmodel species. Although the error rates of long reads have been a stumbling block, sequencing at high coverage permits the self-correction of many errors. Here, we sequence and de novo assemble the genome of Drosophila serrata, a species from the montium subgroup that has been well-studied for latitudinal clines, sexual selection, and gene expression, but which lacks a reference genome. Using 11 PacBio single-molecule real-time (SMRT cells), we generated 12 Gbp of raw sequence data comprising ∼65 × whole-genome coverage. Read lengths averaged 8940 bp (NRead50 12,200) with the longest read at 53 kbp. We self-corrected reads using the PBDagCon algorithm and assembled the genome using the MHAP algorithm within the PBcR assembler. Total genome length was 198 Mbp with an N50 just under 1 Mbp. Contigs displayed a high degree of chromosome arm-level conservation with the D. melanogaster genome and many could be sensibly placed on the D. serrata physical map. We also provide an initial annotation for this genome using in silico gene predictions that were supported by RNA-seq data. PMID:28143951

  11. Single-Molecule Reaction Chemistry in Patterned Nanowells

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    A new approach to synthetic chemistry is performed in ultraminiaturized, nanofabricated reaction chambers. Using lithographically defined nanowells, we achieve single-point covalent chemistry on hundreds of individual carbon nanotube transistors, providing robust statistics and unprecedented spatial resolution in adduct position. Each device acts as a sensor to detect, in real-time and through quantized changes in conductance, single-point functionalization of the nanotube as well as consecutive chemical reactions, molecular interactions, and molecular conformational changes occurring on the resulting single-molecule probe. In particular, we use a set of sequential bioconjugation reactions to tether a single-strand of DNA to the device and record its repeated, reversible folding into a G-quadruplex structure. The stable covalent tether allows us to measure the same molecule in different solutions, revealing the characteristic increased stability of the G-quadruplex structure in the presence of potassium ions (K+) versus sodium ions (Na+). Nanowell-confined reaction chemistry on carbon nanotube devices offers a versatile method to isolate and monitor individual molecules during successive chemical reactions over an extended period of time. PMID:27270004

  12. Single molecule analysis of Trypanosoma brucei DNA replication dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Calderano, Simone Guedes; Drosopoulos, William C.; Quaresma, Marina Mônaco; Marques, Catarina A.; Kosiyatrakul, Settapong; McCulloch, Richard; Schildkraut, Carl L.; Elias, Maria Carolina

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotic genome duplication relies on origins of replication, distributed over multiple chromosomes, to initiate DNA replication. A recent genome-wide analysis of Trypanosoma brucei, the etiological agent of sleeping sickness, localized its replication origins to the boundaries of multigenic transcription units. To better understand genomic replication in this organism, we examined replication by single molecule analysis of replicated DNA. We determined the average speed of replication forks of procyclic and bloodstream form cells and we found that T. brucei DNA replication rate is similar to rates seen in other eukaryotes. We also analyzed the replication dynamics of a central region of chromosome 1 in procyclic forms. We present evidence for replication terminating within the central part of the chromosome and thus emanating from both sides, suggesting a previously unmapped origin toward the 5′ extremity of chromosome 1. Also, termination is not at a fixed location in chromosome 1, but is rather variable. Importantly, we found a replication origin located near an ORC1/CDC6 binding site that is detected after replicative stress induced by hydroxyurea treatment, suggesting it may be a dormant origin activated in response to replicative stress. Collectively, our findings support the existence of more replication origins in T. brucei than previously appreciated. PMID:25690894

  13. Cellular encoding of Cy dyes for single-molecule imaging

    PubMed Central

    Leisle, Lilia; Chadda, Rahul; Lueck, John D; Infield, Daniel T; Galpin, Jason D; Krishnamani, Venkatramanan; Robertson, Janice L; Ahern, Christopher A

    2016-01-01

    A general method is described for the site-specific genetic encoding of cyanine dyes as non-canonical amino acids (Cy-ncAAs) into proteins. The approach relies on an improved technique for nonsense suppression with in vitro misacylated orthogonal tRNA. The data show that Cy-ncAAs (based on Cy3 and Cy5) are tolerated by the eukaryotic ribosome in cell-free and whole-cell environments and can be incorporated into soluble and membrane proteins. In the context of the Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system, this technique yields ion channels with encoded Cy-ncAAs that are trafficked to the plasma membrane where they display robust function and distinct fluorescent signals as detected by TIRF microscopy. This is the first demonstration of an encoded cyanine dye as a ncAA in a eukaryotic expression system and opens the door for the analysis of proteins with single-molecule resolution in a cellular environment. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19088.001 PMID:27938668

  14. Multiplex single-molecule interaction profiling of DNA barcoded proteins

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Liangcai; Li, Chao; Aach, John; Hill, David E.; Vidal, Marc; Church, George M.

    2014-01-01

    In contrast with advances in massively parallel DNA sequencing1, high-throughput protein analyses2-4 are often limited by ensemble measurements, individual analyte purification and hence compromised quality and cost-effectiveness. Single-molecule (SM) protein detection achieved using optical methods5 is limited by the number of spectrally nonoverlapping chromophores. Here, we introduce a single molecular interaction-sequencing (SMI-Seq) technology for parallel protein interaction profiling leveraging SM advantages. DNA barcodes are attached to proteins collectively via ribosome display6 or individually via enzymatic conjugation. Barcoded proteins are assayed en masse in aqueous solution and subsequently immobilized in a polyacrylamide (PAA) thin film to construct a random SM array, where barcoding DNAs are amplified into in situ polymerase colonies (polonies)7 and analyzed by DNA sequencing. This method allows precise quantification of various proteins with a theoretical maximum array density of over one million polonies per square millimeter. Furthermore, protein interactions can be measured based on the statistics of colocalized polonies arising from barcoding DNAs of interacting proteins. Two demanding applications, G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) and antibody binding profiling, were demonstrated. SMI-Seq enables “library vs. library” screening in a one-pot assay, simultaneously interrogating molecular binding affinity and specificity. PMID:25252978

  15. Single Molecule Epigenetic Analysis in a Nanofluidic Channel

    PubMed Central

    Cipriany, Benjamin R.; Zhao, Ruqian; Murphy, Patrick J.; Levy, Stephen L.; Tan, Christine P.; Craighead, Harold G.; Soloway, Paul D.

    2010-01-01

    Epigenetic states are governed by DNA methylation and a host of modifications to histones bound with DNA. These states are essential for proper developmentally regulated gene expression and are perturbed in many diseases. There is great interest in identifying epigenetic mark placement genome-wide and understanding how these marks vary among cell types, with changes in environment or according to health and disease status. Current epigenomic analyses employ bisulfite sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation, but query only one type of epigenetic mark at a time, DNA methylation or histone modifications, and often require substantial input material. To overcome these limitations, we established a method using nanofluidics and multi-color fluorescence microscopy to detect DNA and histones in individual chromatin fragments at about 10 Mbp/min. We demonstrated its utility for epigenetic analysis by identifying DNA methylation on individual molecules. This technique will provide the unprecedented opportunity for genome-wide, simultaneous analysis of multiple epigenetic states on single molecules using femtogram quantities of material. PMID:20184350

  16. Single molecule analysis of Trypanosoma brucei DNA replication dynamics.

    PubMed

    Calderano, Simone Guedes; Drosopoulos, William C; Quaresma, Marina Mônaco; Marques, Catarina A; Kosiyatrakul, Settapong; McCulloch, Richard; Schildkraut, Carl L; Elias, Maria Carolina

    2015-03-11

    Eukaryotic genome duplication relies on origins of replication, distributed over multiple chromosomes, to initiate DNA replication. A recent genome-wide analysis of Trypanosoma brucei, the etiological agent of sleeping sickness, localized its replication origins to the boundaries of multigenic transcription units. To better understand genomic replication in this organism, we examined replication by single molecule analysis of replicated DNA. We determined the average speed of replication forks of procyclic and bloodstream form cells and we found that T. brucei DNA replication rate is similar to rates seen in other eukaryotes. We also analyzed the replication dynamics of a central region of chromosome 1 in procyclic forms. We present evidence for replication terminating within the central part of the chromosome and thus emanating from both sides, suggesting a previously unmapped origin toward the 5' extremity of chromosome 1. Also, termination is not at a fixed location in chromosome 1, but is rather variable. Importantly, we found a replication origin located near an ORC1/CDC6 binding site that is detected after replicative stress induced by hydroxyurea treatment, suggesting it may be a dormant origin activated in response to replicative stress. Collectively, our findings support the existence of more replication origins in T. brucei than previously appreciated.

  17. Single-molecule imaging of cell surfaces using near-field nanoscopy.

    PubMed

    Hinterdorfer, Peter; Garcia-Parajo, Maria F; Dufrêne, Yves F

    2012-03-20

    Living cells use surface molecules such as receptors and sensors to acquire information about and to respond to their environments. The cell surface machinery regulates many essential cellular processes, including cell adhesion, tissue development, cellular communication, inflammation, tumor metastasis, and microbial infection. These events often involve multimolecular interactions occurring on a nanometer scale and at very high molecular concentrations. Therefore, understanding how single-molecules localize, assemble, and interact on the surface of living cells is an important challenge and a difficult one to address because of the lack of high-resolution single-molecule imaging techniques. In this Account, we show that atomic force microscopy (AFM) and near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) provide unprecedented possibilities for mapping the distribution of single molecules on the surfaces of cells with nanometer spatial resolution, thereby shedding new light on their highly sophisticated functions. For single-molecule recognition imaging by AFM, researchers label the tip with specific antibodies or ligands and detect molecular recognition signals on the cell surface using either adhesion force or dynamic recognition force mapping. In single-molecule NSOM, the tip is replaced by an optical fiber with a nanoscale aperture. As a result, topographic and optical images are simultaneously generated, revealing the spatial distribution of fluorescently labeled molecules. Recently, researchers have made remarkable progress in the application of near-field nanoscopy to image the distribution of cell surface molecules. Those results have led to key breakthroughs: deciphering the nanoscale architecture of bacterial cell walls; understanding how cells assemble surface receptors into nanodomains and modulate their functional state; and understanding how different components of the cell membrane (lipids, proteins) assemble and communicate to confer efficient functional

  18. Single-Molecule Protein Conformational Dynamics in Cell Signaling

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, H PETER.

    2004-08-22

    We have demonstrated the application of single-molecule imaging and ultrafast spectroscopy to probe protein conformational dynamics in solution and in lipid bilayers. Dynamic protein-protein interactions involve significant conformational motions that initiate chain reactions leading to specific cellular responses. We have carried out a single molecule study of dynamic protein-protein interactions in a GTPase intracellular signaling protein Cdc42 in complex with a downstream effector protein, WASP. We were able to probe hydrophobic interactions significant to Cdc42/WASP recognition. Single molecule fluorescence intensity and polarization measurements have revealed the dynamic and inhomogeneous nature of protein-protein interactions within the Cdc42/WASP complex that is characterized by structured distributions of conformational fluctuation rates. Conducting a single-molecule fluorescence anisotropy study of calmodulin (CaM), a regulatory protein for calcium-dependent cell signaling, we were able to probe CaM conformational dynamics at a wide time scale. In this study, CaM contains a site-specifically inserted tetra-cysteine motif that reacted with FlAsH, a biarsenic fluorescein derivative that can be rotationally locked to the host protein. The study provided direct characterization of the nanosecond motions of CaM tethered to a biologically compatible surface under physiological buffer solution. The unique technical approaches are applicable of studying single-molecule dynamics of protein conformational motions and protein-protein interactions at a wide time range without the signal convolution of probe-dye molecule motions

  19. THEORY OF SINGLE-MOLECULE SPECTROSCOPY: Beyond the Ensemble Average

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barkai, Eli; Jung, Younjoon; Silbey, Robert

    2004-01-01

    Single-molecule spectroscopy (SMS) is a powerful experimental technique used to investigate a wide range of physical, chemical, and biophysical phenomena. The merit of SMS is that it does not require ensemble averaging, which is found in standard spectroscopic techniques. Thus SMS yields insight into complex fluctuation phenomena that cannot be observed using standard ensemble techniques. We investigate theoretical aspects of SMS, emphasizing (a) dynamical fluctuations (e.g., spectral diffusion, photon-counting statistics, antibunching, quantum jumps, triplet blinking, and nonergodic blinking) and (b) single-molecule fluctuations in disordered systems, specifically distribution of line shapes of single molecules in low-temperature glasses. Special emphasis is given to single-molecule systems that reveal surprising connections to Levy statistics (i.e., blinking of quantum dots and single molecules in glasses). We compare theory with experiment and mention open problems. Our work demonstrates that the theory of SMS is a complementary field of research for describing optical spectroscopy in the condensed phase.

  20. Single-molecule manipulation experiments to explore friction and adhesion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pawlak, R.; Kawai, S.; Meier, T.; Glatzel, T.; Baratoff, A.; Meyer, E.

    2017-03-01

    Friction forces, which arise when two bodies that are in contact are moved with respect to one another, are ubiquitous phenomena. Although various measurement tools have been developed to study these phenomena at all length scales, such investigations are highly challenging when tackling the scale of single molecules in motion on a surface. This work reviews the recent advances in single-molecule manipulation experiments performed at low temperature with the aim of understanding the fundamental frictional response of single molecules. Following the advent of ‘nanotribology’ in the field based on the atomic force microscopy technique, we will show the technical requirements to direct those studies at the single-molecule level. We will also discuss the experimental prerequisites needed to obtain and interpret the phenomena, such as the implementation of single-molecule manipulation techniques, the processing of the experimental data or their comparison with appropriate numerical models. Finally, we will report examples of the controlled vertical and lateral manipulation of long polymeric chains, graphene nanoribbons or single porphyrin molecules that systematically reveal friction-like characteristics while sliding over atomically clean surfaces.

  1. Complex formation dynamics in a single-molecule electronic device

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Huimin; Li, Wengang; Chen, Jiewei; He, Gen; Li, Longhua; Olson, Mark A.; Sue, Andrew C.-H.; Stoddart, J. Fraser; Guo, Xuefeng

    2016-01-01

    Single-molecule electronic devices offer unique opportunities to investigate the properties of individual molecules that are not accessible in conventional ensemble experiments. However, these investigations remain challenging because they require (i) highly precise device fabrication to incorporate single molecules and (ii) sufficient time resolution to be able to make fast molecular dynamic measurements. We demonstrate a graphene-molecule single-molecule junction that is capable of probing the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters of a host-guest complex. By covalently integrating a conjugated molecular wire with a pendent crown ether into graphene point contacts, we can transduce the physical [2]pseudorotaxane (de)formation processes between the electron-rich crown ether and a dicationic guest into real-time electrical signals. The conductance of the single-molecule junction reveals two-level fluctuations that are highly dependent on temperature and solvent environments, affording a nondestructive means of quantitatively determining the binding and rate constants, as well as the activation energies, for host-guest complexes. The thermodynamic processes reveal the host-guest binding to be enthalpy-driven and are consistent with conventional 1H nuclear magnetic resonance titration experiments. This electronic device opens up a new route to developing single-molecule dynamics investigations with microsecond resolution for a broad range of chemical and biochemical applications. PMID:28138528

  2. Towards physiological complexity with in vitro single-molecule biophysics

    PubMed Central

    Duzdevich, Daniel; Greene, Eric C.

    2013-01-01

    Single-molecule biology has matured in recent years, driven to greater sophistication by the development of increasingly advanced experimental techniques. A progressive appreciation for its unique strengths is attracting research that spans an exceptionally broad swath of physiological phenomena—from the function of nucleosomes to protein diffusion in the cell membrane. Newfound enthusiasm notwithstanding, the single-molecule approach is limited to an intrinsically defined set of biological questions; such limitation applies to all experimental approaches, and an explicit statement of the boundaries delineating each set offers a guide to most fruitfully orienting in vitro single-molecule research in the future. Here, we briefly describe a simple conceptual framework to categorize how submolecular, molecular and intracellular processes are studied. We highlight the domain of single-molecule biology in this scheme, with an emphasis on its ability to probe various forms of heterogeneity inherent to populations of discrete biological macromolecules. We then give a general overview of our high-throughput DNA curtain methodology for studying protein–nucleic acid interactions, and by contextualizing it within this framework, we explore what might be the most enticing avenues of future research. We anticipate that a focus on single-molecule biology's unique strengths will suggest a new generation of experiments with greater complexity and more immediately translatable physiological relevance. PMID:23267187

  3. Sizing up single-molecule enzymatic conformational dynamics.

    PubMed

    Lu, H Peter

    2014-02-21

    Enzymatic reactions and related protein conformational dynamics are complex and inhomogeneous, playing crucial roles in biological functions. The relationship between protein conformational dynamics and enzymatic reactions has been a fundamental focus in modern enzymology. It is extremely difficult to characterize and analyze such complex dynamics in an ensemble-averaged measurement, especially when the enzymes are associated with multiple-step, multiple-conformation complex chemical interactions and transformations. Beyond the conventional ensemble-averaged studies, real-time single-molecule approaches have been demonstrated to be powerful in dissecting the complex enzymatic reaction dynamics and related conformational dynamics. Single-molecule enzymology has come a long way since the early demonstrations of the single-molecule spectroscopy studies of enzymatic dynamics about two decades ago. The rapid development of this fundamental protein dynamics field is hand-in-hand with the new development of single-molecule imaging and spectroscopic technology and methodology, theoretical model analyses, and correlations with biological preparation and characterization of the enzyme protein systems. The complex enzymatic reactions can now be studied one molecule at a time under physiological conditions. Most exciting developments include active manipulation of enzymatic conformational changes and energy landscape to regulate and manipulate the enzymatic reactivity and associated conformational dynamics, and the new advancements have established a new stage for studying complex protein dynamics beyond by simply observing but by actively manipulating and observing the enzymatic dynamics at the single-molecule sensitivity temporally and spatially.

  4. Tracking single molecules at work in living cells.

    PubMed

    Kusumi, Akihiro; Tsunoyama, Taka A; Hirosawa, Kohichiro M; Kasai, Rinshi S; Fujiwara, Takahiro K

    2014-07-01

    Methods for imaging and tracking single molecules conjugated with fluorescent probes, called single-molecule tracking (SMT), are now providing researchers with the unprecedented ability to directly observe molecular behaviors and interactions in living cells. Current SMT methods are achieving almost the ultimate spatial precision and time resolution for tracking single molecules, determined by the currently available dyes. In cells, various molecular interactions and reactions occur as stochastic and probabilistic processes. SMT provides an ideal way to directly track these processes by observing individual molecules at work in living cells, leading to totally new views of the biochemical and molecular processes used by cells whether in signal transduction, gene regulation or formation and disintegration of macromolecular complexes. Here we review SMT methods, summarize the recent results obtained by SMT, including related superresolution microscopy data, and describe the special concerns when SMT applications are shifted from the in vitro paradigms to living cells.

  5. Single-Molecule Electronics: Chemical and Analytical Perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nichols, Richard J.; Higgins, Simon J.

    2015-07-01

    It is now possible to measure the electrical properties of single molecules using a variety of techniques including scanning probe microcopies and mechanically controlled break junctions. Such measurements can be made across a wide range of environments including ambient conditions, organic liquids, ionic liquids, aqueous solutions, electrolytes, and ultra high vacuum. This has given new insights into charge transport across molecule electrical junctions, and these experimental methods have been complemented with increasingly sophisticated theory. This article reviews progress in single-molecule electronics from a chemical perspective and discusses topics such as the molecule-surface coupling in electrical junctions, chemical control, and supramolecular interactions in junctions and gating charge transport. The article concludes with an outlook regarding chemical analysis based on single-molecule conductance.

  6. Temperature dependence of charge transport in conjugated single molecule junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huisman, Eek; Kamenetska, Masha; Venkataraman, Latha

    2011-03-01

    Over the last decade, the break junction technique using a scanning tunneling microscope geometry has proven to be an important tool to understand electron transport through single molecule junctions. Here, we use this technique to probe transport through junctions at temperatures ranging from 5K to 300K. We study three amine-terminated (-NH2) conjugated molecules: a benzene, a biphenyl and a terphenyl derivative. We find that amine groups bind selectively to undercoordinate gold atoms gold all the way down to 5K, yielding single molecule junctions with well-defined conductances. Furthermore, we find that the conductance of a single molecule junction increases with temperature and we present a mechanism for this temperature dependent transport result. Funded by a Rubicon Grant from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the NSEC program of NSF under grant # CHE-0641523.

  7. Extending single-molecule microscopy using optical Fourier processing.

    PubMed

    Backer, Adam S; Moerner, W E

    2014-07-17

    This article surveys the recent application of optical Fourier processing to the long-established but still expanding field of single-molecule imaging and microscopy. A variety of single-molecule studies can benefit from the additional image information that can be obtained by modulating the Fourier, or pupil, plane of a widefield microscope. After briefly reviewing several current applications, we present a comprehensive and computationally efficient theoretical model for simulating single-molecule fluorescence as it propagates through an imaging system. Furthermore, we describe how phase/amplitude-modulating optics inserted in the imaging pathway may be modeled, especially at the Fourier plane. Finally, we discuss selected recent applications of Fourier processing methods to measure the orientation, depth, and rotational mobility of single fluorescent molecules.

  8. Extending Single-Molecule Microscopy Using Optical Fourier Processing

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    This article surveys the recent application of optical Fourier processing to the long-established but still expanding field of single-molecule imaging and microscopy. A variety of single-molecule studies can benefit from the additional image information that can be obtained by modulating the Fourier, or pupil, plane of a widefield microscope. After briefly reviewing several current applications, we present a comprehensive and computationally efficient theoretical model for simulating single-molecule fluorescence as it propagates through an imaging system. Furthermore, we describe how phase/amplitude-modulating optics inserted in the imaging pathway may be modeled, especially at the Fourier plane. Finally, we discuss selected recent applications of Fourier processing methods to measure the orientation, depth, and rotational mobility of single fluorescent molecules. PMID:24745862

  9. Detectors for single-molecule fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    MICHALET, X.; SIEGMUND, O.H.W.; VALLERGA, J.V.; JELINSKY, P.; MILLAUD, J.E.; WEISS, S.

    2010-01-01

    Single-molecule observation, characterization and manipulation techniques have recently come to the forefront of several research domains spanning chemistry, biology and physics. Due to the exquisite sensitivity, specificity, and unmasking of ensemble averaging, single-molecule fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy have become, in a short period of time, important tools in cell biology, biochemistry and biophysics. These methods led to new ways of thinking about biological processes such as viral infection, receptor diffusion and oligomerization, cellular signaling, protein-protein or protein-nucleic acid interactions, and molecular machines. Such achievements require a combination of several factors to be met, among which detector sensitivity and bandwidth are crucial. We examine here the needed performance of photodetectors used in these types of experiments, the current state of the art for different categories of detectors, and actual and future developments of single-photon counting detectors for single-molecule imaging and spectroscopy. PMID:20157633

  10. Quantum dots find their stride in single molecule tracking

    PubMed Central

    Bruchez, Marcel P.

    2011-01-01

    Thirteen years after the demonstration of quantum dots as biological imaging agents, and nine years after the initial commercial introduction of bioconjugated quantum dots, the brightness and photostability of the quantum dots has enabled a range of investigations using single molecule tracking. These materials are being routinely utilized by a number of groups to track the dynamics of single molecules in reconstituted biophysical systems and on living cells, and are especially powerful for investigations of single molecules over long timescales with short exposure times and high pointing accuracy. New approaches are emerging where the quantum dots are used as “hard-sphere” probes for intracellular compartments. Innovations in quantum dot surface modification are poised to substantially expand the utility of these materials. PMID:22055494

  11. Single-Molecule Electronics: Chemical and Analytical Perspectives.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Richard J; Higgins, Simon J

    2015-01-01

    It is now possible to measure the electrical properties of single molecules using a variety of techniques including scanning probe microcopies and mechanically controlled break junctions. Such measurements can be made across a wide range of environments including ambient conditions, organic liquids, ionic liquids, aqueous solutions, electrolytes, and ultra high vacuum. This has given new insights into charge transport across molecule electrical junctions, and these experimental methods have been complemented with increasingly sophisticated theory. This article reviews progress in single-molecule electronics from a chemical perspective and discusses topics such as the molecule-surface coupling in electrical junctions, chemical control, and supramolecular interactions in junctions and gating charge transport. The article concludes with an outlook regarding chemical analysis based on single-molecule conductance.

  12. Branching out of single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy: challenges for chemistry and influence on biology.

    PubMed

    Tinnefeld, Philip; Sauer, Markus

    2005-04-29

    In the last decade emerging single-molecule fluorescence-spectroscopy tools have been developed and adapted to analyze individual molecules under various conditions. Single-molecule-sensitive optical techniques are now well established and help to increase our understanding of complex problems in different disciplines ranging from materials science to cell biology. Previous dreams, such as the monitoring of the motility and structural changes of single motor proteins in living cells or the detection of single-copy genes and the determination of their distance from polymerase molecules in transcription factories in the nucleus of a living cell, no longer constitute unsolvable problems. In this Review we demonstrate that single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy has become an independent discipline capable of solving problems in molecular biology. We outline the challenges and future prospects for optical single-molecule techniques which can be used in combination with smart labeling strategies to yield quantitative three-dimensional information about the dynamic organization of living cells.

  13. Single-Molecule Transport at a Rectifying GaAs Contact.

    PubMed

    Vezzoli, Andrea; Brooke, Richard J; Ferri, Nicolò; Higgins, Simon J; Schwarzacher, Walther; Nichols, Richard J

    2017-02-08

    In most single- or few-molecule devices, the contact electrodes are simple ohmic resistors. Here we describe a new type of single-molecule device in which metal and semiconductor contact electrodes impart a function, namely, current rectification, which is then modified by a molecule bridging the gap. We study junctions with the structure Au STM tip/X/n-GaAs substrate, where "X" is either a simple alkanedithiol or a conjugated unit bearing thiol/methylthiol contacts, and we detect current jumps corresponding to the attachment and detachment of single molecules. From the magnitudes of the current jumps we can deduce values for the conductance decay constant with molecule length that agree well with values determined from Au/molecule/Au junctions. The ability to impart functionality to a single-molecule device through the properties of the contacts as well as through the properties of the molecule represents a significant extension of the single-molecule electronics "tool-box".

  14. Amplification of single molecule translocation signal using β-strand peptide functionalized nanopores.

    PubMed

    Liebes-Peer, Yael; Rapaport, Hanna; Ashkenasy, Nurit

    2014-07-22

    Changes in ionic current flowing through nanopores due to binding or translocation of single biopolymer molecules enable their detection and characterization. It is, however, much more challenging to detect small molecules due to their rapid and small signal signature. Here we demonstrate the use of de novo designed peptides for functionalization of nanopores that enable the detection of a small analytes at the single molecule level. The detection relies on cooperative peptide conformational change that is induced by the binding of the small molecule to a receptor domain on the peptide. This change results in alteration of the nanopore effective diameter and hence induces current perturbation signal. On the basis of this approach, we demonstrate here the detection of diethyl 4-nitrophenyl phosphate (paraoxon), a poisonous organophosphate molecule. Paraoxon binding is induced by the incorporation of the catalytic triad of acetylcholine esterase in the hydrophilic domain of a short amphiphilic peptide and promotes β-sheet assembly of the peptide both in solution and for peptide molecules immobilized on solid surfaces. Nanopores coated with this peptide allowed the detection of paraoxon at the single molecule level revealing two binding arrangements. This unique approach, hence, provides the ability to study interactions of small molecules with the corresponding engineered receptors at the single molecule level. Furthermore, the suggested versatile platform may be used for the development of highly sensitive small analytes sensors.

  15. Multicolour single molecule imaging on cells using a supercontinuum source

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Stephen E. D.; Zanetti-Domingues, Laura; Coles, Benjamin C.; Rolfe, Daniel J.; Wareham, Richard J.; Martin-Fernandez, Marisa L.

    2012-01-01

    Multicolour single molecule fluorescence imaging enables the study of multiple proteins in the membranes of living cells. We describe the use of a supercontinuum laser as the excitation source, show its comparability with multiplexed single-wavelength lasers and demonstrate that it can be used to study membrane proteins such as the ErbB receptor family. We discuss the benefits of white-light sources for single molecule fluorescence, in particular their ease of use and the freedom to use the most appropriate dye without being constrained by available laser wavelengths. PMID:22435089

  16. An improved surface passivation method for single-molecule studies.

    PubMed

    Hua, Boyang; Han, Kyu Young; Zhou, Ruobo; Kim, Hajin; Shi, Xinghua; Abeysirigunawardena, Sanjaya C; Jain, Ankur; Singh, Digvijay; Aggarwal, Vasudha; Woodson, Sarah A; Ha, Taekjip

    2014-12-01

    We report a surface passivation method based on dichlorodimethylsilane (DDS)-Tween-20 for in vitro single-molecule studies, which, under the conditions tested here, more efficiently prevented nonspecific binding of biomolecules than the standard poly(ethylene glycol) surface. The DDS-Tween-20 surface was simple and inexpensive to prepare and did not perturb the behavior and activities of tethered biomolecules. It can also be used for single-molecule imaging in the presence of high concentrations of labeled species in solution.

  17. Single-molecule magnet Mn12 on graphene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiang-Guo; Fry, James N.; Cheng, Hai-Ping

    2014-09-01

    We study energetics, electronic and magnetic structures, and magnetic anisotropy barriers of a monolayer of single-molecule magnets (SMMs), [Mn12O12(COOR)16](H2O)4 (abbreviated as Mn12, with R=H, CH3, C6H5, and CHCl2), on a graphene surface using spin-polarized density-functional theory with generalized gradient corrections and the inclusion of van der Waals interactions. We find that Mn12 molecules with ligands -H, -CH3, and -C6H5 are physically adsorbed on graphene through weak van der Waals interactions, and a much stronger ionic interaction occurs using a -CHCl2 ligand. The strength of bonding is closely related to the charge transfer between the molecule and the graphene sheet and can be manipulated by strain in the graphene; specifically, tension enhances n doping of graphene, and compression encourages p doping. The magnetic anisotropy barrier is computed by including the spin-orbit interaction within density-functional theory. The barriers for the Mn12 molecules with ligands -H, -CH3 and -C6H5 on graphene surfaces remain unchanged (within 1K) from those of isolated molecules because of their weak interaction, and a much larger reduction (10K) is observed when using the -CHCl2 ligand on graphene due to a substantial structural deformation as a consequence of the much stronger interaction. Neither strain in graphene nor charge transfer affects the magnetic anisotropy barrier significantly. Finally, we discuss the effect of strong correlation in the high-spin state of a Mn12 SMM and the consequence of SMM-surface adsorption.

  18. Roles of vacuum tunnelling and contact mechanics in single-molecule thermopower

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Yokota, Kazumichi; Morikawa, Takanori; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2017-03-01

    Molecular junction is a chemically-defined nanostructure whose discrete electronic states are expected to render enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit suitable for energy-harvesting applications. Here, we report on geometrical dependence of thermoelectricity in metal-molecule-metal structures. We performed simultaneous measurements of the electrical conductance and thermovoltage of aromatic molecules having different anchoring groups at room temperature in vacuum. We elucidated the mutual contributions of vacuum tunnelling on thermoelectricity in the short molecular bridges. We also found stretching-induced thermoelectric voltage enhancement in thiol-linked single-molecule bridges along with absence of the pulling effects in diamine counterparts, thereby suggested that the electromechanical effect would be a rather universal phenomenon in Au-S anchored molecular junctions that undergo substantial metal-molecule contact elongation upon stretching. The present results provide a novel concept for molecular design to achieve high thermopower with single-molecule junctions.

  19. Roles of vacuum tunnelling and contact mechanics in single-molecule thermopower

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Yokota, Kazumichi; Morikawa, Takanori; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2017-01-01

    Molecular junction is a chemically-defined nanostructure whose discrete electronic states are expected to render enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit suitable for energy-harvesting applications. Here, we report on geometrical dependence of thermoelectricity in metal-molecule-metal structures. We performed simultaneous measurements of the electrical conductance and thermovoltage of aromatic molecules having different anchoring groups at room temperature in vacuum. We elucidated the mutual contributions of vacuum tunnelling on thermoelectricity in the short molecular bridges. We also found stretching-induced thermoelectric voltage enhancement in thiol-linked single-molecule bridges along with absence of the pulling effects in diamine counterparts, thereby suggested that the electromechanical effect would be a rather universal phenomenon in Au-S anchored molecular junctions that undergo substantial metal-molecule contact elongation upon stretching. The present results provide a novel concept for molecular design to achieve high thermopower with single-molecule junctions. PMID:28281684

  20. Roles of vacuum tunnelling and contact mechanics in single-molecule thermopower.

    PubMed

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Yokota, Kazumichi; Morikawa, Takanori; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2017-03-10

    Molecular junction is a chemically-defined nanostructure whose discrete electronic states are expected to render enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit suitable for energy-harvesting applications. Here, we report on geometrical dependence of thermoelectricity in metal-molecule-metal structures. We performed simultaneous measurements of the electrical conductance and thermovoltage of aromatic molecules having different anchoring groups at room temperature in vacuum. We elucidated the mutual contributions of vacuum tunnelling on thermoelectricity in the short molecular bridges. We also found stretching-induced thermoelectric voltage enhancement in thiol-linked single-molecule bridges along with absence of the pulling effects in diamine counterparts, thereby suggested that the electromechanical effect would be a rather universal phenomenon in Au-S anchored molecular junctions that undergo substantial metal-molecule contact elongation upon stretching. The present results provide a novel concept for molecular design to achieve high thermopower with single-molecule junctions.

  1. Localization microscopy: mapping cellular dynamics with single molecules.

    PubMed

    Nelson, A J; Hess, S T

    2014-04-01

    Resolution describes the smallest details within a sample that can be recovered by a microscope lens system. For optical microscopes detecting visible light, diffraction limits the resolution to ∼200-250 nm. In contrast, localization measures the position of an isolated object using its image. Single fluorescent molecules can be localized with an uncertainty of a few tens of nanometres, and in some cases less than one nanometre. Superresolution fluorescence localization microscopy (SRFLM) images and localizes fluorescent molecules in a sample. By controlling the visibility of the fluorescent molecules with light, it is possible to cause a sparse subset of the tags to fluoresce and be spatially separated from each other. A movie is acquired with a camera, capturing images of many sets of visible fluorescent tags over a period of time. The movie is then analysed by a computer whereby all of the single molecules are independently measured, and their positions are recorded. When the coordinates of a sufficient number of molecules are collected, an image can be rendered by plotting the coordinates of the localized molecules. The spatial resolution of these rendered images can be better than 20 nm, roughly an order of magnitude better than the diffraction limited resolution. The invention of SRFLM has led to an explosion of related techniques. Through the use of specialized optics, the fluorescent signal can be split into multiple detection channels. These channels can capture additional information such as colour (emission wavelength), orientation and three-dimensional position of the detected molecules. Measurement of the colour of the detected fluorescence can allow researchers to distinguish multiple types of fluorescent tags and to study the interaction between multiple molecules of interest. Three-dimensional imaging and determination of molecular orientations offer insight into structural organization of the sample. SRFLM is compatible with living samples and

  2. A plutonium-based single-molecule magnet.

    PubMed

    Magnani, N; Colineau, E; Griveau, J-C; Apostolidis, C; Walter, O; Caciuffo, R

    2014-08-04

    The magnetic properties of the 5f(5) [tris-(tri-1-pyrazolylborato)-plutonium(III)] complex have been investigated by ac susceptibility measurements, showing it to be the first plutonium single-molecule magnet; its magnetic relaxation slows down with decreasing temperature through a thermally activated mechanism followed by a quantum tunnelling regime below 5 K.

  3. Fast temporal fluctuations in single-molecule junctions.

    PubMed

    Ochs, Roif; Secker, Daniel; Elbing, Mark; Mayor, Marcel; Weber, Heiko B

    2006-01-01

    The noise within the electrical current through single-molecule junctions is studied cryogenic temperature. The organic sample molecules were contacted with the mechanically controlled break-junction technique. The noise spectra refer to a where only few Lorentzian fluctuators occur in the conductance. The frequency dependence shows qualitative variations from sample to sample.

  4. Single-molecule choreography between telomere proteins and G quadruplexes.

    PubMed

    Hopfner, Karl-Peter

    2014-06-10

    Telomeric DNA binds proteins to protect chromosome ends, but it also adopts G quadruplex (GQ) structures. Two new studies by Hwang and colleagues (in this issue of Structure) and Ray and colleagues (published elsewhere) use single molecule imaging to reveal how GQs affect the binding of different telomere associated proteins. The data suggest that GQs play important roles in regulating accessibility of telomeres.

  5. Investigating single molecule adhesion by atomic force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Stetter, Frank W S; Kienle, Sandra; Krysiak, Stefanie; Hugel, Thorsten

    2015-02-27

    Atomic force spectroscopy is an ideal tool to study molecules at surfaces and interfaces. An experimental protocol to couple a large variety of single molecules covalently onto an AFM tip is presented. At the same time the AFM tip is passivated to prevent unspecific interactions between the tip and the substrate, which is a prerequisite to study single molecules attached to the AFM tip. Analyses to determine the adhesion force, the adhesion length, and the free energy of these molecules on solid surfaces and bio-interfaces are shortly presented and external references for further reading are provided. Example molecules are the poly(amino acid) polytyrosine, the graft polymer PI-g-PS and the phospholipid POPE (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine). These molecules are desorbed from different surfaces like CH3-SAMs, hydrogen terminated diamond and supported lipid bilayers under various solvent conditions. Finally, the advantages of force spectroscopic single molecule experiments are discussed including means to decide if truly a single molecule has been studied in the experiment.

  6. Single Molecule Study of Cellulase Hydrolysis of Crystalline Cellulose

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Y.-S.; Luo, Y.; Baker, J. O.; Zeng, Y.; Himmel, M. E.; Smith, S.; Ding, S.-Y.

    2009-12-01

    This report seeks to elucidate the role of cellobiohydrolase-I (CBH I) in the hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose. A single-molecule approach uses various imaging techniques to investigate the surface structure of crystalline cellulose and changes made in the structure by CBH I.

  7. Investigating Single Molecule Adhesion by Atomic Force Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Stetter, Frank W. S.; Kienle, Sandra; Krysiak, Stefanie; Hugel, Thorsten

    2015-01-01

    Atomic force spectroscopy is an ideal tool to study molecules at surfaces and interfaces. An experimental protocol to couple a large variety of single molecules covalently onto an AFM tip is presented. At the same time the AFM tip is passivated to prevent unspecific interactions between the tip and the substrate, which is a prerequisite to study single molecules attached to the AFM tip. Analyses to determine the adhesion force, the adhesion length, and the free energy of these molecules on solid surfaces and bio-interfaces are shortly presented and external references for further reading are provided. Example molecules are the poly(amino acid) polytyrosine, the graft polymer PI-g-PS and the phospholipid POPE (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine). These molecules are desorbed from different surfaces like CH3-SAMs, hydrogen terminated diamond and supported lipid bilayers under various solvent conditions. Finally, the advantages of force spectroscopic single molecule experiments are discussed including means to decide if truly a single molecule has been studied in the experiment. PMID:25867282

  8. The properties and applications of single-molecule DNA sequencing

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Single-molecule sequencing enables DNA or RNA to be sequenced directly from biological samples, making it well-suited for diagnostic and clinical applications. Here we review the properties and applications of this rapidly evolving and promising technology. PMID:21349208

  9. Statistics and Related Topics in Single-Molecule Biophysics

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Hong; Kou, S. C.

    2014-01-01

    Since the universal acceptance of atoms and molecules as the fundamental constituents of matter in the early twentieth century, molecular physics, chemistry and molecular biology have all experienced major theoretical breakthroughs. To be able to actually “see” biological macromolecules, one at a time in action, one has to wait until the 1970s. Since then the field of single-molecule biophysics has witnessed extensive growth both in experiments and theory. A distinct feature of single-molecule biophysics is that the motions and interactions of molecules and the transformation of molecular species are necessarily described in the language of stochastic processes, whether one investigates equilibrium or nonequilibrium living behavior. For laboratory measurements following a biological process, if it is sampled over time on individual participating molecules, then the analysis of experimental data naturally calls for the inference of stochastic processes. The theoretical and experimental developments of single-molecule biophysics thus present interesting questions and unique opportunity for applied statisticians and probabilists. In this article, we review some important statistical developments in connection to single-molecule biophysics, emphasizing the application of stochastic-process theory and the statistical questions arising from modeling and analyzing experimental data. PMID:25009825

  10. Single-Molecule Electronic Measurements with Metal Electrodes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindsay, Stuart

    2005-01-01

    A review of concepts like tunneling through a metal-molecule-metal-junction, contrast with electrochemical and optical-charge injection, strong-coupling limit, calculations of tunnel transport, electron transfer through Redox-active molecules is presented. This is followed by a discussion of experimental approaches for single-molecule measurements.

  11. Photoemission of Mn6Cr single-molecule magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinzmann, U.; Merschjohann, F.; Helmstedt, A.; Gryzia, A.; Winter, A.; Steppeler, S.; Müller, N.; Brechling, A.; Sacher, M.; Richthofen, C.-G. Freiherr v.; Glaser, T.; Voss, S.; Fonin, M.; Rüdiger, U.

    2009-11-01

    We present the status of new experimental studies of X-ray absorption spectroscopy, magnetic circular dichroism in photoemission and spin-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy of Mn6Cr single-molecule magnet systems by use of circularly-polarized synchrotron radiation of the electron storage rings in Maxlab Lund, Sweden und BESSY, Berlin, Germany.

  12. Development of new photon-counting detectors for single-molecule fluorescence microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Michalet, X.; Colyer, R. A.; Scalia, G.; Ingargiola, A.; Lin, R.; Millaud, J. E.; Weiss, S.; Siegmund, Oswald H. W.; Tremsin, Anton S.; Vallerga, John V.; Cheng, A.; Levi, M.; Aharoni, D.; Arisaka, K.; Villa, F.; Guerrieri, F.; Panzeri, F.; Rech, I.; Gulinatti, A.; Zappa, F.; Ghioni, M.; Cova, S.

    2013-01-01

    Two optical configurations are commonly used in single-molecule fluorescence microscopy: point-like excitation and detection to study freely diffusing molecules, and wide field illumination and detection to study surface immobilized or slowly diffusing molecules. Both approaches have common features, but also differ in significant aspects. In particular, they use different detectors, which share some requirements but also have major technical differences. Currently, two types of detectors best fulfil the needs of each approach: single-photon-counting avalanche diodes (SPADs) for point-like detection, and electron-multiplying charge-coupled devices (EMCCDs) for wide field detection. However, there is room for improvements in both cases. The first configuration suffers from low throughput owing to the analysis of data from a single location. The second, on the other hand, is limited to relatively low frame rates and loses the benefit of single-photon-counting approaches. During the past few years, new developments in point-like and wide field detectors have started addressing some of these issues. Here, we describe our recent progresses towards increasing the throughput of single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy in solution using parallel arrays of SPADs. We also discuss our development of large area photon-counting cameras achieving subnanosecond resolution for fluorescence lifetime imaging applications at the single-molecule level. PMID:23267185

  13. Nanomechanical DNA origami 'single-molecule beacons' directly imaged by atomic force microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Kuzuya, Akinori; Sakai, Yusuke; Yamazaki, Takahiro; Xu, Yan; Komiyama, Makoto

    2011-01-01

    DNA origami involves the folding of long single-stranded DNA into designed structures with the aid of short staple strands; such structures may enable the development of useful nanomechanical DNA devices. Here we develop versatile sensing systems for a variety of chemical and biological targets at molecular resolution. We have designed functional nanomechanical DNA origami devices that can be used as 'single-molecule beacons', and function as pinching devices. Using 'DNA origami pliers' and 'DNA origami forceps', which consist of two levers ~170 nm long connected at a fulcrum, various single-molecule inorganic and organic targets ranging from metal ions to proteins can be visually detected using atomic force microscopy by a shape transition of the origami devices. Any detection mechanism suitable for the target of interest, pinching, zipping or unzipping, can be chosen and used orthogonally with differently shaped origami devices in the same mixture using a single platform. PMID:21863016

  14. Single-molecule imaging of non-equilibrium molecular ensembles on the millisecond timescale

    PubMed Central

    Juette, Manuel F.; Terry, Daniel S.; Wasserman, Michael R.; Altman, Roger B.; Zhou, Zhou; Zhao, Hong; Blanchard, Scott C.

    2016-01-01

    Molecular recognition is often driven by transient processes beyond the reach of detection. Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy methods are uniquely suited for detecting such non-accumulating intermediates, yet achieving the time resolution and statistics to realize this potential has proven challenging. Here, we present a single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) imaging and analysis platform leveraging advances in scientific complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (sCMOS) detectors that enable the imaging of more than 10,000 individual molecules simultaneously at millisecond rates. The utility of this advance is demonstrated through quantitative measurements of previously obscured processes relevant to the fidelity mechanism in protein synthesis. PMID:26878382

  15. Single-Molecule mRNA Detection in Live Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Lenstra, Tineke L.

    2016-01-01

    Visualization of single RNA molecules in living cells has enabled the study of synthesis, movement, and localization of mRNAs and has provided insight into gene regulation with sub-second temporal resolution and nanometer spatial resolution. Following transcription in single cells indicates that gene activity is heterogeneous between cells and also exhibits random variability over time even within single cells. Studies of mRNAs in yeast can take advantage of the powerful genetics available in this model organism and allow mechanistic questions to be addressed. In this chapter, we describe an approach for visualizing mRNA and transcription in live yeast cells. The method is based on binding of fluorescently labeled MS2 and PP7 coat proteins to stem loops sequences that are introduced into the gene of interest. We give detailed protocols for the construction of the necessary yeast strains, for image acquisition, and for validation. PMID:27110320

  16. On the uncertainty in single molecule fluorescent lifetime and energy emission measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Emery N.; Zhang, Zhenhua; Mccollom, Alex D.

    1995-01-01

    Time-correlated single photon counting has recently been combined with mode-locked picosecond pulsed excitation to measure the fluorescent lifetimes and energy emissions of single molecules in a flow stream. Maximum likelihood (ML) and least square methods agree and are optimal when the number of detected photons is large however, in single molecule fluorescence experiments the number of detected photons can be less than 20, 67% of those can be noise and the detection time is restricted to 10 nanoseconds. Under the assumption that the photon signal and background noise are two independent inhomogeneous poisson processes, we derive the exact joint arrival time probably density of the photons collected in a single counting experiment performed in the presence of background noise. The model obviates the need to bin experimental data for analysis, and makes it possible to analyze formally the effect of background noise on the photon detection experiment using both ML or Bayesian methods. For both methods we derive the joint and marginal probability densities of the fluorescent lifetime and fluorescent emission. the ML and Bayesian methods are compared in an analysis of simulated single molecule fluorescence experiments of Rhodamine 110 using different combinations of expected background nose and expected fluorescence emission. While both the ML or Bayesian procedures perform well for analyzing fluorescence emissions, the Bayesian methods provide more realistic measures of uncertainty in the fluorescent lifetimes. The Bayesian methods would be especially useful for measuring uncertainty in fluorescent lifetime estimates in current single molecule flow stream experiments where the expected fluorescence emission is low. Both the ML and Bayesian algorithms can be automated for applications in molecular biology.

  17. On the Uncertainty in Single Molecule Fluorescent Lifetime and Energy Emission Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Emery N.; Zhang, Zhenhua; McCollom, Alex D.

    1996-01-01

    Time-correlated single photon counting has recently been combined with mode-locked picosecond pulsed excitation to measure the fluorescent lifetimes and energy emissions of single molecules in a flow stream. Maximum likelihood (ML) and least squares methods agree and are optimal when the number of detected photons is large, however, in single molecule fluorescence experiments the number of detected photons can be less than 20, 67 percent of those can be noise, and the detection time is restricted to 10 nanoseconds. Under the assumption that the photon signal and background noise are two independent inhomogeneous Poisson processes, we derive the exact joint arrival time probability density of the photons collected in a single counting experiment performed in the presence of background noise. The model obviates the need to bin experimental data for analysis, and makes it possible to analyze formally the effect of background noise on the photon detection experiment using both ML or Bayesian methods. For both methods we derive the joint and marginal probability densities of the fluorescent lifetime and fluorescent emission. The ML and Bayesian methods are compared in an analysis of simulated single molecule fluorescence experiments of Rhodamine 110 using different combinations of expected background noise and expected fluorescence emission. While both the ML or Bayesian procedures perform well for analyzing fluorescence emissions, the Bayesian methods provide more realistic measures of uncertainty in the fluorescent lifetimes. The Bayesian methods would be especially useful for measuring uncertainty in fluorescent lifetime estimates in current single molecule flow stream experiments where the expected fluorescence emission is low. Both the ML and Bayesian algorithms can be automated for applications in molecular biology.

  18. Plasmonic nano-protrusions: hierarchical nanostructures for single-molecule Raman spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basuray, Sagnik; Pathak, Avinash; Bok, Sangho; Chen, Biyan; Hamm, Steven C.; Mathai, Cherian J.; Guha, Suchismita; Gangopadhyay, Keshab; Gangopadhyay, Shubhra

    2017-01-01

    Classical methods for enhancing the electromagnetic field from substrates for spectroscopic applications, such as surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), have involved the generation of hotspots through directed self-assembly of nanoparticles or by patterning nanoscale features using expensive nanolithography techniques. A novel large-area, cost-effective soft lithographic technique involving glancing angle deposition (GLAD) of silver on polymer gratings is reported here. This method produces hierarchical nanostructures with high enhancement factors capable of analyzing single-molecule SERS. The uniform ordered and patterned nanostructures provide extraordinary field enhancements that serve as excitatory hotspots and are herein interrogated by SERS. The high spatial homogeneity of the Raman signal and signal enhancement over a large area from a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) of 2-naphthalenethiol demonstrated the uniformity of the hotspots. The enhancement was shown to have a critical dependence on the underlying nanostructure via the surface energy landscape and GLAD angles for a fixed deposition thickness, as evidenced by atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy surface analysis of the substrate. The nanostructured surface leads to an extremely concentrated electromagnetic field at sharp nanoscale peaks, here referred to as ‘nano-protrusions’, due to the coupling of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) with localized SPR. These nano-protrusions act as hotspots which provide Raman enhancement factors as high as 108 over a comparable SAM on silver. Comparison of our substrate with the commercial substrate Klarite™ shows higher signal enhancement and minimal signal variation with hotspot spatial distribution. By using the proper plasmon resonance angle corresponding to the laser source wavelength, further enhancement in signal intensity can be achieved. Single-molecule Raman spectra for rhodamine 6G are obtained from the best SERS substrate (a

  19. Single-Molecule Counting of Point Mutations by Transient DNA Binding

    PubMed Central

    Su, Xin; Li, Lidan; Wang, Shanshan; Hao, Dandan; Wang, Lei; Yu, Changyuan

    2017-01-01

    High-confidence detection of point mutations is important for disease diagnosis and clinical practice. Hybridization probes are extensively used, but are hindered by their poor single-nucleotide selectivity. Shortening the length of DNA hybridization probes weakens the stability of the probe-target duplex, leading to transient binding between complementary sequences. The kinetics of probe-target binding events are highly dependent on the number of complementary base pairs. Here, we present a single-molecule assay for point mutation detection based on transient DNA binding and use of total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. Statistical analysis of single-molecule kinetics enabled us to effectively discriminate between wild type DNA sequences and single-nucleotide variants at the single-molecule level. A higher single-nucleotide discrimination is achieved than in our previous work by optimizing the assay conditions, which is guided by statistical modeling of kinetics with a gamma distribution. The KRAS c.34 A mutation can be clearly differentiated from the wild type sequence (KRAS c.34 G) at a relative abundance as low as 0.01% mutant to WT. To demonstrate the feasibility of this method for analysis of clinically relevant biological samples, we used this technology to detect mutations in single-stranded DNA generated from asymmetric RT-PCR of mRNA from two cancer cell lines. PMID:28262827

  20. Single-Molecule Counting of Point Mutations by Transient DNA Binding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Xin; Li, Lidan; Wang, Shanshan; Hao, Dandan; Wang, Lei; Yu, Changyuan

    2017-03-01

    High-confidence detection of point mutations is important for disease diagnosis and clinical practice. Hybridization probes are extensively used, but are hindered by their poor single-nucleotide selectivity. Shortening the length of DNA hybridization probes weakens the stability of the probe-target duplex, leading to transient binding between complementary sequences. The kinetics of probe-target binding events are highly dependent on the number of complementary base pairs. Here, we present a single-molecule assay for point mutation detection based on transient DNA binding and use of total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. Statistical analysis of single-molecule kinetics enabled us to effectively discriminate between wild type DNA sequences and single-nucleotide variants at the single-molecule level. A higher single-nucleotide discrimination is achieved than in our previous work by optimizing the assay conditions, which is guided by statistical modeling of kinetics with a gamma distribution. The KRAS c.34 A mutation can be clearly differentiated from the wild type sequence (KRAS c.34 G) at a relative abundance as low as 0.01% mutant to WT. To demonstrate the feasibility of this method for analysis of clinically relevant biological samples, we used this technology to detect mutations in single-stranded DNA generated from asymmetric RT-PCR of mRNA from two cancer cell lines.

  1. Probing DNA interactions with proteins using a single-molecule toolbox: inside the cell, in a test tube and in a computer.

    PubMed

    Wollman, Adam J M; Miller, Helen; Zhou, Zhaokun; Leake, Mark C

    2015-04-01

    DNA-interacting proteins have roles in multiple processes, many operating as molecular machines which undergo dynamic meta-stable transitions to bring about their biological function. To fully understand this molecular heterogeneity, DNA and the proteins that bind to it must ideally be interrogated at a single molecule level in their native in vivo environments, in a time-resolved manner, fast enough to sample the molecular transitions across the free-energy landscape. Progress has been made over the past decade in utilizing cutting-edge tools of the physical sciences to address challenging biological questions concerning the function and modes of action of several different proteins which bind to DNA. These physiologically relevant assays are technically challenging but can be complemented by powerful and often more tractable in vitro experiments which confer advantages of the chemical environment with enhanced detection signal-to-noise of molecular signatures and transition events. In the present paper, we discuss a range of techniques we have developed to monitor DNA-protein interactions in vivo, in vitro and in silico. These include bespoke single-molecule fluorescence microscopy techniques to elucidate the architecture and dynamics of the bacterial replisome and the structural maintenance of bacterial chromosomes, as well as new computational tools to extract single-molecule molecular signatures from live cells to monitor stoichiometry, spatial localization and mobility in living cells. We also discuss recent developments from our laboratory made in vitro, complementing these in vivo studies, which combine optical and magnetic tweezers to manipulate and image single molecules of DNA, with and without bound protein, in a new super-resolution fluorescence microscope.

  2. Single molecule dynamics at a mechanically controllable break junction in solution at room temperature.

    PubMed

    Konishi, Tatsuya; Kiguchi, Manabu; Takase, Mai; Nagasawa, Fumika; Nabika, Hideki; Ikeda, Katsuyoshi; Uosaki, Kohei; Ueno, Kosei; Misawa, Hiroaki; Murakoshi, Kei

    2013-01-23

    The in situ observation of geometrical and electronic structural dynamics of a single molecule junction is critically important in order to further progress in molecular electronics. Observations of single molecular junctions are difficult, however, because of sensitivity limits. Here, we report surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) of a single 4,4'-bipyridine molecule under conditions of in situ current flow in a nanogap, by using nano-fabricated, mechanically controllable break junction (MCBJ) electrodes. When adsorbed at room temperature on metal nanoelectrodes in solution to form a single molecule junction, statistical analysis showed that nontotally symmetric b(1) and b(2) modes of 4,4'-bipyridine were strongly enhanced relative to observations of the same modes in solid or aqueous solutions. Significant changes in SERS intensity, energy (wavenumber), and selectivity of Raman vibrational bands that are coincident with current fluctuations provide information on distinct states of electronic and geometrical structure of the single molecule junction, even under large thermal fluctuations occurring at room temperature. We observed the dynamics of 4,4'-bipyridine motion between vertical and tilting configurations in the Au nanogap via b(1) and b(2) mode switching. A slight increase in the tilting angle of the molecule was also observed by noting the increase in the energies of Raman modes and the decrease in conductance of the molecular junction.

  3. Single Molecule Study of DNA Organization and Recombination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Botao

    We have studied five projects related to DNA organization and recombination using mainly single molecule force-spectroscopy and statistical tools. First, HU is one of the most abundant DNA-organizing proteins in bacterial chromosomes and participates in gene regulation. We report experiments that study the dependence of DNA condensation by HU on force, salt and HU concentration. A first important result is that at physiological salt levels, HU only bends DNA, resolving a previous paradox of why a chromosome-compacting protein should have a DNA-stiffening function. A second major result is quantitative demonstration of strong dependencies of HU-DNA dissociation on both salt concentration and force. Second, we have used a thermodynamic Maxwell relation to count proteins driven off large DNAs by tension, an effect important to understanding DNA organization. Our results compare well with estimates of numbers of proteins HU and Fis in previous studies. We have also shown that a semi-flexible polymer model describes our HU experimental data well. The force-dependent binding suggests mechano-chemical mechanisms for gene regulation. Third, the elusive role of protein H1 in chromatin has been clarified with purified H1 and Xenopus extracts. We find that H1 compacts DNA by both bending and looping. Addition of H1 enhances chromatin formation and maintains the plasticity of the chromatin. Fourth, the topology and mechanics of DNA twisting are critical to DNA organization and recombination. We have systematically measured DNA extension as a function of linking number density from 0.08 to -2 with holding forces from 0.2 to 2.4 pN. Unlike previous proposals, the DNA extension decreases with negative linking number. Finally, DNA recombination is a dynamic process starting from enzyme-DNA binding. We report that the Int-DBD domain of lambda integrase binds to DNA without compaction at low Int-DBD concentration. High concentration of Int-DBD loops DNA below a threshold force

  4. Carbon nanotube nanoelectromechanical systems as magnetometers for single-molecule magnets.

    PubMed

    Ganzhorn, Marc; Klyatskaya, Svetlana; Ruben, Mario; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang

    2013-07-23

    Due to outstanding mechanical and electronic properties, carbon nanotube nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) were recently proposed as ultrasensitive magnetometers for single-molecule magnets (SMM). In this article, we describe a noninvasive grafting of a SMM on a carbon nanotube NEMS, which conserves both the mechanical properties of the carbon nanotube NEMS and the magnetic properties of the SMM. We will demonstrate that the nonlinearity of a carbon nanotube's mechanical motion can be used to probe the reversal of a molecular spin, associated with a bis(phthalocyaninato)terbium(III) single-molecule magnet, providing an experimental evidence for the detection of a single spin by a mechanical degree of freedom on a molecular level.

  5. Orienting single-molecule diffraction patterns from XFELs using heavy-metal explosion fragments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jurek, Zoltán; Faigel, Gyula

    2013-01-01

    Single-molecule imaging is one of the main target areas of X-ray free-electron lasers. It relies on the possibility of orienting the large number of low-counting-statistics 2D diffraction patterns taken at random orientations of identical replicas of the sample. This is a difficult process and the low statistics limits the usability of orientation methods and ultimately it could prevent single-molecule imaging. We suggest a new approach, which avoids the orientation process from the diffraction patterns. We propose to determine sample orientation through identifying the direction of ejection fragments. The orientation of the sample is measured together with the diffraction pattern by detecting some fragments of the Coulomb explosion. We show by molecular-dynamics simulations that from the angular distribution of the fragments one can obtain the orientation of the samples.

  6. Electrical Measurement of Single Molecule Catalysis using Carbon Nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldsmith, Brett R.; Kane, Alexander A.; Khalap, Vaikunth; Coroneus, John; Weiss, Gregory A.; Collins, Philip G.

    2008-03-01

    We demonstrate single molecule chemical sensors based on single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT). The architecture uses a SWNT conductor having a single, reactive species covalently bonded to the sidewall [1]. Dynamics of the molecule are electrically transduced as it interacts with its surrounding environment. As a test case, we investigate the catalytic modification of EDC by a carboxylate. After creating a carboxylate terminus on the SWNT, the circuit is monitored for several hours and through hundreds of individual EDC reactions. Statistical analysis determines the lifetime of the carboxyl-EDC complex, as well as the catalytic turnover rate, from discrete events. Because the carboxylate site can be readily derivatized with proteins, peptides, or other functional molecules, the technique shows promise as a tool for single molecule research independent of optics and scanning probe microscopy. 1. B.R. Goldsmith, et al. Science 315, 77 (2007).

  7. Semisynthetic Nanoreactor for Reversible Single-Molecule Covalent Chemistry

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Protein engineering has been used to remodel pores for applications in biotechnology. For example, the heptameric α-hemolysin pore (αHL) has been engineered to form a nanoreactor to study covalent chemistry at the single-molecule level. Previous work has been confined largely to the chemistry of cysteine side chains or, in one instance, to an irreversible reaction of an unnatural amino acid side chain bearing a terminal alkyne. Here, we present four different αHL pores obtained by coupling either two or three fragments by native chemical ligation (NCL). The synthetic αHL monomers were folded and incorporated into heptameric pores. The functionality of the pores was validated by hemolysis assays and by single-channel current recording. By using NCL to introduce a ketone amino acid, the nanoreactor approach was extended to an investigation of reversible covalent chemistry on an unnatural side chain at the single-molecule level. PMID:27537396

  8. Carbon tips for all-carbon single-molecule electronics.

    PubMed

    Dappe, Y J; González, C; Cuevas, J C

    2014-06-21

    We present here an exhaustive ab initio study of the use of carbon-based tips as electrodes in single-molecule junctions. Motivated by recent experiments, we show that carbon tips can be combined with other carbon nanostructures, such as graphene, to form all-carbon molecular junctions with molecules like benzene or C60. Our results show that the use of carbon tips can lead to relatively conductive molecular junctions. However, contrary to junctions formed with standard metals, the conductance traces recorded during the formation of the all-carbon single-molecule junctions do not exhibit clear conductance plateaus, which can be attributed to the inability of the hydrogenated carbon tips to form chemical bonds with the organic molecules. Additionally, we explore here the use of carbon tips for scanning tunneling microscopy and show that they are well suited for obtaining sample images with atomic resolution.

  9. STM CONTROL OF CHEMICAL REACTIONS: Single-Molecule Synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hla, Saw-Wai; Rieder, Karl-Heinz

    2003-10-01

    The fascinating advances in single atom/molecule manipulation with a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) tip allow scientists to fabricate atomic-scale structures or to probe chemical and physical properties of matters at an atomic level. Owing to these advances, it has become possible for the basic chemical reaction steps, such as dissociation, diffusion, adsorption, readsorption, and bond-formation processes, to be performed by using the STM tip. Complete sequences of chemical reactions are able to induce at a single-molecule level. New molecules can be constructed from the basic molecular building blocks on a one-molecule-at-a-time basis by using a variety of STM manipulation schemes in a systematic step-by-step manner. These achievements open up entirely new opportunities in nanochemistry and nanochemical technology. In this review, various STM manipulation techniques useful in the single-molecule reaction process are reviewed, and their impact on the future of nanoscience and technology are discussed.

  10. Microsecond protein dynamics observed at the single-molecule level

    PubMed Central

    Otosu, Takuhiro; Ishii, Kunihiko; Tahara, Tahei

    2015-01-01

    How polypeptide chains acquire specific conformations to realize unique biological functions is a central problem of protein science. Single-molecule spectroscopy, combined with fluorescence resonance energy transfer, is utilized to study the conformational heterogeneity and the state-to-state transition dynamics of proteins on the submillisecond to second timescales. However, observation of the dynamics on the microsecond timescale is still very challenging. This timescale is important because the elementary processes of protein dynamics take place and direct comparison between experiment and simulation is possible. Here we report a new single-molecule technique to reveal the microsecond structural dynamics of proteins through correlation of the fluorescence lifetime. This method, two-dimensional fluorescence lifetime correlation spectroscopy, is applied to clarify the conformational dynamics of cytochrome c. Three conformational ensembles and the microsecond transitions in each ensemble are indicated from the correlation signal, demonstrating the importance of quantifying microsecond dynamics of proteins on the folding free energy landscape. PMID:26151767

  11. A 48-pixel array of Single Photon Avalanche Diodes for multispot Single Molecule analysis.

    PubMed

    Gulinatti, Angelo; Rech, Ivan; Maccagnani, Piera; Ghioni, Massimo

    2013-02-04

    In this paper we present an array of 48 Single Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPADs) specifically designed for multispot Single Molecule Analysis. The detectors have been arranged in a 12×4 square geometry with a pitch-to-diameter ratio of ten in order to minimize the collection of the light from non-conjugated excitation spots. In order to explore the trade-offs between the detectors' performance and the optical coupling with the experimental setup, SPADs with an active diameter of 25 and of 50µm have been manufactured. The use of a custom technology, specifically designed for the fabrication of the detectors, allowed us to combine a high photon detection efficiency (peak close to 50% at a wavelength of 550nm) with a low dark count rate compatible with true single molecule detection. In order to allow easy integration into the optical setup for parallel single-molecule analysis, the SPAD array has been incorporated in a compact module containing all the electronics needed for a proper operation of the detectors.

  12. Intermittent Single-Molecule Interfacial Electron Transfer Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Biju, Vasudevan P.; Micic, Miodrag; Hu, Dehong; Lu, H. Peter

    2004-08-04

    We report on single molecule studies of photosensitized interfacial electron transfer (ET) processes in Coumarin 343 (C343)-TiO2 nanoparticle (NP) and Cresyl Violet (CV+)-TiO2 NP systems, using time-correlated single photon counting coupled with scanning confocal fluorescence microscopy. Fluorescence intensity trajectories of individual dye molecules adsorbed on a semiconductor NP surface showed fluorescence fluctuations and blinking, with time constrants distributed from sub-milliseconds to several seconds.

  13. Optimized free energies from bidirectional single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Minh, David D L; Adib, Artur B

    2008-05-09

    An optimized method for estimating path-ensemble averages using data from processes driven in opposite directions is presented. Based on this estimator, bidirectional expressions for reconstructing free energies and potentials of mean force from single-molecule force spectroscopy-valid for biasing potentials of arbitrary stiffness-are developed. Numerical simulations on a model potential indicate that these methods perform better than unidirectional strategies.

  14. Probing Nanoparticle Reactivity at the Single-Molecule Level

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-02-15

    doi: Xiaochun Zhou, Weilin Xu, Guokun Liu, Debashis Panda , Peng Chen. Size-Dependent Catalytic Activity and Dynamics of Gold Nanoparticles at the...Debashis Panda , Peng Chen. Size Dependent Catalytic Activity and Dynamics of Gold Nanoparticles at the Single-Molecule Level, (12 2009) Books...Bibliography 1 X. Zhou, W. Xu, G. Liu, D. Panda & P. Chen. Size dependent catalytic activity and dynamics of gold nanoparticles at the single

  15. Density Functional Theory with Dissipation: Transport through Single Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Kieron Burke

    2012-04-30

    A huge amount of fundamental research was performed on this grant. Most of it focussed on fundamental issues of electronic structure calculations of transport through single molecules, using density functional theory. Achievements were: (1) First density functional theory with dissipation; (2) Pseudopotential plane wave calculations with master equation; (3) Weak bias limit; (4) Long-chain conductance; and (5) Self-interaction effects in tunneling.

  16. Quantum Chemical Characterization of Single Molecule Magnets Based on Uranium.

    PubMed

    Spivak, Mariano; Vogiatzis, Konstantinos D; Cramer, Christopher J; Graaf, Coen de; Gagliardi, Laura

    2017-03-02

    Multiconfigurational electronic structure theory calculations including spin-orbit coupling effects were performed on four uranium-based single-molecule-magnets. Several quartet and doublet states were computed and the energy gaps between spin-orbit states were then used to determine magnetic susceptibility curves. Trends in experimental magnetic susceptibility curves were well reproduced by the calculations, and key factors affecting performance were identified.

  17. Single-molecule studies of actin assembly and disassembly factors.

    PubMed

    Smith, Benjamin A; Gelles, Jeff; Goode, Bruce L

    2014-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is very dynamic and highly regulated by multiple associated proteins in vivo. Understanding how this system of proteins functions in the processes of actin network assembly and disassembly requires methods to dissect the mechanisms of activity of individual factors and of multiple factors acting in concert. The advent of single-filament and single-molecule fluorescence imaging methods has provided a powerful new approach to discovering actin-regulatory activities and obtaining direct, quantitative insights into the pathways of molecular interactions that regulate actin network architecture and dynamics. Here we describe techniques for acquisition and analysis of single-molecule data, applied to the novel challenges of studying the filament assembly and disassembly activities of actin-associated proteins in vitro. We discuss the advantages of single-molecule analysis in directly visualizing the order of molecular events, measuring the kinetic rates of filament binding and dissociation, and studying the coordination among multiple factors. The methods described here complement traditional biochemical approaches in elucidating actin-regulatory mechanisms in reconstituted filamentous networks.

  18. Improved Glass Surface Passivation for Single-Molecule Nanoarrays.

    PubMed

    Cai, Haogang; Wind, Shalom J

    2016-10-04

    Single-molecule fluorescence techniques provide a critical tool for probing biomolecular and cellular interactions with unprecedented resolution and precision. Unfortunately, many of these techniques are hindered by a common problem, namely, the nonspecific adsorption of target biomolecules. This issue is mostly addressed by passivating the glass surfaces with a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) brush. This is effective only at low concentrations of the probe molecule because there are defects inherent to polymer brushes formed on glass coverslips due to the presence of surface impurities. Tween-20, a detergent, is a promising alternative that can improve surface passivation, but it is incompatible with living cells, and it also possesses limited selectivity for glass background over metallic nanoparticles, which are frequently used as anchors for the probe molecules. To address these issues, we have developed a more versatile method to improve the PEG passivation. A thin film of hydrogen silsesquioxane (HSQ) is spin-coated and thermally cured on glass coverslips in order to cover the surface impurities. This minimizes the formation of PEG defects and reduces nonspecific adsorption, resulting in an improvement comparable to Tween-20 treatment. This approach was applied to single-molecule nanoarrays of streptavidin bound to AuPd nanodots patterned by e-beam lithography (EBL). The fluorescence signal to background ratio (SBR) on HSQ-coated glass was improved by ∼4-fold as compared to PEG directly on glass. This improvement enables direct imaging of ordered arrays of single molecules anchored to lithographically patterned arrays of metallic nanodots.

  19. Predicting single-molecule conductance through machine learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzillo, Nicholas A.; Breneman, Curt M.

    2016-10-01

    We present a robust machine learning model that is trained on the experimentally determined electrical conductance values of approximately 120 single-molecule junctions used in scanning tunnelling microscope molecular break junction (STM-MBJ) experiments. Quantum mechanical, chemical, and topological descriptors are used to correlate each molecular structure with a conductance value, and the resulting machine-learning model can predict the corresponding value of conductance with correlation coefficients of r 2 = 0.95 for the training set and r 2 = 0.78 for a blind testing set. While neglecting entirely the effects of the metal contacts, this work demonstrates that single molecule conductance can be qualitatively correlated with a number of molecular descriptors through a suitably trained machine learning model. The dominant features in the machine learning model include those based on the electronic wavefunction, the geometry/topology of the molecule as well as the surface chemistry of the molecule. This model can be used to identify promising molecular structures for use in single-molecule electronic circuits and can guide synthesis and experiments in the future.

  20. Single-Molecule Ion Channel Conformational Dynamics in Living Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, H. Peter

    2014-03-01

    Stochastic and inhomogeneous conformational changes regulate the function and dynamics of ion channels that are crucial for cell functions, neuronal signaling, and brain functions. Such complexity makes it difficult, if not impossible, to characterize ion channel dynamics using conventional electrical recording alone since that the measurement does not specifically interrogate the associated conformational changes but rather the consequences of the conformational changes. Recently, new technology developments on single-molecule spectroscopy, and especially, the combined approaches of using single ion channel patch-clamp electrical recording and single-molecule fluorescence imaging have provided us the capability of probing ion channel conformational changes simultaneously with the electrical single channel recording. By combining real-time single-molecule fluorescence imaging measurements with real-time single-channel electric current measurements in artificial lipid bilayers and in living cell membranes, we were able to probe single ion-channel-protein conformational changes simultaneously, and thus providing an understanding the dynamics and mechanism of ion-channel proteins at the molecular level. The function-regulating and site-specific conformational changes of ion channels are now measurable under physiological conditions in real-time, one molecule at a time. We will focus our discussion on the new development and results of real-time imaging of the dynamics of gramicidin, colicin, and NMDA receptor ion channels in lipid bilayers and living cells. Our results shed light on new perspectives of the intrinsic interplay of lipid membrane dynamics, solvation dynamics, and the ion channel functions.

  1. Single-Molecule Electronic Monitoring of DNA Polymerase Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marushchak, Denys O.; Pugliese, Kaitlin M.; Turvey, Mackenzie W.; Choi, Yongki; Gul, O. Tolga; Olsen, Tivoli J.; Rajapakse, Arith J.; Weiss, Gregory A.; Collins, Philip G.

    Single-molecule techniques can reveal new spatial and kinetic details of the conformational changes occurring during enzymatic catalysis. Here, we investigate the activity of DNA polymerases using an electronic single-molecule technique based on carbon nanotube transistors. Single molecules of the Klenow fragment (KF) of polymerase I were conjugated to the transistors and then monitored via fluctuations in electrical conductance. Continuous, long-term monitoring recorded single KF molecules incorporating up to 10,000 new bases into single-stranded DNA templates. The duration of individual incorporation events was invariant across all analog and native nucleotides, indicating that the precise structure of different base pairs has no impact on the timing of incorporation. Despite similar timings, however, the signal magnitudes generated by certain analogs reveal alternate conformational states that do not occur with native nucleotides. The differences induced by these analogs suggest that the electronic technique is sensing KF's O-helix as it tests the stability of nascent base pairs.

  2. Molecular electronics: the single-molecule switch and transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotthewes, Kai; Geskin, Victor; Heimbuch, Rene; Kumar, Avijit; Zandvliet, Harold

    2014-03-01

    In order to design and realize single-molecule devices it is essential to have a good understanding of the properties of an individual molecule. For electronic applications, the most important property of a molecule is its conductance. Here we show how a single octanethiol molecule can be connected to macroscopic leads and how the transport properties of the molecule can be measured. Based on this knowledge, we have realized two single-molecule devices: a molecular switch and a molecular transistor. The switch can be opened and closed at will by carefully adjusting the separation between the electrical contacts and the voltage drop across the contacts. This single-molecular switch operates in a broad temperature range from cryogenic temperatures all the way up to room temperature. Via mechanical gating, i.e. compressing or stretching of the octanethiol molecule, by varying the contact's interspace, we are able to systematically adjust the conductance of the electrode-octanethiol-electrode junction. This two-terminal single-molecule transistor is very robust, but the amplification factor is rather limited.

  3. Single molecule microscopy in 3D cell cultures and tissues.

    PubMed

    Lauer, Florian M; Kaemmerer, Elke; Meckel, Tobias

    2014-12-15

    From the onset of the first microscopic visualization of single fluorescent molecules in living cells at the beginning of this century, to the present, almost routine application of single molecule microscopy, the method has well-proven its ability to contribute unmatched detailed insight into the heterogeneous and dynamic molecular world life is composed of. Except for investigations on bacteria and yeast, almost the entire story of success is based on studies on adherent mammalian 2D cell cultures. However, despite this continuous progress, the technique was not able to keep pace with the move of the cell biology community to adapt 3D cell culture models for basic research, regenerative medicine, or drug development and screening. In this review, we will summarize the progress, which only recently allowed for the application of single molecule microscopy to 3D cell systems and give an overview of the technical advances that led to it. While initially posing a challenge, we finally conclude that relevant 3D cell models will become an integral part of the on-going success of single molecule microscopy.

  4. Improved Dye Stability in Single-Molecule Fluorescence Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    EcheverrÍa Aitken, Colin; Marshall, R. Andrew; Pugi, Joseph D.

    Complex biological systems challenge existing single-molecule methods. In particular, dye stability limits observation time in singlemolecule fluorescence applications. Current approaches to improving dye performance involve the addition of enzymatic oxygen scavenging systems and small molecule additives. We present an enzymatic oxygen scavenging system that improves dye stability in single-molecule experiments. Compared to the currently-employed glucose-oxidase/catalase system, the protocatechuate-3,4-dioxygenase system achieves lower dissolved oxygen concentration and stabilizes single Cy3, Cy5, and Alexa488 fluorophores. Moreover, this system possesses none of the limitations associated with the glucose oxidase/catalase system. We also tested the effects of small molecule additives in this system. Biological reducing agents significantly destabilize the Cy5 fluorophore as a function of reducing potential. In contrast, anti-oxidants stabilize the Cy3 and Alexa488 fluorophores. We recommend use of the protocatechuate-3,4,-dioxygenase system with antioxidant additives, and in the absence of biological reducing agents. This system should have wide application to single-molecule fluorescence experiments.

  5. Nonequilibrium single molecule protein folding in a coaxial mixer.

    PubMed

    Hamadani, Kambiz M; Weiss, Shimon

    2008-07-01

    We have developed a continuous-flow mixing device suitable for monitoring bioconformational reactions at the single-molecule level with a response time of approximately 10 ms under single-molecule flow conditions. Its coaxial geometry allows three-dimensional hydrodynamic focusing of sample fluids to diffraction-limited dimensions where diffusional mixing is rapid and efficient. The capillary-based design enables rapid in-lab construction of mixers without the need for expensive lithography-based microfabrication facilities. In-line filtering of sample fluids using granulated silica particles virtually eliminates clogging and extends the lifetime of each device to many months. In this article, to determine both the distance-to-time transfer function and the instrument response function of the device we characterize its fluid flow and mixing properties using both fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy velocimetry and finite element fluid dynamics simulations. We then apply the mixer to single molecule FRET protein folding studies of Chymotrypsin Inhibitor protein 2. By transiently populating the unfolded state of Chymotrypsin Inhibitor Protein 2 (CI2) under nonequilibrium in vitro refolding conditions, we spatially and temporally resolve the denaturant-dependent nonspecific collapse of the unfolded state from the barrier-limited folding transition of CI2. Our results are consistent with previous CI2 mixing results that found evidence for a heterogeneous unfolded state consisting of cis- and trans-proline conformers.

  6. Gold-nanopatterned single interleukin-6 sandwich immunoassay chips with zeptomolar detection capability based on evanescent field-enhanced fluorescence imaging.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seungah; Kang, Seong Ho

    2013-06-21

    We developed a gold-nanopatterned immunoassay chip for single-molecule detection of interleukin-6 based on evanescent field-enhanced fluorescence imaging. The detection limit (496 zM) means that only four molecules need to be present per spot for detection. The sensitivity of this chip is ~5.4 × 10(4)-fold greater than that of a commercial ELISA for IL-6.

  7. Contact and Length Dependent Effects in Single-Molecule Electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hines, Thomas

    Understanding charge transport in single molecules covalently bonded to electrodes is a fundamental goal in the field of molecular electronics. In the past decade, it has become possible to measure charge transport on the single-molecule level using the STM break junction method. Measurements on the single-molecule level shed light on charge transport phenomena which would otherwise be obfuscated by ensemble measurements of groups of molecules. This thesis will discuss three projects carried out using STM break junction. In the first project, the transition between two different charge transport mechanisms is reported in a set of molecular wires. The shortest wires show highly length dependent and temperature invariant conductance behavior, whereas the longer wires show weakly length dependent and temperature dependent behavior. This trend is consistent with a model whereby conduction occurs by coherent tunneling in the shortest wires and by incoherent hopping in the longer wires. Measurements are supported with calculations and the evolution of the molecular junction during the pulling process is investigated. The second project reports controlling the formation of single-molecule junctions by means of electrochemically reducing two axial-diazonium terminal groups on a molecule, thereby producing direct Au-C covalent bonds in-situ between the molecule and gold electrodes. Step length analysis shows that the molecular junction is significantly more stable, and can be pulled over a longer distance than a comparable junction created with amine anchoring bonds. The stability of the junction is explained by the calculated lower binding energy associated with the direct Au-C bond compared with the Au-N bond. Finally, the third project investigates the role that molecular conformation plays in the conductance of oligothiophene single-molecule junctions. Ethyl substituted oligothiophenes were measured and found to exhibit temperature dependent conductance and transition

  8. Single-molecule strong coupling at room temperature in plasmonic nanocavities

    PubMed Central

    Chikkaraddy, Rohit; de Nijs, Bart; Benz, Felix; Barrow, Steven J.; Scherman, Oren A.; Rosta, Edina; Demetriadou, Angela; Fox, Peter; Hess, Ortwin; Baumberg, Jeremy J.

    2016-01-01

    Emitters placed in an optical cavity experience an environment that changes their coupling to light. In the weak-coupling regime light extraction is enhanced, but more profound effects emerge in the single-molecule strong-coupling regime where mixed light-matter states form1,2. Individual two-level emitters in such cavities become non-linear for single photons, forming key building blocks for quantum information systems as well as ultra-low power switches and lasers3–6. Such cavity quantum electrodynamics has until now been the preserve of low temperatures and complex fabrication, severely compromising their use5,7,8. Here, by scaling the cavity volume below 40 nm3 and using host-guest chemistry to align 1-10 protectively-isolated methylene-blue molecules, we reach the strong-coupling regime at room temperature and in ambient conditions. Dispersion curves from >50 plasmonic nanocavities display characteristic anticrossings, with Rabi frequencies of 300 meV for 10 molecules decreasing to 90 meV for single molecules, matching quantitative models. Statistical analysis of vibrational spectroscopy time-series and dark-field scattering spectra provide evidence of single-molecule strong coupling. This dressing of molecules with light can modify photochemistry, opening up the exploration of complex natural processes such as photosynthesis9 and pathways towards manipulation of chemical bonds10. PMID:27296227

  9. Origin of simultaneous donor-acceptor emission in single molecules of peryleneimide-terrylenediimide labeled polyphenylene dendrimers.

    PubMed

    Melnikov, Sergey M; Yeow, Edwin K L; Uji-i, Hiroshi; Cotlet, Mircea; Müllen, Klaus; De Schryver, Frans C; Enderlein, Jörg; Hofkens, Johan

    2007-02-01

    Förster type resonance energy transfer (FRET) in donor-acceptor peryleneimide-terrylenediimide dendrimers has been examined at the single molecule level. Very efficient energy transfer between the donor and the acceptor prevent the detection of donor emission before photobleaching of the acceptor. Indeed, in solution, on exciting the donor, only acceptor emission is detected. However, at the single molecule level, an important fraction of the investigated individual molecules (about 10-15%) show simultaneous emission from both donor and acceptor chromophores. The effect becomes apparent mostly after photobleaching of the majority of donors. Single molecule photon flux correlation measurements in combination with computer simulations and a variety of excitation conditions were used to determine the contribution of an exciton blockade to this two-color emission. Two-color defocused wide-field imaging showed that the two-color emission goes hand in hand with an unfavorable orientation between one of the donors and the acceptor chromophore.

  10. Single-Molecule Fluorescence Imaging for Studying Organic, Organometallic, and Inorganic Reaction Mechanisms

    SciTech Connect

    Blum, Suzanne A.

    2016-05-24

    The reactive behavior of individual molecules is seldom observed, because we usually measure the average properties of billions of molecules. What we miss is important: the catalytic activity of less than 1% of the molecules under observation can dominate the outcome of a chemical reaction seen at a macroscopic level. Currently available techniques to examine reaction mechanisms (such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry) study molecules as an averaged ensemble. These ensemble techniques are unable to detect minor components (under ~1%) in mixtures or determine which components in the mixture are responsible for reactivity and catalysis. In the field of mechanistic chemistry, there is a resulting heuristic device that if an intermediate is very reactive in catalysis, it often cannot be observed (termed “Halpern’s Rule” ). Ultimately, the development of single-molecule imaging technology could be a powerful tool to observe these “unobservable” intermediates and active catalysts. Single-molecule techniques have already transformed biology and the understanding of biochemical processes. The potential of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to address diverse chemical questions, such as the chemical reactivity of organometallic or inorganic systems with discrete metal complexes, however, has not yet been realized. In this respect, its application to chemical systems lags significantly behind its application to biophysical systems. This transformative imaging technique has broad, multidisciplinary impact with the potential to change the way the chemistry community studies reaction mechanisms and reactivity distributions, especially in the core area of catalysis.

  11. Fisher information theory for parameter estimation in single molecule microscopy: tutorial.

    PubMed

    Chao, Jerry; Sally Ward, E; Ober, Raimund J

    2016-07-01

    Estimation of a parameter of interest from image data represents a task that is commonly carried out in single molecule microscopy data analysis. The determination of the positional coordinates of a molecule from its image, for example, forms the basis of standard applications such as single molecule tracking and localization-based super-resolution image reconstruction. Assuming that the estimator used recovers, on average, the true value of the parameter, its accuracy, or standard deviation, is then at best equal to the square root of the Cramér-Rao lower bound. The Cramér-Rao lower bound can therefore be used as a benchmark in the evaluation of the accuracy of an estimator. Additionally, as its value can be computed and assessed for different experimental settings, it is useful as an experimental design tool. This tutorial demonstrates a mathematical framework that has been specifically developed to calculate the Cramér-Rao lower bound for estimation problems in single molecule microscopy and, more broadly, fluorescence microscopy. The material includes a presentation of the photon detection process that underlies all image data, various image data models that describe images acquired with different detector types, and Fisher information expressions that are necessary for the calculation of the lower bound. Throughout the tutorial, examples involving concrete estimation problems are used to illustrate the effects of various factors on the accuracy of parameter estimation and, more generally, to demonstrate the flexibility of the mathematical framework.

  12. Fabrication of Low Noise Borosilicate Glass Nanopores for Single Molecule Sensing

    PubMed Central

    Bafna, Jayesh A.; Soni, Gautam V.

    2016-01-01

    We show low-cost fabrication and characterization of borosilicate glass nanopores for single molecule sensing. Nanopores with diameters of ~100 nm were fabricated in borosilicate glass capillaries using laser assisted glass puller. We further achieve controlled reduction and nanometer-size control in pore diameter by sculpting them under constant electron beam exposure. We successfully fabricate pore diameters down to 6 nm. We next show electrical characterization and low-noise behavior of these borosilicate nanopores and compare their taper geometries. We show, for the first time, a comprehensive characterization of glass nanopore conductance across six-orders of magnitude (1M-1μM) of salt conditions, highlighting the role of buffer conditions. Finally, we demonstrate single molecule sensing capabilities of these devices with real-time translocation experiments of individual λ-DNA molecules. We observe distinct current blockage signatures of linear as well as folded DNA molecules as they undergo voltage-driven translocation through the glass nanopores. We find increased signal to noise for single molecule detection for higher trans-nanopore driving voltages. We propose these nanopores will expand the realm of applications for nanopore platform. PMID:27285088

  13. Comparison between single-molecule and X-ray crystallography data on yeast F1-ATPase.

    PubMed

    Steel, Bradley C; Nord, Ashley L; Wang, Yamin; Pagadala, Vijayakanth; Mueller, David M; Berry, Richard M

    2015-03-10

    Single molecule studies in recent decades have elucidated the full chemo-mechanical cycle of F1-ATPase, mostly based on F1 from thermophilic bacteria. In contrast, high-resolution crystal structures are only available for mitochondrial F1. Here we present high resolution single molecule rotational data on F1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, obtained using new high throughput detection and analysis tools. Rotational data are presented for the wild type mitochondrial enzyme, a "liver" isoform, and six mutant forms of yeast F1 that have previously been demonstrated to be less efficient or partially uncoupled. The wild-type and "liver" isoforms show the same qualitative features as F1 from Escherichia coli and thermophilic bacteria. The analysis of the mutant forms revealed a delay at the catalytic dwell and associated decrease in Vmax, with magnitudes consistent with the level of disruption seen in the crystal structures. At least one of the mutant forms shows a previously un-observed dwell at the ATP binding angle, potentially attributable to slowed release of ADP. We discuss the correlation between crystal structures and single molecule results.

  14. Interferometric three-dimensional single molecule localization microscopy using a single high-numerical-aperture objective.

    PubMed

    Zhang, P; Goodwin, P M; Werner, J H

    2014-11-01

    Interferometric detection of the fluorescence emission from a single molecule [interferometric photoactivated localization microscopy (iPALM)] enables a localization accuracy of nanometers in axial localization for 3D superresolution imaging. However, iPALM uses two high-numerical-aperture (NA) objectives in juxtaposition for fluorescence collection (a 4Pi microscope geometry), increasing expense and limiting samples that can be studied. Here, we propose an interferometric single molecule localization microscopy method using a single high-NA objective. The axial position of single molecules can be unambiguously determined from the phase-shifted interference signals with nanometer precision and over a range of 2λ. The use of only one objective simplifies the system configuration and sample mounting. In addition, due to the use of wavefront-splitting interference in our approach, the two parts of the wavefront that eventually merge and interfere with each other travel along nearly equivalent optical paths, which should minimize the effect of drift for long-term 3D superresolution imaging.

  15. Combining single-molecule manipulation and imaging for the study of protein-DNA interactions.

    PubMed

    Monico, Carina; Belcastro, Gionata; Vanzi, Francesco; Pavone, Francesco S; Capitanio, Marco

    2014-08-27

    The paper describes the combination of optical tweezers and single molecule fluorescence detection for the study of protein-DNA interaction. The method offers the opportunity of investigating interactions occurring in solution (thus avoiding problems due to closeby surfaces as in other single molecule methods), controlling the DNA extension and tracking interaction dynamics as a function of both mechanical parameters and DNA sequence. The methods for establishing successful optical trapping and nanometer localization of single molecules are illustrated. We illustrate the experimental conditions allowing the study of interaction of lactose repressor (lacI), labeled with Atto532, with a DNA molecule containing specific target sequences (operators) for LacI binding. The method allows the observation of specific interactions at the operators, as well as one-dimensional diffusion of the protein during the process of target search. The method is broadly applicable to the study of protein-DNA interactions but also to molecular motors, where control of the tension applied to the partner track polymer (for example actin or microtubules) is desirable.

  16. Combining Single-molecule Manipulation and Imaging for the Study of Protein-DNA Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Monico, Carina; Belcastro, Gionata; Vanzi, Francesco; Pavone, Francesco S.; Capitanio, Marco

    2014-01-01

    The paper describes the combination of optical tweezers and single molecule fluorescence detection for the study of protein-DNA interaction. The method offers the opportunity of investigating interactions occurring in solution (thus avoiding problems due to closeby surfaces as in other single molecule methods), controlling the DNA extension and tracking interaction dynamics as a function of both mechanical parameters and DNA sequence. The methods for establishing successful optical trapping and nanometer localization of single molecules are illustrated. We illustrate the experimental conditions allowing the study of interaction of lactose repressor (lacI), labeled with Atto532, with a DNA molecule containing specific target sequences (operators) for LacI binding. The method allows the observation of specific interactions at the operators, as well as one-dimensional diffusion of the protein during the process of target search. The method is broadly applicable to the study of protein-DNA interactions but also to molecular motors, where control of the tension applied to the partner track polymer (for example actin or microtubules) is desirable. PMID:25226304

  17. Systems nanobiology: from quantitative single molecule biophysics to microfluidic-based single cell analysis.

    PubMed

    Martini, Joerg; Hellmich, Wibke; Greif, Dominik; Becker, Anke; Merkle, Thomas; Ros, Robert; Ros, Alexandra; Toensing, Katja; Anselmetti, Dario

    2007-01-01

    Detailed and quantitative information about structure-function relation, concentrations and interaction kinetics of biological molecules and subcellular components is a key prerequisite to understand and model cellular organisation and temporal dynamics. In systems nanobi-ology, cellular processes are quantitatively investigated at the sensitivity level of single molecules and cells. This approach provides direct access to biomolecular information without being statistically ensemble-averaged, their associated distribution functions, and possible subpopulations. Moreover at the single cell level, the interplay of regulated genomic information and proteomic variabilities can be investigated and attributed to functional peculiarities. These requirements necessitate the development of novel and ultrasensitive methods and instruments for single molecule detection, microscopy and spectroscopy for analysis without the need of amplification and preconcentration. In this chapter, we present three methodological applications that demonstrate how quantitative informations can be accessed that are representative for cellular processes or single cell analysis like gene expression regulation, intracellular protein translocation dynamics, and single cell protein fingerprinting. First, the interaction kinetics of transcriptionally regulated DNA-protein interaction can be quantitatively investigated with single molecule force spectroscopy allowing a molecular affinity ranking. Second, intracellular protein dynamics for a transcription regulator migrating form the nucleus to the cytoplasm can be quantitatively monitored by photoactivable GFP and two-photon laser scanning microscopy. And third, a microfluidic-based method for label-free single cell proteomics and fingerprinting and first label-free single cell electropherograms are presented which include the manipulation and steering of single cells in a microfluidic device.

  18. Multiplex single-molecule interaction profiling of DNA-barcoded proteins.

    PubMed

    Gu, Liangcai; Li, Chao; Aach, John; Hill, David E; Vidal, Marc; Church, George M

    2014-11-27

    In contrast with advances in massively parallel DNA sequencing, high-throughput protein analyses are often limited by ensemble measurements, individual analyte purification and hence compromised quality and cost-effectiveness. Single-molecule protein detection using optical methods is limited by the number of spectrally non-overlapping chromophores. Here we introduce a single-molecular-interaction sequencing (SMI-seq) technology for parallel protein interaction profiling leveraging single-molecule advantages. DNA barcodes are attached to proteins collectively via ribosome display or individually via enzymatic conjugation. Barcoded proteins are assayed en masse in aqueous solution and subsequently immobilized in a polyacrylamide thin film to construct a random single-molecule array, where barcoding DNAs are amplified into in situ polymerase colonies (polonies) and analysed by DNA sequencing. This method allows precise quantification of various proteins with a theoretical maximum array density of over one million polonies per square millimetre. Furthermore, protein interactions can be measured on the basis of the statistics of colocalized polonies arising from barcoding DNAs of interacting proteins. Two demanding applications, G-protein coupled receptor and antibody-binding profiling, are demonstrated. SMI-seq enables 'library versus library' screening in a one-pot assay, simultaneously interrogating molecular binding affinity and specificity.

  19. Beyond experimental noise: Analyzing single-molecule data of heterogeneous systems. Comment on "Extracting physics of life at the molecular level: A review of single-molecule data analyses" by W. Colomb and S.K. Sarkar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meroz, Yasmine

    2015-06-01

    In the 1980s the world witnessed the advent of single-molecule experiments. The first atomic resolution characterization of a surface was reported by scanning tunneling microscope (STM) in 1982 [1], followed by atomic force microscope (AFM) in 1986 [2]. The first optical detection and spectroscopy of a single molecule in a solid took place in 1989 [3,4], in a time where essentially all chemical experiments were made on bulk, i.e. averaging over millions of copies of the same molecule.

  20. Quantitative Analysis of Single-Molecule RNA-Protein Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Fuhrmann, Alexander; Schoening, Jan C.; Anselmetti, Dario; Staiger, Dorothee; Ros, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Abstract RNA-binding proteins impact gene expression at the posttranscriptional level by interacting with cognate cis elements within the transcripts. Here, we apply dynamic single-molecule force spectroscopy to study the interaction of the Arabidopsis glycine-rich RNA-binding protein AtGRP8 with its RNA target. A dwell-time-dependent analysis of the single-molecule data in combination with competition assays and site-directed mutagenesis of both the RNA target and the RNA-binding domain of the protein allowed us to distinguish and quantify two different binding modes. For dwell times <0.21 s an unspecific complex with a lifetime of 0.56 s is observed, whereas dwell times >0.33 s result in a specific interaction with a lifetime of 208 s. The corresponding reaction lengths are 0.28 nm for the unspecific and 0.55 nm for the specific AtGRP8-RNA interactions, indicating formation of a tighter complex with increasing dwell time. These two binding modes cannot be dissected in ensemble experiments. Quantitative titration in RNA bandshift experiments yields an ensemble-averaged equilibrium constant of dissociation of KD = 2 × 10−7 M. Assuming comparable on-rates for the specific and nonspecific binding modes allows us to estimate their free energies as ΔG0 = −42 kJ/mol and ΔG0 = −28 kJ/mol for the specific and nonspecific binding modes, respectively. Thus, we show that single-molecule force spectroscopy with a refined statistical analysis is a potent tool for the analysis of protein-RNA interactions without the drawback of ensemble averaging. This makes it possible to discriminate between different binding modes or sites and to analyze them quantitatively. We propose that this method could be applied to complex interactions of biomolecules in general, and be of particular interest for the investigation of multivalent binding reactions. PMID:19527663

  1. Temporal predictability enhances auditory detection

    PubMed Central

    Lawrance, Emma L. A.; Harper, Nicol S.; Cooke, James E.; Schnupp, Jan W. H.

    2015-01-01

    Periodic stimuli are common in natural environments and are ecologically relevant, for example, footsteps and vocalizations. This study reports a detectability enhancement for temporally cued, periodic sequences. Target noise bursts (embedded in background noise) arriving at the time points which followed on from an introductory, periodic “cue” sequence were more easily detected (by ~1.5 dB SNR) than identical noise bursts which randomly deviated from the cued temporal pattern. Temporal predictability and corresponding neuronal “entrainment” have been widely theorized to underlie important processes in auditory scene analysis and to confer perceptual advantage. This is the first study in the auditory domain to clearly demonstrate a perceptual enhancement of temporally predictable, near-threshold stimuli. PMID:24907846

  2. Temporal predictability enhances auditory detection.

    PubMed

    Lawrance, Emma L A; Harper, Nicol S; Cooke, James E; Schnupp, Jan W H

    2014-06-01

    Periodic stimuli are common in natural environments and are ecologically relevant, for example, footsteps and vocalizations. This study reports a detectability enhancement for temporally cued, periodic sequences. Target noise bursts (embedded in background noise) arriving at the time points which followed on from an introductory, periodic "cue" sequence were more easily detected (by ∼1.5 dB SNR) than identical noise bursts which randomly deviated from the cued temporal pattern. Temporal predictability and corresponding neuronal "entrainment" have been widely theorized to underlie important processes in auditory scene analysis and to confer perceptual advantage. This is the first study in the auditory domain to clearly demonstrate a perceptual enhancement of temporally predictable, near-threshold stimuli.

  3. An Organolanthanide Building Block Approach to Single-Molecule Magnets.

    PubMed

    Harriman, Katie L M; Murugesu, Muralee

    2016-06-21

    Single-molecule magnets (SMMs) are highly sought after for their potential application in high-density information storage, spintronics, and quantum computing. SMMs exhibit slow relaxation of the magnetization of purely molecular origin, thus making them excellent candidates towards the aforementioned applications. In recent years, significant focus has been placed on the rare earth elements due to their large intrinsic magnetic anisotropy arising from the near degeneracy of the 4f orbitals. Traditionally, coordination chemistry has been utilized to fabricate lanthanide-based SMMs; however, heteroatomic donor atoms such as oxygen and nitrogen have limited orbital overlap with the shielded 4f orbitals. Thus, control over the anisotropic axis and induction of f-f interactions are limited, meaning that the performance of these systems can only extend so far. To this end, we have placed considerable attention on the development of novel SMMs whose donor atoms are conjugated hydrocarbons, thereby allowing us to perturb the crystal field of lanthanide ions through the use of an electronic π-cloud. This approach allows for fine tuning of the anisotropic axis of the molecule, allowing this method the potential to elicit SMMs capable of reaching much larger values for the two vital performance measurements of an SMM, the energy barrier to spin reversal (Ueff), and the blocking temperature of the magnetization (TB). In this Account, we describe our efforts to exploit the inherent anisotropy of the late 4f elements; namely, Dy(III) and Er(III), through the use of cyclooctatetraenyl (COT) metallocenes. With respect to the Er(III) derivatives, we have seen record breaking success, reaching blocking temperatures as high as 14 K with frozen solution magnetometry. These results represent the first example of such a high TB being observed for a system with only a single spin center, formally known as a single-ion magnet (SIM). Our continued interrelationship between theoretical

  4. Single molecule studies of RNA polymerase II transcription in vitro.

    PubMed

    Horn, Abigail E; Goodrich, James A; Kugel, Jennifer F

    2014-01-01

    Eukaryotic mRNA transcription by RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) is the first step in gene expression and a key determinant of cellular regulation. Elucidating the mechanism by which RNAP II synthesizes RNA is therefore vital to determining how genes are controlled under diverse biological conditions. Significant advances in understanding RNAP II transcription have been achieved using classical biochemical and structural techniques; however, aspects of the transcription mechanism cannot be assessed using these approaches. The application of single-molecule techniques to study RNAP II transcription has provided new insight only obtainable by studying molecules in this complex system one at a time.

  5. DNA-psoralen interaction: A single molecule experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rocha, M. S.; Viana, N. B.; Mesquita, O. N.

    2004-11-01

    By attaching one end of a single λ-DNA molecule to a microscope coverslip and the other end to a polystyrene microsphere trapped by an optical tweezers, we can study the entropic elasticity of the λ-DNA by measuring force versus extension as we stretch the molecule. This powerful method permits single molecule studies. We are particulary interested in the effects of the photosensitive drug psoralen on the elasticity of the DNA molecule. We have illuminated the sample with different light sources, studying how the different wavelengths affect the psoralen-DNA linkage. To do this, we measure the persistence length of individual DNA-psoralen complexes.

  6. Characterizing 3D RNA structure by single molecule FRET.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, James D; Kenyon, Julia C; Symmons, Martyn F; Lever, Andrew M L

    2016-07-01

    The importance of elucidating the three dimensional structures of RNA molecules is becoming increasingly clear. However, traditional protein structural techniques such as NMR and X-ray crystallography have several important drawbacks when probing long RNA molecules. Single molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) has emerged as a useful alternative as it allows native sequences to be probed in physiological conditions and allows multiple conformations to be probed simultaneously. This review serves to describe the method of generating a three dimensional RNA structure from smFRET data from the biochemical probing of the secondary structure to the computational refinement of the final model.

  7. Hybrid photodetector for single-molecule spectroscopy and microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Michalet, X.; Cheng, Adrian; Antelman, Joshua; Suyama, Motohiro; Arisaka, Katsushi; Weiss, Shimon

    2011-01-01

    We report benchmark tests of a new single-photon counting detector based on a GaAsP photocathode and an electron-bombarded avalanche photodiode developed by Hamamatsu Photonics. We compare its performance with those of standard Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes. We show its advantages for FCS due to the absence of after-pulsing and for fluorescence lifetime measurements due to its excellent time resolution. Its large sensitive area also greatly simplifies setup alignment. Its spectral sensitivity being similar to that of recently introduced CMOS SPADs, this new detector could become a valuable tool for single-molecule fluorescence measurements, as well as for many other applications. PMID:21822361

  8. Supramolecular 3d-4f single-molecule magnet architectures.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Sebastian; van Leusen, Jan; Izarova, Natalya V; Lan, Yanhua; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang; Kögerler, Paul; Monakhov, Kirill Yu

    2016-10-18

    The nanosized self-assemblies {[{Ln(III)}{H2O⊂CrLn}]2(H2O)} (Ln = Dy, 1 and Tb, 2) based on new 3d-4f mixed-metal coordination topologies are formed via extensive intramolecular hydrogen bonding that is directed by enclosed water molecules. Compounds 1 and 2 show single-molecule magnet characteristics manifested by hysteresis loops up to 1.6 K (Ueff = 8.3 cm(-1)) and 1 K (Ueff = 3.4 cm(-1)), respectively.

  9. Single molecule studies of helicases with magnetic tweezers.

    PubMed

    Hodeib, Samar; Raj, Saurabh; Manosas, M; Zhang, Weiting; Bagchi, Debjani; Ducos, Bertrand; Allemand, Jean-François; Bensimon, David; Croquette, Vincent

    2016-08-01

    Helicases are a broad family of enzymes that perform crucial functions in DNA replication and in the maintenance of DNA and RNA integrity. A detailed mechanical study of helicases on DNA and RNA is possible using single molecule manipulation methods. Among those, magnetic tweezers (or traps) present a convenient, moderate throughput assay (tens of enzymes can be monitored simultaneously) that allow for high resolution (single base-pair) studies of these enzymes in various conditions and on various substrates (double and single stranded DNA and RNA). Here we discuss various implementation of the basic assay relevant for these studies.

  10. Electronic Single Molecule Measurements with the Scanning Tunneling Microscope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Im, Jong One

    Richard Feynman said "There's plenty of room at the bottom". This inspired the techniques to improve the single molecule measurements. Since the first single molecule study was in 1961, it has been developed in various field and evolved into powerful tools to understand chemical and biological property of molecules. This thesis demonstrates electronic single molecule measurement with Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) and two of applications of STM; Break Junction (BJ) and Recognition Tunneling (RT). First, the two series of carotenoid molecules with four different substituents were investigated to show how substituents relate to the conductance and molecular structure. The measured conductance by STM-BJ shows that Nitrogen induces molecular twist of phenyl distal substituents and conductivity increasing rather than Carbon. Also, the conductivity is adjustable by replacing the sort of residues at phenyl substituents. Next, amino acids and peptides were identified through STM-RT. The distribution of the intuitive features (such as amplitude or width) are mostly overlapped and gives only a little bit higher separation probability than random separation. By generating some features in frequency and cepstrum domain, the classification accuracy was dramatically increased. Because of large data size and many features, supporting vector machine (machine learning algorithm for big data) was used to identify the analyte from a data pool of all analytes RT data. The STM-RT opens a possibility of molecular sequencing in single molecule level. Similarly, carbohydrates were studied by STM-RT. Carbohydrates are difficult to read the sequence, due to their huge number of possible isomeric configurations. This study shows that STM-RT can identify not only isomers of mono-saccharides and disaccharides, but also various mono-saccharides from a data pool of eleven analytes. In addition, the binding affinity between recognition molecule and analyte was investigated by comparing with

  11. Multiplexed single-molecule force spectroscopy using a centrifuge

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Darren; Ward, Andrew; Halvorsen, Ken; Wong, Wesley P.

    2016-01-01

    We present a miniature centrifuge force microscope (CFM) that repurposes a benchtop centrifuge for high-throughput single-molecule experiments with high-resolution particle tracking, a large force range, temperature control and simple push-button operation. Incorporating DNA nanoswitches to enable repeated interrogation by force of single molecular pairs, we demonstrate increased throughput, reliability and the ability to characterize population heterogeneity. We perform spatiotemporally multiplexed experiments to collect 1,863 bond rupture statistics from 538 traceable molecular pairs in a single experiment, and show that 2 populations of DNA zippers can be distinguished using per-molecule statistics to reduce noise. PMID:26984516

  12. Spin coherence in a Mn3 single-molecule magnet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abeywardana, Chathuranga; Mowson, Andrew M.; Christou, George; Takahashi, Susumu

    2016-01-01

    Spin coherence in single crystals of the spin S = 6 single-molecule magnet (SMM) [Mn3O(O2CEt)3(mpko)3]+ (abbreviated Mn3) has been investigated using 230 GHz electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. Coherence in Mn3 was uncovered by significantly suppressing dipolar contribution to the decoherence with complete spin polarization of Mn3 SMMs. The temperature dependence of spin decoherence time (T2) revealed that the dipolar decoherence is the dominant source of decoherence in Mn3 and T2 can be extended up to 267 ns by quenching the dipolar decoherence.

  13. Theoretical investigation on single-molecule chiroptical spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Wakabayashi, M.; Yokojima, S.; Fukaminato, T.; Ogata, K.; Nakamura, S.

    2013-12-10

    Some experimental results of chiroptical response of single molecule have already reported. In those experiments, dissymmetry parameter, g was used as an indicator of the relative circular dichroism intensity. The parameter for individual molecules was measured. For the purpose of giving an interpretation or explanation to the experimental result, the dissymmetry parameter is formulated on the basis of Fermi’s golden rule. Subsequently, the value of individual molecules is evaluated as a function of the direction of light propagation to the orientationary fixed molecules. The ground and excited wavefunction of electrons in the molecule and transition moments needed are culculated using the density functional theory.

  14. Irving Langmuir Prize Talk: Single-Molecule Fluorescence Imaging: Nanoscale Emitters with Photoinduced Switching Enable Superresolution.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moerner, W. E.

    2009-03-01

    In the two decades since the first optical detection and spectroscopy of a single molecule in a solid (Phys. Rev. Lett. 62, 2535 (1989)), much has been learned about the ability of single molecules to probe local nanoenvironments and individual behavior in biological and nonbiological materials in the absence of ensemble averaging that can obscure heterogeneity. The early years concentrated on high-resolution spectroscopy in solids, which provided observations of lifetime-limited spectra, optical saturation, spectral diffusion, optical switching, vibrational spectra, and magnetic resonance of a single molecular spin. In the mid-1990's, much of the field moved to room temperature, where a wide variety of biophysical effects were subsequently explored, but it is worth noting that several features from the low-temperature studies have analogs at high temperature. For example, in our first studies of yellow-emitting variants of green fluorescent protein (EYFP) in the water-filled pores of a gel (Nature 388, 355 (1997)), optically induced switching of the emission was observed, a room-temperature analog of the earlier low-temperature behavior. Because each single fluorophore acts a light source roughly 1 nm in size, microscopic imaging of individual fluorophores leads naturally to superlocalization, or determination of the position of the molecule with precision beyond the optical diffraction limit, simply by digitization of the point-spread function from the single emitter. Recent work has allowed measurement of the shape of single filaments in a living cell simply by allowing a single molecule to move through the filament (PNAS 103, 10929 (2006)). The additional use of photoinduced control of single-molecule emission allows imaging beyond the diffraction limit (superresolution) by several novel approaches proposed by different researchers. For example, using photoswitchable EYFP, a novel protein superstructure can now be directly imaged in a living bacterial cell at

  15. DCDHF Fluorophores for Single-Molecule Imaging in Cells**

    PubMed Central

    Lord, Samuel J.; Conley, Nicholas R.; Lee, Hsiao-lu D.; Nishimura, Stefanie Y.; Pomerantz, Andrea K.; Willets, Katherine A.; Lu, Zhikuan; Wang, Hui; Liu, Na; Samuel, Reichel; Weber, Ryan; Semyonov, Alexander; He, Meng; Twieg, Robert J.; Moerner, W. E.

    2009-01-01

    There is a persistent need for small-molecule fluorescent labels optimized for single-molecule imaging in the cellular environment. Application of these labels comes with a set of strict requirements: strong absorption, efficient and stable emission, water solubility and membrane permeability, low background emission, and red-shifted absorption to avoid cell autofluorescence. We have designed and characterized several fluorophores, termed “DCDHF” fluorophores, for use in live-cell imaging based on the push–pull design: an amine donor group and a 2-dicyanomethylene-3-cyano-2,5-dihydrofuran (DCDHF) acceptor group, separated by a π-rich conjugated network. In general, the DCDHF fluorophores are comparatively photostable, sensitive to local environment, and their chemistries and photophysics are tunable to optimize absorption wavelength, membrane affinity, and solubility. Especially valuable are fluorophores with sophisticated photophysics for applications requiring additional facets of control, such as photoactivation. For example, we have reengineered a red-emitting DCDHF fluorophore so that it is dark until photoactivated with a short burst of low-intensity violet light. This molecule and its relatives provide a new class of bright photoactivatable small-molecule fluorophores, which are needed for super-resolution imaging schemes that require active control (here turning-on) of single-molecule emission. PMID:19025732

  16. Studying the Nucleated Mammalian Cell Membrane by Single Molecule Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Feng; Wu, Jiazhen; Gao, Jing; Liu, Shuheng; Jiang, Junguang; Jiang, Shibo; Wang, Hongda

    2014-01-01

    The cell membrane plays a key role in compartmentalization, nutrient transportation and signal transduction, while the pattern of protein distribution at both cytoplasmic and ectoplasmic sides of the cell membrane remains elusive. Using a combination of single-molecule techniques, including atomic force microscopy (AFM), single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) and stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), to study the structure of nucleated cell membranes, we found that (1) proteins at the ectoplasmic side of the cell membrane form a dense protein layer (4 nm) on top of a lipid bilayer; (2) proteins aggregate to form islands evenly dispersed at the cytoplasmic side of the cell membrane with a height of about 10–12 nm; (3) cholesterol-enriched domains exist within the cell membrane; (4) carbohydrates stay in microdomains at the ectoplasmic side; and (5) exposed amino groups are asymmetrically distributed on both sides. Based on these observations, we proposed a Protein Layer-Lipid-Protein Island (PLLPI) model, to provide a better understanding of cell membrane structure, membrane trafficking and viral fusion mechanisms. PMID:24806512

  17. Visualizing helicases unwinding DNA at the single molecule level.

    PubMed

    Fili, Natali; Mashanov, Gregory I; Toseland, Christopher P; Batters, Christopher; Wallace, Mark I; Yeeles, Joseph T P; Dillingham, Mark S; Webb, Martin R; Molloy, Justin E

    2010-07-01

    DNA helicases are motor proteins that catalyze the unwinding of double-stranded DNA into single-stranded DNA using the free energy from ATP hydrolysis. Single molecule approaches enable us to address detailed mechanistic questions about how such enzymes move processively along DNA. Here, an optical method has been developed to follow the unwinding of multiple DNA molecules simultaneously in real time. This was achieved by measuring the accumulation of fluorescent single-stranded DNA-binding protein on the single-stranded DNA product of the helicase, using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. By immobilizing either the DNA or helicase, localized increase in fluorescence provides information about the rate of unwinding and the processivity of individual enzymes. In addition, it reveals details of the unwinding process, such as pauses and bursts of activity. The generic and versatile nature of the assay makes it applicable to a variety of DNA helicases and DNA templates. The method is an important addition to the single-molecule toolbox available for studying DNA processing enzymes.

  18. Biophysical characterization of DNA binding from single molecule force measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaurasiya, Kathy R.; Paramanathan, Thayaparan; McCauley, Micah J.; Williams, Mark C.

    2010-09-01

    Single molecule force spectroscopy is a powerful method that uses the mechanical properties of DNA to explore DNA interactions. Here we describe how DNA stretching experiments quantitatively characterize the DNA binding of small molecules and proteins. Small molecules exhibit diverse DNA binding modes, including binding into the major and minor grooves and intercalation between base pairs of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). Histones bind and package dsDNA, while other nuclear proteins such as high mobility group proteins bind to the backbone and bend dsDNA. Single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding proteins slide along dsDNA to locate and stabilize ssDNA during replication. Other proteins exhibit binding to both dsDNA and ssDNA. Nucleic acid chaperone proteins can switch rapidly between dsDNA and ssDNA binding modes, while DNA polymerases bind both forms of DNA with high affinity at distinct binding sites at the replication fork. Single molecule force measurements quantitatively characterize these DNA binding mechanisms, elucidating small molecule interactions and protein function.

  19. Biophysical characterization of DNA binding from single molecule force measurements

    PubMed Central

    Chaurasiya, Kathy R.; Paramanathan, Thayaparan; McCauley, Micah J.; Williams, Mark C.

    2010-01-01

    Single molecule force spectroscopy is a powerful method that uses the mechanical properties of DNA to explore DNA interactions. Here we describe how DNA stretching experiments quantitatively characterize the DNA binding of small molecules and proteins. Small molecules exhibit diverse DNA binding modes, including binding into the major and minor grooves and intercalation between base pairs of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). Histones bind and package dsDNA, while other nuclear proteins such as high mobility group proteins bind to the backbone and bend dsDNA. Single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding proteins slide along dsDNA to locate and stabilize ssDNA during replication. Other proteins exhibit binding to both dsDNA and ssDNA. Nucleic acid chaperone proteins can switch rapidly between dsDNA and ssDNA binding modes, while DNA polymerases bind both forms of DNA with high affinity at distinct binding sites at the replication fork. Single molecule force measurements quantitatively characterize these DNA binding mechanisms, elucidating small molecule interactions and protein function. PMID:20576476

  20. Resolving metal-molecule interfaces at single-molecule junctions

    PubMed Central

    Komoto, Yuki; Fujii, Shintaro; Nakamura, Hisao; Tada, Tomofumi; Nishino, Tomoaki; Kiguchi, Manabu

    2016-01-01

    Electronic and structural detail at the electrode-molecule interface have a significant influence on charge transport across molecular junctions. Despite the decisive role of the metal-molecule interface, a complete electronic and structural characterization of the interface remains a challenge. This is in no small part due to current experimental limitations. Here, we present a comprehensive approach to obtain a detailed description of the metal-molecule interface in single-molecule junctions, based on current-voltage (I-V) measurements. Contrary to conventional conductance studies, this I-V approach provides a correlated statistical description of both, the degree of electronic coupling across the metal-molecule interface, and the energy alignment between the conduction orbital and the Fermi level of the electrode. This exhaustive statistical approach was employed to study single-molecule junctions of 1,4-benzenediamine (BDA), 1,4-butanediamine (C4DA), and 1,4-benzenedithiol (BDT). A single interfacial configuration was observed for both BDA and C4DA junctions, while three different interfacial arrangements were resolved for BDT. This multiplicity is due to different molecular adsorption sites on the Au surface namely on-top, hollow, and bridge. Furthermore, C4DA junctions present a fluctuating I-V curve arising from the greater conformational freedom of the saturated alkyl chain, in sharp contrast with the rigid aromatic backbone of both BDA and BDT. PMID:27221947

  1. Single-Molecule Fluorescence Spectroscopy of Photosynthetic Systems.

    PubMed

    Kondo, Toru; Chen, Wei Jia; Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S

    2017-01-25

    Photosynthesis begins when a network of pigment-protein complexes captures solar energy and transports it to the reaction center, where charge separation occurs. When necessary (under low light conditions), photosynthetic organisms perform this energy transport and charge separation with near unity quantum efficiency. Remarkably, this high efficiency is maintained under physiological conditions, which include thermal fluctuations of the pigment-protein complexes and changing local environments. These conditions introduce multiple types of heterogeneity in the pigment-protein complexes, including structural heterogeneity, energetic heterogeneity, and functional heterogeneity. Understanding how photosynthetic light-harvesting functions in the face of these fluctuations requires understanding this heterogeneity, which, in turn, requires characterization of individual pigment-protein complexes. Single-molecule spectroscopy has the power to probe individual complexes. In this review, we present an overview of the common techniques for single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy applied to photosynthetic systems and describe selected experiments on these systems. We discuss how these experiments provide a new understanding of the impact of heterogeneity on light harvesting and thus how these systems are optimized to capture sunlight under physiological conditions.

  2. Identifying mechanisms of interfacial dynamics using single-molecule tracking.

    PubMed

    Kastantin, Mark; Walder, Robert; Schwartz, Daniel K

    2012-08-28

    The "soft" (i.e., noncovalent) interactions between molecules and surfaces are complex and highly varied (e.g., hydrophobic, hydrogen bonding, and ionic), often leading to heterogeneous interfacial behavior. Heterogeneity can arise either from the spatial variation of the surface/interface itself or from molecular configurations (i.e., conformation, orientation, aggregation state, etc.). By observing the adsorption, diffusion, and desorption of individual fluorescent molecules, single-molecule tracking can characterize these types of heterogeneous interfacial behavior in ways that are inaccessible to traditional ensemble-averaged methods. Moreover, the fluorescence intensity or emission wavelength (in resonance energy transfer experiments) can be used to track the molecular configuration and simultaneously directly relate this to the resulting interfacial mobility or affinity. In this feature article, we review recent advances involving the use of single-molecule tracking to characterize heterogeneous molecule-surface interactions including multiple modes of diffusion and desorption associated with both internal and external molecular configuration, Arrhenius-activated interfacial transport, spatially dependent interactions, and many more.

  3. Single molecule studies of the neuronal SNARE fusion machinery

    PubMed Central

    Brunger, Axel T.; Weninger, Keith; Bowen, Mark; Chu, Steven

    2010-01-01

    SNAREs are essential components of the machinery for Ca2+-triggered fusion of synaptic vesicles with the plasma membrane, resulting in neurotransmitter release into the synaptic cleft. While much is known about their biophysical and structural properties and their interactions with accessory proteins such as the Ca2+ sensor synaptotagmin, their precise role in membrane fusion remains an enigma. Ensemble studies of liposomes with reconstituted SNAREs have demonstrated that SNAREs and accessory proteins can trigger lipid mixing/fusion, but the inability to study individual fusion events has precluded molecular insights into the fusion process. Thus, this field is ripe for studies with single molecule methodology. In this review we discuss first applications of single-molecule approaches to observe reconstituted SNAREs, their complexes, associated proteins, and their effect on biological membranes. Some of the findings are provocative, such the possibility of parallel and anti-parallel SNARE complexes, or vesicle docking with only syntaxin and synaptobrevin, but have been confirmed by other experiments. PMID:19489736

  4. Dual-Colored DNA Comb Polymers for Single Molecule Rheology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mai, Danielle; Marciel, Amanda; Schroeder, Charles

    2014-03-01

    We report the synthesis and characterization of branched biopolymers for single molecule rheology. In our work, we utilize a hybrid enzymatic-synthetic approach to graft ``short'' DNA branches to ``long'' DNA backbones, thereby producing macromolecular DNA comb polymers. The branches and backbones are synthesized via polymerase chain reaction with chemically modified deoxyribonucleotides (dNTPs): ``short'' branches consist of Cy5-labeled dNTPs and a terminal azide group, and ``long'' backbones contain dibenzylcyclooctyne-modified (DBCO) dNTPs. In this way, we utilize strain-promoted, copper-free cycloaddition ``click'' reactions for facile grafting of azide-terminated branches at DBCO sites along backbones. Copper-free click reactions are bio-orthogonal and nearly quantitative when carried out under mild conditions. Moreover, comb polymers can be labeled with an intercalating dye (e.g., YOYO) for dual-color fluorescence imaging. We characterized these materials using gel electrophoresis, HPLC, and optical microscopy, with atomic force microscopy in progress. Overall, DNA combs are suitable for single molecule dynamics, and in this way, our work holds the potential to improve our understanding of topologically complex polymer melts and solutions.

  5. High contrast single molecule tracking in the pericellular coat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scrimgeour, Jan; McLane, Louis T.; Curtis, Jennifer E.

    2014-03-01

    The pericellular coat is a robust, hydrated, polymer brush-like structure that can extend several micrometers into the extracellular space around living cells. By controlling access to the cell surface, acting as a filter and storage reservoir for proteins, and actively controlling tissue-immune system interactions, the cell coat performs many important functions at scales ranging from the single cell to whole tissues. The cell coat consists of a malleable backbone - the large polysaccharide hyaluronic acid (HA) - with its structure, material properties, and ultimately its bio-functionality tuned by a diverse set of HA binding proteins. These proteins add charge, cross-links and growth factor-like ligands to the coat To probe the dynamic behavior of this soft biomaterial we have used high contrast single molecule imaging, based on highly inclined laser illumination, to observe individual fluorescently labeled HA binding proteins within the cell coat. Our work focuses on the cell coat of living chondrocyte (cartilage) cells, and in particular the effect of the large, highly charged, protein aggrecan on the properties of the coat. Through single molecule imaging we observe that aggrecan is tightly tethered to HA, and plays an important role in cell coat extension and stiffening.

  6. Temperature-cycle single-molecule FRET microscopy on polyprolines.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Haifeng; Xia, Ted; Schuler, Benjamin; Orrit, Michel

    2011-02-07

    Accessing the microsecond dynamics of a single fluorescent molecule in real time is difficult because molecular fluorescence rates usually limit the time resolution to milliseconds. We propose to apply single-molecule temperature-cycle microscopy to probe molecular dynamics at microsecond timescales. Here, we follow donor and acceptor signals of single FRET-labeled polyprolines in glycerol to investigate their conformational dynamics. We observe a steady-state FRET efficiency distribution which differs from theoretical distributions for isotropically orientated fluorescent labels. This may indicate that the orientation of fluorescent labels in glycerol is not isotropic and may reflect the influence of the dye linkers. With proper temperature-cycle parameters, we observed large FRET changes in long series of cycles of the same molecule. We attribute the main conformational changes to reorientations of the fluorescent labels with respect to the oligopeptide chain, which take place in less than a few microseconds at the highest temperature of the cycle (250 K). We were able to follow the FRET efficiency of a particular construct for more than 2000 cycles. This trajectory displays switching between two conformations, which give rise to maxima in the FRET efficiency histogram. Our experiments open the possibility to study biomolecular dynamics at a time scale of a few microseconds at the single-molecule level.

  7. Directly measuring single-molecule heterogeneity using force spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Hinczewski, Michael; Thirumalai, D.

    2016-01-01

    One of the most intriguing results of single-molecule experiments on proteins and nucleic acids is the discovery of functional heterogeneity: the observation that complex cellular machines exhibit multiple, biologically active conformations. The structural differences between these conformations may be subtle, but each distinct state can be remarkably long-lived, with interconversions between states occurring only at macroscopic timescales, fractions of a second or longer. Although we now have proof of functional heterogeneity in a handful of systems—enzymes, motors, adhesion complexes—identifying and measuring it remains a formidable challenge. Here, we show that evidence of this phenomenon is more widespread than previously known, encoded in data collected from some of the most well-established single-molecule techniques: atomic force microscopy or optical tweezer pulling experiments. We present a theoretical procedure for analyzing distributions of rupture/unfolding forces recorded at different pulling speeds. This results in a single parameter, quantifying the degree of heterogeneity, and also leads to bounds on the equilibration and conformational interconversion timescales. Surveying 10 published datasets, we find heterogeneity in 5 of them, all with interconversion rates slower than 10 s−1. Moreover, we identify two systems where additional data at realizable pulling velocities is likely to find a theoretically predicted, but so far unobserved crossover regime between heterogeneous and nonheterogeneous behavior. The significance of this regime is that it will allow far more precise estimates of the slow conformational switching times, one of the least understood aspects of functional heterogeneity. PMID:27317744

  8. Single-molecule enzymology à la Michaelis-Menten.

    PubMed

    Grima, Ramon; Walter, Nils G; Schnell, Santiago

    2014-01-01

    Over the past 100 years, deterministic rate equations have been successfully used to infer enzyme-catalysed reaction mechanisms and to estimate rate constants from reaction kinetics experiments conducted in vitro. In recent years, sophisticated experimental techniques have been developed that begin to allow the measurement of enzyme-catalysed and other biopolymer-mediated reactions inside single cells at the single-molecule level. Time-course data obtained using these methods are considerably noisy because molecule numbers within cells are typically quite small. As a consequence, the interpretation and analysis of single-cell data requires stochastic methods, rather than deterministic rate equations. Here, we concisely review both experimental and theoretical techniques that enable single-molecule analysis, with particular emphasis on the major developments in the field of theoretical stochastic enzyme kinetics, from its inception in the mid-20th century to its modern-day status. We discuss the differences between stochastic and deterministic rate equation models, how these depend on enzyme molecule numbers and substrate inflow into the reaction compartment, and how estimation of rate constants from single-cell data is possible using recently developed stochastic approaches.

  9. Single-molecule microscopy using tunable nanoscale confinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McFaul, Christopher M. J.; Leith, Jason; Jia, Bojing; Michaud, François; Arsenault, Adriel; Martin, Andrew; Berard, Daniel; Leslie, Sabrina

    2013-09-01

    We present the design, construction and implementation of a modular microscopy device that transforms a basic inverted fluorescence microscope into a versatile single-molecule imaging system. The device uses Convex Lens- Induced Confinement (CLIC) to improve background rejection and extend diffusion-limited observation time. To facilitate its integration into a wide range of laboratories, this implementation of the CLIC device can use a standard flow-cell, into which the sample is loaded. By mechanically deforming the flow-cell, the device creates a tunable, wedge-shaped imaging chamber which we have modeled using finite element analysis simulations and characterized experimentally using interferometry. A powerful feature of CLIC imaging technology is the ability to examine single molecules under a continuum of applied confinement, from the nanometer to the micrometer scale. We demonstrate, using freely diffusing λ-phage DNA, that when the imposed confinement is on the scale of individual molecules their molecular conformations and diffusivity are altered significantly. To improve the flow-cell stiffness, seal, and re-usability, we have innovated the fabrication of thin PDMS-bonded flow-cells. The presented flow-cell CLIC technology can be combined with surface-lithography to provide an accessible and powerful approach to tune, trap, and image individual molecules under an extended range of imaging conditions. It is well-suited to tackling open problems in biophysics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, materials science, and chemistry.

  10. Identifying Mechanisms of Interfacial Dynamics Using Single-Molecule Tracking

    PubMed Central

    Kastantin, Mark; Walder, Robert; Schwartz, Daniel K.

    2012-01-01

    The “soft” (i.e. non-covalent) interactions between molecules and surfaces are complex and highly-varied (e.g. hydrophobic, hydrogen bonding, ionic) often leading to heterogeneous interfacial behavior. Heterogeneity can arise either from spatial variation of the surface/interface itself or from molecular configurations (i.e. conformation, orientation, aggregation state, etc.). By observing adsorption, diffusion, and desorption of individual fluorescent molecules, single-molecule tracking can characterize these types of heterogeneous interfacial behavior in ways that are inaccessible to traditional ensemble-averaged methods. Moreover, the fluorescence intensity or emission wavelength (in resonance energy transfer experiments) can be used to simultaneously track molecular configuration and directly relate this to the resulting interfacial mobility or affinity. In this feature article, we review recent advances involving the use of single-molecule tracking to characterize heterogeneous molecule-surface interactions including: multiple modes of diffusion and desorption associated with both internal and external molecular configuration, Arrhenius activated interfacial transport, spatially dependent interactions, and many more. PMID:22716995

  11. Mechanobiology of Short DNA Molecules: A Single Molecule Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raghunathan, Krishnan

    Mechanical properties of DNA are known to play a significant role in several biological processes like wrapping of DNA around histones and looping. Most of these cellular events occur on a DNA length scale of a few hundred basepairs. Single molecule methods have been highly successful in directly investigating heterogeneity in different biomolecular systems and serve as ideal tools to study the mechanical properties of DNA. However, their use in studying DNA of contour lengths less than a kilobase are fraught with experimental difficulties. The research presented in this thesis explores the behavior of short stretches of DNA (≤ 500bp) using existing and novel single molecule methods. We have quantified the variation in persistence lengths between sequences having different elasticity using a constant force axial optical tweezers. Our experiments have also revealed that this difference in persistence lengths manifests itself as a difference in looping lifetimes of lac repressor, in sequences having the aforementioned constructs as the intervening sequence between the operator sites. We have also developed a system to probe DNA dynamics in vivo. We have found that the active processes in the cell have distinct effects on dynamics of DNA and eliminating the active processes causes a 'phase transition' like behavior in the inside the cell. We are currently extending this technique to understand DNA dynamics inside bacterial systems. Our results provide vital insights into mechanical properties of DNA and the effect of athermal fluctuations on DNA dynamics.

  12. Single molecule study of a processivity clamp sliding on DNA

    SciTech Connect

    Laurence, T A; Kwon, Y; Johnson, A; Hollars, C; O?Donnell, M; Camarero, J A; Barsky, D

    2007-07-05

    Using solution based single molecule spectroscopy, we study the motion of the polIII {beta}-subunit DNA sliding clamp ('{beta}-clamp') on DNA. Present in all cellular (and some viral) forms of life, DNA sliding clamps attach to polymerases and allow rapid, processive replication of DNA. In the absence of other proteins, the DNA sliding clamps are thought to 'freely slide' along the DNA; however, the abundance of positively charged residues along the inner surface may create favorable electrostatic contact with the highly negatively charged DNA. We have performed single-molecule measurements on a fluorescently labeled {beta}-clamp loaded onto freely diffusing plasmids annealed with fluorescently labeled primers of up to 90 bases. We find that the diffusion constant for 1D diffusion of the {beta}-clamp on DNA satisfies D {le} 10{sup -14} cm{sup 2}/s, much slower than the frictionless limit of D = 10{sup -10} cm{sup 2}/s. We find that the {beta} clamp remains at the 3-foot end in the presence of E. coli single-stranded binding protein (SSB), which would allow for a sliding clamp to wait for binding of the DNA polymerase. Replacement of SSB with Human RP-A eliminates this interaction; free movement of sliding clamp and poor binding of clamp loader to the junction allows sliding clamp to accumulate on DNA. This result implies that the clamp not only acts as a tether, but also a placeholder.

  13. Single-molecule force spectroscopy approach to enzyme catalysis.

    PubMed

    Alegre-Cebollada, Jorge; Perez-Jimenez, Raul; Kosuri, Pallav; Fernandez, Julio M

    2010-06-18

    Enzyme catalysis has been traditionally studied using a diverse set of techniques such as bulk biochemistry, x-ray crystallography, and NMR. Recently, single-molecule force spectroscopy by atomic force microscopy has been used as a new tool to study the catalytic properties of an enzyme. In this approach, a mechanical force ranging up to hundreds of piconewtons is applied to the substrate of an enzymatic reaction, altering the conformational energy of the substrate-enzyme interactions during catalysis. From these measurements, the force dependence of an enzymatic reaction can be determined. The force dependence provides valuable new information about the dynamics of enzyme catalysis with sub-angstrom resolution, a feat unmatched by any other current technique. To date, single-molecule force spectroscopy has been applied to gain insight into the reduction of disulfide bonds by different enzymes of the thioredoxin family. This minireview aims to present a perspective on this new approach to study enzyme catalysis and to summarize the results that have already been obtained from it. Finally, the specific requirements that must be fulfilled to apply this new methodology to any other enzyme will be discussed.

  14. A three-camera imaging microscope for high-speed single-molecule tracking and super-resolution imaging in living cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    English, Brian P.; Singer, Robert H.

    2015-08-01

    Our aim is to develop quantitative single-molecule assays to study when and where molecules are interacting inside living cells and where enzymes are active. To this end we present a three-camera imaging microscope for fast tracking of multiple interacting molecules simultaneously, with high spatiotemporal resolution. The system was designed around an ASI RAMM frame using three separate tube lenses and custom multi-band dichroics to allow for enhanced detection efficiency. The frame times of the three Andor iXon Ultra EMCCD cameras are hardware synchronized to the laser excitation pulses of the three excitation lasers, such that the fluorophores are effectively immobilized during frame acquisitions and do not yield detections that are motion-blurred. Stroboscopic illumination allows robust detection from even rapidly moving molecules while minimizing bleaching, and since snapshots can be spaced out with varying time intervals, stroboscopic illumination enables a direct comparison to be made between fast and slow molecules under identical light dosage. We have developed algorithms that accurately track and co-localize multiple interacting biomolecules. The three-color microscope combined with our co-movement algorithms have made it possible for instance to simultaneously image and track how the chromosome environment affects diffusion kinetics or determine how mRNAs diffuse during translation. Such multiplexed single-molecule measurements at a high spatiotemporal resolution inside living cells will provide a major tool for testing models relating molecular architecture and biological dynamics.

  15. A three-camera imaging microscope for high-speed single-molecule tracking and super-resolution imaging in living cells

    PubMed Central

    English, Brian P.; Singer, Robert H.

    2016-01-01

    Our aim is to develop quantitative single-molecule assays to study when and where molecules are interacting inside living cells and where enzymes are active. To this end we present a three-camera imaging microscope for fast tracking of multiple interacting molecules simultaneously, with high spatiotemporal resolution. The system was designed around an ASI RAMM frame using three separate tube lenses and custom multi-band dichroics to allow for enhanced detection efficiency. The frame times of the three Andor iXon Ultra EMCCD cameras are hardware synchronized to the laser excitation pulses of the three excitation lasers, such that the fluorophores are effectively immobilized during frame acquisitions and do not yield detections that are motion-blurred. Stroboscopic illumination allows robust detection from even rapidly moving molecules while minimizing bleaching, and since snapshots can be spaced out with varying time intervals, stroboscopic illumination enables a direct comparison to be made between fast and slow molecules under identical light dosage. We have developed algorithms that accurately track and co-localize multiple interacting biomolecules. The three-color microscope combined with our co-movement algorithms have made it possible for instance to simultaneously image and track how the chromosome environment affects diffusion kinetics or determine how mRNAs diffuse during translation. Such multiplexed single-molecule measurements at a high spatiotemporal resolution inside living cells will provide a major tool for testing models relating molecular architecture and biological dynamics. PMID:26819489

  16. Hollow-core photonic crystal fiber probe for remote fluorescence sensing with single molecule sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Ghenuche, Petru; Rigneault, Hervé; Wenger, Jérôme

    2012-12-17

    Current optical fiber probes for fluorescence spectroscopy struggle with large luminescence background and low detection sensitivities that challenge the detection of fluorescent molecules at sub-micromolar concentration. Here we report the demonstration of a hollow-core photonic crystal fiber (HC-PCF) probe for remote fluorescence sensing with single molecule sensitivity down to nanomolar concentrations, where both the excitation and fluorescence beams are counter-propagating through the same fiber. A 20 μm polystyrene microsphere is used to efficiently excite and collect the fluorescence from the sample solution thanks to a photonic nanojet effect. Compared to earlier work with silica fibers, the new HC-PCF-microsphere probe achieves a 200x improvement of the signal-to-noise ratio for a single molecule detection event, and a 1000x reduction of the minimum detectable concentration. The device is implemented with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy to distinguish between molecules of similar fluorescence spectra based on the analysis of their translational diffusion properties, and provides similar performance as conventional confocal microscopes.

  17. Simultaneous Single-Molecule Force and Fluorescence Sampling of DNA Nanostructure Conformations Using Magnetic Tweezers.

    PubMed

    Kemmerich, Felix E; Swoboda, Marko; Kauert, Dominik J; Grieb, M Svea; Hahn, Steffen; Schwarz, Friedrich W; Seidel, Ralf; Schlierf, Michael

    2016-01-13

    We present a hybrid single-molecule technique combining magnetic tweezers and Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) measurements. Through applying external forces to a paramagnetic sphere, we induce conformational changes in DNA nanostructures, which are detected in two output channels simultaneously. First, by tracking a magnetic bead with high spatial and temporal resolution, we observe overall DNA length changes along the force axis. Second, the measured FRET efficiency between two fluorescent probes monitors local conformational changes. The synchronized orthogonal readout in different observation channels will facilitate deciphering the complex mechanisms of biomolecular machines.

  18. Using Amino-Labeled Nucleotide Probes for Simultaneous Single Molecule RNA-DNA FISH

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jun; Shao, Fangwei; Zhang, Li-Feng

    2014-01-01

    Using amino-labeled oligonucleotide probes, we established a simple, robust and low-noise method for simultaneous detection of RNA and DNA by fluorescence in situ hybridization, a highly useful tool to study the large pool of long non-coding RNAs being identified in the current research. With probes either chemically or biologically synthesized, we demonstrate that the method can be applied to study a wide range of RNA and DNA targets at the single-cell and single-molecule level in cellular contexts. PMID:25226542

  19. In situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes: linking basic nanotechniques to cell biology, immunology and medicine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pi, Jiang; Jin, Hua; Yang, Fen; Chen, Zheng W.; Cai, Jiye

    2014-10-01

    The cell membrane, which consists of a viscous phospholipid bilayer, different kinds of proteins and various nano/micrometer-sized domains, plays a very important role in ensuring the stability of the intracellular environment and the order of cellular signal transductions. Exploring the precise cell membrane structure and detailed functions of the biomolecules in a cell membrane would be helpful to understand the underlying mechanisms involved in cell membrane signal transductions, which could further benefit research into cell biology, immunology and medicine. The detection of membrane biomolecules at the single molecule level can provide some subtle information about the molecular structure and the functions of the cell membrane. In particular, information obtained about the molecular mechanisms and other information at the single molecule level are significantly different from that detected from a large amount of biomolecules at the large-scale through traditional techniques, and can thus provide a novel perspective for the study of cell membrane structures and functions. However, the precise investigations of membrane biomolecules prompts researchers to explore cell membranes at the single molecule level by the use of in situ imaging methods, as the exact conformation and functions of biomolecules are highly controlled by the native cellular environment. Recently, the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes has attracted increasing attention from cell biologists and immunologists. The size of biomolecules and their clusters on the cell surface are set at the nanoscale, which makes it mandatory to use high- and super-resolution imaging techniques to realize the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In the past few decades, some amazing imaging techniques and instruments with super resolution have been widely developed for molecule imaging, which can also be further employed for the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In

  20. In situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes: linking basic nanotechniques to cell biology, immunology and medicine.

    PubMed

    Pi, Jiang; Jin, Hua; Yang, Fen; Chen, Zheng W; Cai, Jiye

    2014-11-07

    The cell membrane, which consists of a viscous phospholipid bilayer, different kinds of proteins and various nano/micrometer-sized domains, plays a very important role in ensuring the stability of the intracellular environment and the order of cellular signal transductions. Exploring the precise cell membrane structure and detailed functions of the biomolecules in a cell membrane would be helpful to understand the underlying mechanisms involved in cell membrane signal transductions, which could further benefit research into cell biology, immunology and medicine. The detection of membrane biomolecules at the single molecule level can provide some subtle information about the molecular structure and the functions of the cell membrane. In particular, information obtained about the molecular mechanisms and other information at the single molecule level are significantly different from that detected from a large amount of biomolecules at the large-scale through traditional techniques, and can thus provide a novel perspective for the study of cell membrane structures and functions. However, the precise investigations of membrane biomolecules prompts researchers to explore cell membranes at the single molecule level by the use of in situ imaging methods, as the exact conformation and functions of biomolecules are highly controlled by the native cellular environment. Recently, the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes has attracted increasing attention from cell biologists and immunologists. The size of biomolecules and their clusters on the cell surface are set at the nanoscale, which makes it mandatory to use high- and super-resolution imaging techniques to realize the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In the past few decades, some amazing imaging techniques and instruments with super resolution have been widely developed for molecule imaging, which can also be further employed for the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In

  1. Fluorescence spectroscopy of single molecules at room temperature and its applications

    SciTech Connect

    Ha, Taekjip

    1996-12-01

    We performed fluorescence spectroscopy of single and pairs of dye molecules on a surface at room temperature. Near field scanning optical microscope (NSOM) and far field scanning optical microscope with multi-color excitation/detection capability were built. The instrument is capable of optical imaging with 100nm resolution and has the sensitivity necessary for single molecule detection. A variety of dynamic events which cannot be observed from an ensemble of molecules is revealed when the molecules are probed one at a time. They include (1) spectral jumps correlated with dark states, (2) individually resolved quantum jumps to and from the meta-stable triplet state, (3) rotational jumps due to desorption/readsorption events of single molecules on the surface. For these studies, a computer controlled optical system which automatically and rapidly locates and performs spectroscopic measurements on single molecules was developed. We also studied the interaction between closely spaced pairs of molecules. In particular, fluorescence resonance energy transfer between a single resonant pair of donor and acceptor molecules was measured. Photodestruction dynamics of the donor or acceptor were used to determine the presence and efficiency of energy transfer Dual molecule spectroscopy was extended to a non-resonant pair of molecules to obtain high resolution differential distance information. By combining NSOM and dual color scheme, we studied the co-localization of parasite proteins and host proteins on a human red blood cell membrane infected with malaria. These dual-molecule techniques can be used to measure distances, relative orientations, and changes in distances/orientations of biological macromolecules with very good spatial, angular and temporal resolutions, hence opening new capabilities in the study of such systems.

  2. Single cell and single molecule techniques for the analysis of the epigenome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallin, Christopher Benjamin

    Epigenetic regulation is a critical biological process for the health and development of a cell. Epigenetic regulation is facilitated by covalent modifications to the underlying DNA and chromatin proteins. A fundamental understanding of these epigenetic modifications and their associated interactions at the molecular scale is necessary to explain phenomena including cellular identity, stem cell plasticity, and neoplastic transformation. It is widely known that abnormal epigenetic profiles have been linked to many diseases, most notably cancer. While the field of epigenetics has progressed rapidly with conventional techniques, significant advances remain to be made with respect to combinatoric analysis of epigenetic marks and single cell epigenetics. Therefore, in this dissertation, I will discuss our development of devices and methodologies to address these pertinent issues. First, we designed a preparatory polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microdevice for the extraction, purification, and stretching of human chromosomal DNA and chromatin from small cell populations down to a single cell. The valveless device captures cells by size exclusion within the micropillars, entraps the DNA or chromatin in the micropillars after cell lysis, purifies away the cellular debris, and fluorescently labels the DNA and/or chromatin all within a single reaction chamber. With the device, we achieve nearly 100% extraction efficiency of the DNA. The device is also used for in-channel immunostaining of chromatin followed by downstream single molecule chromatin analysis in nanochannels (SCAN). Second, using multi-color, time-correlated single molecule measurements in nanochannels, simultaneous coincidence detection of 2 epigenetic marks is demonstrated. Coincidence detection of 3 epigenetic marks is also established using a pulsed interleaved excitation scheme. With these two promising results, genome-wide quantification of epigenetic marks was pursued. Unfortunately, quantitative SCAN never

  3. Eight years of single-molecule localization microscopy.

    PubMed

    Klein, Teresa; Proppert, Sven; Sauer, Markus

    2014-06-01

    Super-resolution imaging by single-molecule localization (localization microscopy) provides the ability to unravel the structural organization of cells and the composition of biomolecular assemblies at a spatial resolution that is well below the diffraction limit approaching virtually molecular resolution. Constant improvements in fluorescent probes, efficient and specific labeling techniques as well as refined data analysis and interpretation strategies further improved localization microscopy. Today, it allows us to interrogate how the distribution and stoichiometry of interacting proteins in subcellular compartments and molecular machines accomplishes complex interconnected cellular processes. Thus, it exhibits potential to address fundamental questions of cell and developmental biology. Here, we briefly introduce the history, basic principles, and different localization microscopy methods with special focus on direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM) and summarize key developments and examples of two- and three-dimensional localization microscopy of the last 8 years.

  4. Force-induced tautomerization in a single molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ladenthin, Janina N.; Frederiksen, Thomas; Persson, Mats; Sharp, John C.; Gawinkowski, Sylwester; Waluk, Jacek; Kumagai, Takashi

    2016-10-01

    Heat transfer, electrical potential and light energy are common ways to activate chemical reactions. Applied force is another way, but dedicated studies for such a mechanical activation are limited, and this activation is poorly understood at the single-molecule level. Here, we report force-induced tautomerization in a single porphycene molecule on a Cu(110) surface at 5 K, which is studied by scanning probe microscopy and density functional theory calculations. Force spectroscopy quantifies the force needed to trigger tautomerization with submolecular spatial resolution. The calculations show how the reaction pathway and barrier of tautomerization are modified in the presence of a copper tip and reveal the atomistic origin of the process. Moreover, we demonstrate that a chemically inert tip whose apex is terminated by a xenon atom cannot induce the reaction because of a weak interaction with porphycene and a strong relaxation of xenon on the tip as contact to the molecule is formed.

  5. n and p type character of single molecule diodes

    PubMed Central

    Zoldan, Vinícius Claudio; Faccio, Ricardo; Pasa, André Avelino

    2015-01-01

    Looking for single molecule electronic devices, we have investigated the charge transport properties of individual tetra-phenylporphyrin molecules on different substrates by ultrahigh-vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy and by first-principles calculations. The tetra-phenylporphyrins with a Co atom (Co-TPP) or 2 hydrogens (H2-TPP) in the central macrocycle when deposited on Cu3Au(100) substrates showed a diode-like behavior with p and n type character, respectively. After removing the central hydrogens of H2-TPP molecule with the STM tip an ohmic behavior was measured. The rectifying effect was understood from the theoretical point of view by assuming for Co-TPP HOMO conduction and for H2-TPP LUMO conduction, both selectively elected by the hybridization of states between molecule and substrate surface. PMID:25666850

  6. Subnanometre enzyme mechanics probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Pelz, Benjamin; Žoldák, Gabriel; Zeller, Fabian; Zacharias, Martin; Rief, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Enzymes are molecular machines that bind substrates specifically, provide an adequate chemical environment for catalysis and exchange products rapidly, to ensure fast turnover rates. Direct information about the energetics that drive conformational changes is difficult to obtain. We used subnanometre single-molecule force spectroscopy to study the energetic drive of substrate-dependent lid closing in the enzyme adenylate kinase. Here we show that in the presence of the bisubstrate inhibitor diadenosine pentaphosphate (AP5A), closing and opening of both lids is cooperative and tightly coupled to inhibitor binding. Surprisingly, binding of the substrates ADP and ATP exhibits a much smaller energetic drive towards the fully closed state. Instead, we observe a new dominant energetic minimum with both lids half closed. Our results, combining experiment and molecular dynamics simulations, give detailed mechanical insights into how an enzyme can cope with the seemingly contradictory requirements of rapid substrate exchange and tight closing, to ensure efficient catalysis. PMID:26906294

  7. Three dimensional single molecule localization using a phase retrieved pupilfunction

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Sheng; Kromann, Emil B.; Krueger, Wesley D.; Bewersdorf, Joerg; Lidke, Keith A.

    2013-01-01

    Localization-based superresolution imaging is dependent on finding the positions of individualfluorophores in a sample by fitting the observed single-molecule intensity pattern to the microscopepoint spread function (PSF). For three-dimensional imaging, system-specific aberrations of theoptical system can lead to inaccurate localizations when the PSF model does not account for theseaberrations. Here we describe the use of phase-retrieved pupil functions to generate a more accuratePSF and therefore more accurate 3D localizations. The complex-valued pupil function containsinformation about the system-specific aberrations and can thus be used to generate the PSF forarbitrary defocus. Further, it can be modified to include depth dependent aberrations. We describethe phase retrieval process, the method for including depth dependent aberrations, and a fastfitting algorithm using graphics processing units. The superior localization accuracy of the pupilfunction generated PSF is demonstrated with dual focal plane 3D superresolution imaging ofbiological structures. PMID:24514501

  8. Single-molecule protein sequencing through fingerprinting: computational assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Yao; Docter, Margreet; van Ginkel, Jetty; de Ridder, Dick; Joo, Chirlmin

    2015-10-01

    Proteins are vital in all biological systems as they constitute the main structural and functional components of cells. Recent advances in mass spectrometry have brought the promise of complete proteomics by helping draft the human proteome. Yet, this commonly used protein sequencing technique has fundamental limitations in sensitivity. Here we propose a method for single-molecule (SM) protein sequencing. A major challenge lies in the fact that proteins are composed of 20 different amino acids, which demands 20 molecular reporters. We computationally demonstrate that it suffices to measure only two types of amino acids to identify proteins and suggest an experimental scheme using SM fluorescence. When achieved, this highly sensitive approach will result in a paradigm shift in proteomics, with major impact in the biological and medical sciences.

  9. Processive cytoskeletal motors studied with single-molecule fluorescence techniques.

    PubMed

    Belyy, Vladislav; Yildiz, Ahmet

    2014-10-01

    Processive cytoskeletal motors from the myosin, kinesin, and dynein families walk on actin filaments and microtubules to drive cellular transport and organization in eukaryotic cells. These remarkable molecular machines are able to take hundreds of successive steps at speeds of up to several microns per second, allowing them to effectively move vesicles and organelles throughout the cytoplasm. Here, we focus on single-molecule fluorescence techniques and discuss their wide-ranging applications to the field of cytoskeletal motor research. We cover both traditional fluorescence and sub-diffraction imaging of motors, providing examples of how fluorescence data can be used to measure biophysical parameters of motors such as coordination, stepping mechanism, gating, and processivity. We also outline some remaining challenges in the field and suggest future directions.

  10. Visualizing Cyclic Peptide Hydration at the Single-Molecule Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yumin; Deng, Ke; Qiu, Xiaohui; Wang, Chen

    2013-08-01

    The role of water molecules in the selective transport of potassium ions across cell membranes is important. Experimental investigations of valinomycin-water interactions remain huge challenge due to the poor solubility of valinomycin in water. Herein, we removed this experimental obstacle by introducing gaseous water and valinomycin onto a Cu(111) surface to investigate the hydration of valinomycin. By combining scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) with density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we revealed that water could affect the adsorption structure of valinomycin. Hydrogen bond interactions occurred primarily at the carbonyl oxygen of valinomycin and resulted in the formation of valinomycin hydrates. The single-molecule perspective revealed in our investigation could provide new insight into the role of water on the conformation transition of valinomycin, which might provide a new molecular basis for the ion transport mechanism at the water/membrane interface.

  11. n and p type character of single molecule diodes.

    PubMed

    Zoldan, Vinícius Claudio; Faccio, Ricardo; Pasa, André Avelino

    2015-02-10

    Looking for single molecule electronic devices, we have investigated the charge transport properties of individual tetra-phenylporphyrin molecules on different substrates by ultrahigh-vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy and by first-principles calculations. The tetra-phenylporphyrins with a Co atom (Co-TPP) or 2 hydrogens (H2-TPP) in the central macrocycle when deposited on Cu3Au(100) substrates showed a diode-like behavior with p and n type character, respectively. After removing the central hydrogens of H2-TPP molecule with the STM tip an ohmic behavior was measured. The rectifying effect was understood from the theoretical point of view by assuming for Co-TPP HOMO conduction and for H2-TPP LUMO conduction, both selectively elected by the hybridization of states between molecule and substrate surface.

  12. Analysis of DNA interactions using single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Ritzefeld, Markus; Walhorn, Volker; Anselmetti, Dario; Sewald, Norbert

    2013-06-01

    Protein-DNA interactions are involved in many biochemical pathways and determine the fate of the corresponding cell. Qualitative and quantitative investigations on these recognition and binding processes are of key importance for an improved understanding of biochemical processes and also for systems biology. This review article focusses on atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based single-molecule force spectroscopy and its application to the quantification of forces and binding mechanisms that lead to the formation of protein-DNA complexes. AFM and dynamic force spectroscopy are exciting tools that allow for quantitative analysis of biomolecular interactions. Besides an overview on the method and the most important immobilization approaches, the physical basics of the data evaluation is described. Recent applications of AFM-based force spectroscopy to investigate DNA intercalation, complexes involving DNA aptamers and peptide- and protein-DNA interactions are given.

  13. X-ray induced demagnetization of single-molecule magnets

    SciTech Connect

    Dreiser, Jan; Westerström, Rasmus; Piamonteze, Cinthia; Nolting, Frithjof; Rusponi, Stefano; Brune, Harald; Yang, Shangfeng; Popov, Alexey; Dunsch, Lothar; Greber, Thomas

    2014-07-21

    Low-temperature x-ray magnetic circular dichroism measurements on the endohedral single-molecule magnet DySc{sub 2}N@C{sub 80} at the Dy M{sub 4,5} edges reveal a shrinking of the opening of the observed hysteresis with increasing x-ray flux. Time-dependent measurements show that the exposure of the molecules to x-rays resonant with the Dy M{sub 5} edge accelerates the relaxation of magnetization more than off-resonant x-rays. The results cannot be explained by a homogeneous temperature rise due to x-ray absorption. Moreover, the observed large demagnetization cross sections indicate that the resonant absorption of one x-ray photon induces the demagnetization of many molecules.

  14. Kinesin regulation dynamics through cargo delivery, a single molecule investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovacs, Anthony; Kessler, Jonathan; Lin, Huawen; Dutcher, Susan; Wang, Yan Mei

    2015-03-01

    Kinesins are microtubule-based motors that deliver cargo to their destinations in a highly regulated manner. Although in recent years numerous regulators of cargo delivery have been identified, the regulation mechanism of kinesin through the cargo delivery and recycling process is not known. By performing single molecule fluorescence imaging measurements in Chlamydomonas flagella, which are 200 nm in diameter, 10 microns in length, and contain 9 sets of microtubule doublets, we tracked the intraflagellar transport (IFT) trains, BBSome cargo, and kinesin-2 motors through the cargo delivery process and determined the aforementioned dynamics. Upon arrival at the microtubule plus end at the flagellar tip, (1) IFT trains and BBSome cargo remain intact, dissociate together from kinesins and microtubules, and diffuse along flagellar membrane for a mean of 2.3 sec before commencing retrograde travel. (2) Kinesin motors remain bound to and diffuse along microtubules for 1.3 sec before dissociating into the flagellar lumen for recycling.

  15. Subnanometre enzyme mechanics probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelz, Benjamin; Žoldák, Gabriel; Zeller, Fabian; Zacharias, Martin; Rief, Matthias

    2016-02-01

    Enzymes are molecular machines that bind substrates specifically, provide an adequate chemical environment for catalysis and exchange products rapidly, to ensure fast turnover rates. Direct information about the energetics that drive conformational changes is difficult to obtain. We used subnanometre single-molecule force spectroscopy to study the energetic drive of substrate-dependent lid closing in the enzyme adenylate kinase. Here we show that in the presence of the bisubstrate inhibitor diadenosine pentaphosphate (AP5A), closing and opening of both lids is cooperative and tightly coupled to inhibitor binding. Surprisingly, binding of the substrates ADP and ATP exhibits a much smaller energetic drive towards the fully closed state. Instead, we observe a new dominant energetic minimum with both lids half closed. Our results, combining experiment and molecular dynamics simulations, give detailed mechanical insights into how an enzyme can cope with the seemingly contradictory requirements of rapid substrate exchange and tight closing, to ensure efficient catalysis.

  16. Low-temperature phonoemissive tunneling rates in single molecule magnets

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yun; Garg, Anupam

    2016-03-15

    Tunneling between the two lowest energy levels of single molecule magnets with Ising type anisotropy, accompanied by the emission or absorption of phonons, is considered. Quantitatively accurate calculations of the rates for such tunneling are performed for a model Hamiltonian especially relevant to the best studied example, Fe{sub 8}. Two different methods are used: high-order perturbation theory in the spin–phonon interaction and the non-Ising-symmetric parts of the spin Hamiltonian, and a novel semiclassical approach based on spin-coherent-state-path-integral instantons. The methods are found to be in good quantitative agreement with other, and consistent with previous approaches to the problem. The implications of these results for magnetization of molecular solids of these molecules are discussed briefly.

  17. Tracking electrons in biological macromolecules: from ensemble to single molecule.

    PubMed

    Tabares, Leandro C; Gupta, Ankur; Aartsma, Thijs J; Canters, Gerard W

    2014-08-06

    Nature utilizes oxido-reductases to cater to the energy demands of most biochemical processes in respiratory species. Oxido-reductases are capable of meeting this challenge by utilizing redox active sites, often containing transition metal ions, which facilitate movement and relocation of electrons/protons to create a potential gradient that is used to energize redox reactions. There has been a consistent struggle by researchers to estimate the electron transfer rate constants in physiologically relevant processes. This review provides a brief background on the measurements of electron transfer rates in biological molecules, in particular Cu-containing enzymes, and highlights the recent advances in monitoring these electron transfer events at the single molecule level or better to say, at the individual event level.

  18. Eukaryotic transcriptional dynamics: from single molecules to cell populations

    PubMed Central

    Coulon, Antoine; Chow, Carson C.; Singer, Robert H.; Larson, Daniel R.

    2013-01-01

    Transcriptional regulation is achieved through combinatorial interactions between regulatory elements in the human genome and a vast range of factors that modulate the recruitment and activity of RNA polymerase. Experimental approaches for studying transcription in vivo now extend from single-molecule techniques to genome-wide measurements. Parallel to these developments is the need for testable quantitative and predictive models for understanding gene regulation. These conceptual models must also provide insight into the dynamics of transcription and the variability that is observed at the single-cell level. In this Review, we discuss recent results on transcriptional regulation and also the models those results engender. We show how a non-equilibrium description informs our view of transcription by explicitly considering time-and energy-dependence at the molecular level. PMID:23835438

  19. Single molecule thermodynamics of ATP synthesis by F1-ATPase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toyabe, Shoichi; Muneyuki, Eiro

    2015-01-01

    FoF1-ATP synthase is a factory for synthesizing ATP in virtually all cells. Its core machinery is the subcomplex F1-motor (F1-ATPase) and performs the reversible mechanochemical coupling. The isolated F1-motor hydrolyzes ATP, which is accompanied by unidirectional rotation of its central γ -shaft. When a strong opposing torque is imposed, the γ -shaft rotates in the opposite direction and drives the F1-motor to synthesize ATP. This mechanical-to-chemical free-energy transduction is the final and central step of the multistep cellular ATP-synthetic pathway. Here, we determined the amount of mechanical work exploited by the F1-motor to synthesize an ATP molecule during forced rotations using a methodology combining a nonequilibrium theory and single molecule measurements of responses to external torque. We found that the internal dissipation of the motor is negligible even during rotations far from a quasistatic process.

  20. Single-molecule enzymology based on the principle of the Millikan oil drop experiment.

    PubMed

    Leiske, Danielle L; Chow, Andrea; Dettloff, Roger; Farinas, Javier

    2014-03-01

    The ability to monitor the progress of single-molecule enzyme reactions is often limited by the need to use fluorogenic substrates. A method based on the principle of the Millikan oil drop experiment was developed to monitor the change in charge of substrates bound to a nanoparticle and offers a means of detecting single-enzyme reactions without fluorescence detection. As a proof of principle of the ability to monitor reactions that result in a change in substrate charge, polymerization on a single DNA template was detected. A custom oligonucleotide was synthesized that allowed for the attachment of single DNA templates to gold nanoparticles with a single polymer tether. The nanoparticles were then tethered to the surface of a microfluidic channel where the positions of the nanoparticles, subjected to an oscillating electric field, were monitored using dark field microscopy. With short averaging times, the signal-to-noise level was low enough to discriminate changes in charge of less than 1.2%. Polymerization of a long DNA template demonstrated the ability to use the system to monitor single-molecule enzymatic activity. Finally, nanoparticle surfaces were modified with thiolated moieties to reduce and/or shield the number of unproductive charges and allow for improved sensitivity.

  1. Single-Molecule Enzymology Based On The Principle Of The Millikan Oil Drop Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Leiske, Danielle L.; Chow, Andrea; Dettloff, Roger; Farinas, Javier

    2014-01-01

    The ability to monitor the progress of single molecule enzyme reactions is often limited by the need to use fluorogenic substrates. A method based on the principle of the Millikan Oil Drop Experiment was developed to monitor the change in charge of substrates bound to a nanoparticle and offers a means of detecting single enzyme reactions without fluorescence detection. As a proof of principle of the ability to monitor reactions which result in a change in substrate charge, polymerization on a single DNA template was detected. A custom oligonucleotide was synthesized which allowed for the attachment of single DNA templates to gold nanoparticles with a single polymer tether. The nanoparticles were then tethered to the surface of a microfluidic channel where the positions of the nanoparticles, subjected to an oscillating electric field, were monitored using darkfield microscopy. With short averaging times, the signal-to-noise level was low enough to discriminate changes in charge of less than 1.2%. Polymerization of a long DNA template demonstrated the ability to use the system to monitor single molecule enzymatic activity. Finally, nanoparticle surfaces were modified with thiolated moieties in order to reduce and/or shield the number of unproductive charges and allow for improved sensitivity. PMID:24291542

  2. Optimizing 1-μs-Resolution Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy on a Commercial Atomic Force Microscope.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Devin T; Faulk, Jaevyn K; Sanders, Aric W; Bull, Matthew S; Walder, Robert; LeBlanc, Marc-Andre; Sousa, Marcelo C; Perkins, Thomas T

    2015-10-14

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) is widely used to mechanically measure the folding and unfolding of proteins. However, the temporal resolution of a standard commercial cantilever is 50-1000 μs, masking rapid transitions and short-lived intermediates. Recently, SMFS with 0.7-μs temporal resolution was achieved using an ultrashort (L = 9 μm) cantilever on a custom-built, high-speed AFM. By micromachining such cantilevers with a focused ion beam, we optimized them for SMFS rather than tapping-mode imaging. To enhance usability and throughput, we detected the modified cantilevers on a commercial AFM retrofitted with a detection laser system featuring a 3-μm circular spot size. Moreover, individual cantilevers were reused over multiple days. The improved capabilities of the modified cantilevers for SMFS were showcased by unfolding a polyprotein, a popular biophysical assay. Specifically, these cantilevers maintained a 1-μs response time while eliminating cantilever ringing (Q ≅ 0.5). We therefore expect such cantilevers, along with the instrumentational improvements to detect them on a commercial AFM, to accelerate high-precision AFM-based SMFS studies.

  3. A Comparison of Single-Molecule Emission in Aluminum and Gold Zero-Mode Waveguides

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, William Elliott; Srijanto, Bernadeta R.; Collier, C. Patrick; Vosch, Tom; Richards, Christopher I.

    2016-08-06

    We characterized the effect of gold and aluminum zero-mode waveguides (ZMWs) on the brightness of immobilized single emitters by probing fluorophores that absorb in the green and red regions of the visible spectrum. Aluminum ZMWs enhance the emission of Atto565 fluorophores upon green excitation, but they do not enhance the emission of Atto647N fluorophores upon red excitation. Gold ZMWs increase emission of both fluorophores with Atto647N showing enhancement that is threefold higher than that observed for Atto565. Our work indicates that 200 nm gold ZMWs are better suited for single-molecule fluorescence studies in the red region of the visible spectrum, while aluminum appears more suited for the green region of the visible spectrum.

  4. A Comparison of Single-Molecule Emission in Aluminum and Gold Zero-Mode Waveguides

    DOE PAGES

    Martin, William Elliott; Srijanto, Bernadeta R.; Collier, C. Patrick; ...

    2016-08-06

    We characterized the effect of gold and aluminum zero-mode waveguides (ZMWs) on the brightness of immobilized single emitters by probing fluorophores that absorb in the green and red regions of the visible spectrum. Aluminum ZMWs enhance the emission of Atto565 fluorophores upon green excitation, but they do not enhance the emission of Atto647N fluorophores upon red excitation. Gold ZMWs increase emission of both fluorophores with Atto647N showing enhancement that is threefold higher than that observed for Atto565. Our work indicates that 200 nm gold ZMWs are better suited for single-molecule fluorescence studies in the red region of the visible spectrum,more » while aluminum appears more suited for the green region of the visible spectrum.« less

  5. Single-molecule chemistry of metal phthalocyanine on noble metal surfaces.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhenyu; Li, Bin; Yang, Jinlong; Hou, Jian Guo

    2010-07-20

    To develop new functional materials and nanoscale electronics, researchers would like to accurately describe and precisely control the quantum state of a single molecule on a surface. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), combined with first-principles simulations, provides a powerful technique for acquiring this level of understanding. Traditionally, metal phthalocyanine (MPc) molecules, composed of a metal atom surrounded by a ligand ring, have been used as dyes and pigments. Recently, MPc molecules have shown great promise as components of light-emitting diodes, field-effect transistors, photovoltaic cells, and single-molecule devices. In this Account, we describe recent research on the characterization and control of adsorption and electronic states of a single MPc molecule on noble metal surfaces. In general, the electronic and magnetic properties of a MPc molecule largely depend on the type of metal ion within the phthalocyanine ligand and the type of surface on which the molecule is adsorbed. However, with the STM technique, we can use on-site molecular "surgery" to manipulate the structure and the properties of the molecule. For example, STM can induce a dehydrogenation reaction of the MPc, which allows us to control the Kondo effect, which describes the spin polarization of the molecule and its interaction with the complex environment. A specially designed STM tip can allow researchers to detect certain molecule-surface hybrid states that are not accessible by other techniques. By matching the local orbital symmetry of the STM tip and the molecule, we can generate the negative differential resistance effect in the formed molecular junction. This orbital symmetry based mechanism is extremely robust and does not critically depend on the geometry of the STM tip. In summary, this simple model system, a MPc molecule absorbed on a noble metal surface, demonstrates the power of STM for quantum characterization and manipulation of single molecules, highlighting the

  6. Examining Sources of Error in PCR by Single-Molecule Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Potapov, Vladimir

    2017-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing technology has enabled the detection of rare genetic or somatic mutations and contributed to our understanding of disease progression and evolution. However, many next-generation sequencing technologies first rely on DNA amplification, via the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), as part of sample preparation workflows. Mistakes made during PCR appear in sequencing data and contribute to false mutations that can ultimately confound genetic analysis. In this report, a single-molecule sequencing assay was used to comprehensively catalog the different types of errors introduced during PCR, including polymerase misincorporation, structure-induced template-switching, PCR-mediated recombination and DNA damage. In addition to well-characterized polymerase base substitution errors, other sources of error were found to be equally prevalent. PCR-mediated recombination by Taq polymerase was observed at the single-molecule level, and surprisingly found to occur as frequently as polymerase base substitution errors, suggesting it may be an underappreciated source of error for multiplex amplification reactions. Inverted repeat structural elements in lacZ caused polymerase template-switching between the top and bottom strands during replication and the frequency of these events were measured for different polymerases. For very accurate polymerases, DNA damage introduced during temperature cycling, and not polymerase base substitution errors, appeared to be the major contributor toward mutations occurring in amplification products. In total, we analyzed PCR products at the single-molecule level and present here a more complete picture of the types of mistakes that occur during DNA amplification. PMID:28060945

  7. Statistical assessment of change point detectors for single molecule kinetic analysis.

    PubMed

    Parsons, Sean P; Huizinga, Jan D

    2013-05-01

    Change point detectors (CPDs) are used to segment recordings of single molecules for the purpose of kinetic analysis. The assessment of the accuracy of CPD algorithms has usually been based on testing them with simulated data. However, there have not been methods to assess the output of CPDs from real data independent of simulation. Here we present one method to do this based on the assumption that the elementary kinetic unit is a stationary period (SP) with a normal distribution of samples, separated from other SPs by change points (CPs). Statistical metrics of normality can then be used to assess SPs detected by a CPD algorithm (detected SPs, DSPs). Two statistics in particular were found to be useful, the z-transformed skew (S(Z)) and z-transformed kurtosis (K(Z)). K(Z)(S(Z)) plots of DSP from noise, simulated data and single ion channel recordings showed that DSPs with false negative CP could be distinguished. Also they showed that filtering had a significant effect on the normality of data and so filtering should be taken into account when calculating statistics. This method should be useful for analyzing single molecule recordings where there is no simple model for the data.

  8. Single-molecule bonds characterized by solid-state nanopore force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Tabard-Cossa, Vincent; Wiggin, Matthew; Trivedi, Dhruti; Jetha, Nahid N; Dwyer, Jason R; Marziali, Andre

    2009-10-27

    Weak molecular interactions drive processes at the core of living systems, such as enzyme-substrate interactions, receptor-ligand binding, and nucleic acid replication. Single-molecule force spectroscopy is a remarkable tool for revealing molecular scale energy landscapes of noncovalent bonds, by exerting a mechanical force directly on an individual molecular complex and tracking its survival as a function of time and applied force. In principle, force spectroscopy methods can also be used for highly specific molecular recognition assays, by directly characterizing the strength of bonds between probe and target molecules. However, complexity and low throughput of conventional force spectroscopy techniques render such biosensing applications impractical. Here we demonstrate a straightforward single-molecule approach, suitable for both biophysical studies and molecular recognition assays, in which a approximately 3 nm silicon nitride nanopore is used to determine the bond lifetime spectrum of the biotin-neutravidin complex. Thousands of individual molecular complexes are captured and dissociated in the solid-state nanopore under constant applied forces, ranging from 400 to 900 mV, allowing us to extract the location of the energy barrier that governs the interaction, mapped at Deltax approximately 0.5 nm. These results highlight the capacity of a solid-state nanopore to detect and characterize intermolecular interactions and demonstrate how this could be applied to rapid, highly specific molecular detection assays.

  9. Probing Single Molecules with a Tunable Femtosecond Laser Coupled RF-STM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Weicai

    Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) has become a powerful tool in nanoscience for imaging, manipulation and electronic spectroscopy. STM inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy (IETS) first achieved chemical identification of molecular species by characterizing vibrational energies. Recently, with the STM itProbe and H2 rotational spectromicroscopy, molecular structure and chemical bonds are observed with the STM. Despite these successes in spatial resolution, various efforts have been made to combine fs laser with STM to overcome the temporal resolution limitation of STM, there is so far no clear evidence of simultaneous fs and A resolution. Electronic properties of organic molecules are of central importance to applications such as molecular electronics, organic LEDs, and solar cells. Properties of these molecules can be probed by the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) at the single molecule level and with sub-A spatial resolution. The molecular orbital of 4, 7-Di ([2, 20-bithiophen]-5-yl) benzo[c] [1, 2, 5] thiadiazole (4T-BTD) with intramolecular donor-acceptor-donor sites is probed with the electronic state dI/dV imaging and H2 rotational and vibrational spectromicroscopy. 1, 4-Phenylene Diisocyanide (PDI) is probed by imaging with a CO-terminated tip and H2. PDI can self-assemble on noble metal surfaces to form nanostructures, which could have potential applications in molecular electronics and catalysis. Further combination of a RF-STM with a tunable femtosecond laser enables the investigation of light-molecule interactions. In this dissertation, efforts are spent to setup a new tunable fs laser (220 nm˜1040 nm) to couple with the RF-STM. The effects of the femtosecond laser are followed by detecting photo induced electron emission and photochemistry. A new double lock-in technique is applied to detect the weak laser-induced signal in the tunneling regime. To sharpen the energy width and increase the lifetime of the excited states of molecules, thin

  10. Microfluidic mixing for non-equilibrium single-molecule optical spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfeil, Shawn H.

    We describe a series of experiments made possible by the combination of single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and microfluidic mixing. To perform these measurements, a microfluidic sample handling system was developed and characterized. This system allows observation at times as early as 2.4 ms after a reaction is triggered, which is an more than an order of magnitude earlier than previous microfabricated devices. Dilutions as high as 1:19 (v/v) are achieved, allowing measurements of molecular refolding in native conditions. The interconversion of subpopulations, masked by averaging in ensemble measurements, is observed. This technology also facilitates ultra-sensitive chemiluminescence measurements, using only microliters of sample. Microfluidics are designed and fabricated to extend single-molecule measurements to samples out of equilibrium. The system is optimized for sensitive optical detection and experimental convenience. Channels are replica-molded in poly-dimethyl-siloxane (PDMS) elastomer and sealed to coverglass. The resulting devices are compatible with a broad range of chemicals, and exhibit low background fluorescence. The combination of continuous flow, which decouples reaction progress from measurement duration, with low background enables single molecules to be probed at well defined times after a reaction is triggered. Fluid delivery and pressure connections are made using an interface optimized for rapid assembly, rapid sample exchange, and modular device replacement, while providing access for high numerical aperture optics. The kinetics of Csp, the cold shock protein from Thermotoga maritima, are studied with the mixer. An order of magnitude decrease in deadtime puts a new upper limit of 4.6 ms on the time required for collapse after mixing. This result is in agreement with indirect measurements of chain reconfiguration time, which suggest collapse happens on the timescale of 10--100 ns. Measurements of the kinetics of a DNA sequence that

  11. Developing DNA nanotechnology using single-molecule fluorescence.

    PubMed

    Tsukanov, Roman; Tomov, Toma E; Liber, Miran; Berger, Yaron; Nir, Eyal

    2014-06-17

    CONSPECTUS: An important effort in the DNA nanotechnology field is focused on the rational design and manufacture of molecular structures and dynamic devices made of DNA. As is the case for other technologies that deal with manipulation of matter, rational development requires high quality and informative feedback on the building blocks and final products. For DNA nanotechnology such feedback is typically provided by gel electrophoresis, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). These analytical tools provide excellent structural information; however, usually they do not provide high-resolution dynamic information. For the development of DNA-made dynamic devices such as machines, motors, robots, and computers this constitutes a major problem. Bulk-fluorescence techniques are capable of providing dynamic information, but because only ensemble averaged information is obtained, the technique may not adequately describe the dynamics in the context of complex DNA devices. The single-molecule fluorescence (SMF) technique offers a unique combination of capabilities that make it an excellent tool for guiding the development of DNA-made devices. The technique has been increasingly used in DNA nanotechnology, especially for the analysis of structure, dynamics, integrity, and operation of DNA-made devices; however, its capabilities are not yet sufficiently familiar to the community. The purpose of this Account is to demonstrate how different SMF tools can be utilized for the development of DNA devices and for structural dynamic investigation of biomolecules in general and DNA molecules in particular. Single-molecule diffusion-based Förster resonance energy transfer and alternating laser excitation (sm-FRET/ALEX) and immobilization-based total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) techniques are briefly described and demonstrated. To illustrate the many applications of SMF to DNA nanotechnology, examples of SMF studies of DNA hairpins and

  12. Tunneling spectroscopy of organic monolayers and single molecules.

    PubMed

    Hipps, K W

    2012-01-01

    Basic concepts in tunneling spectroscopy applied to molecular systems are presented. Junctions of the form M-A-M, M-I-A-M, and M-I-A-I'-M, where A is an active molecular layer, are considered. Inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy (IETS) is found to be readily applied to all the above device types. It can provide both vibrational and electron spectroscopic data about the molecules comprising the A layer. In IETS there are no strong selection rules (although there are preferences) so that transitions that are normally IR, Raman, or even photon-forbidden can be observed. In the electronic transition domain, spin and Laporte forbidden transitions may be observed. Both vibrational and electronic IETS can be acquired from single molecules. The negative aspect of this seemingly ideal spectroscopic method is the thermal line width of about 5 k(B)T. This limits the useful measurement of vibrational IETS to temperatures below about 10 K. In the case of most electronic transitions where the intrinsic linewidth is much broader, useful experiments above 100 K are possible. One further limitation of electronic IETS is that it is generally limited to transitions with energy less than about 20,000 cm(-1). IETS can be identified by peaks in d(2) I/dV (2) vs bias voltage plots that occur at the same position (but not necessarily same intensity) in either bias polarity.Elastic tunneling spectroscopy is discussed in the context of processes involving molecular ionization and electron affinity states, a technique we call orbital mediated tunneling spectroscopy, or OMTS. OMTS can be applied readily to M-I-A-M and M-I-A-I'-M systems, but application to M-A-M junctions is problematic. Spectra can be obtained from single molecules. Ionization state results correlate well with UPS spectra obtained from the same systems in the same environment. Both ionization and affinity levels measured by OMTS can usually be correlated with one electron oxidation and reduction potentials for the

  13. Tuning Conductance in π-σ-π Single-Molecule Wires.

    PubMed

    Su, Timothy A; Li, Haixing; Klausen, Rebekka S; Widawsky, Jonathan R; Batra, Arunabh; Steigerwald, Michael L; Venkataraman, Latha; Nuckolls, Colin

    2016-06-22

    While the single-molecule conductance properties of π-conjugated and σ-conjugated systems have been well-studied, little is known regarding the conductance properties of mixed σ-π backbone wires and the factors that control their transport properties. Here we utilize a scanning tunneling microscope-based break-junction technique to study a series of molecular wires with π-σ-π backbone structures, where the π-moiety is an electrode-binding thioanisole ring and the σ-moiety is a triatomic α-β-α chain composed of C, Si, or Ge atoms. We find that the sequence and composition of group 14 atoms in the α-β-α chain dictates whether electronic communication between the aryl rings is enhanced or suppressed. Placing heavy atoms at the α-position decreases conductance, whereas placing them at the β-position increases conductance: for example, the C-Ge-C sequence is over 20 times more conductive than the Ge-C-Ge sequence. Density functional theory calculations reveal that these conductance trends arise from periodic trends (i.e., atomic size, polarizability, and electronegativity) that differ from C to Si to Ge. The periodic trends that control molecular conductance here are the same ones that give rise to the α and β silicon effects from physical organic chemistry. These findings outline a new molecular design concept for tuning conductance in single-molecule electrical devices.

  14. Quantum yield and excitation rate of single molecules close to metallic nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Holzmeister, Phil; Pibiri, Enrico; Schmied, Jürgen J; Sen, Tapasi; Acuna, Guillermo P; Tinnefeld, Philip

    2014-11-05

    The interaction of dyes and metallic nanostructures strongly affects the fluorescence and can lead to significant fluorescence enhancement at plasmonic hot spots, but also to quenching. Here we present a method to distinguish the individual contributions to the changes of the excitation, radiative and non-radiative rate and use this information to determine the quantum yields for single molecules. The method is validated by precisely placing single fluorescent dyes with respect to gold nanoparticles as well as with respect to the excitation polarization using DNA origami nanostructures. Following validation, measurements in zeromode waveguides reveal that suppression of the radiative rate and enhancement of the non-radiative rate lead to a reduced quantum yield. Because the method exploits the intrinsic blinking of dyes, it can generally be applied to fluorescence measurements in arbitrary nanophotonic environments.

  15. A single-molecule view of gene regulation in cancer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larson, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    Single-cell analysis has revealed that transcription is dynamic and stochastic, but tools are lacking that can determine the mechanism operating at a single gene. Here we utilize single-molecule observations of RNA in fixed and living cells to develop a single-cell model of steroid-receptor mediated gene activation. Steroid receptors coordinate a diverse range of responses in higher eukaryotes and are involved in a wide range of human diseases, including cancer. Steroid receptor response elements are present throughout the human genome and modulate chromatin remodeling and transcription in both a local and long-range fashion. As such, steroid receptor-mediated transcription is a paradigm of genetic control in the metazoan nucleus. Moreover, the ligand-dependent nature of these transcription factors makes them appealing targets for therapeutic intervention, necessitating a quantitative understanding of how receptors control output from target genes. We determine that steroids drive mRNA synthesis by frequency modulation of transcription. This digital behavior in single cells gives rise to the well-known analog dose response across the population. To test this model, we developed a light-activation technology to turn on a single gene and follow dynamic synthesis of RNA from the activated locus. The response delay is a measure of time required for chromatin remodeling at a single gene.

  16. Single-Molecule Manipulation Studies of a Mechanically Activated Protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Botello, Eric; Harris, Nolan; Choi, Huiwan; Bergeron, Angela; Dong, Jing-Fei; Kiang, Ching-Hwa

    2009-10-01

    Plasma von Willebrand factor (pVWF) is the largest multimeric adhesion ligand found in human blood and must be adhesively activated by exposure to shear stress, like at sites of vascular injury, to initiate blood clotting. Sheared pVWF (sVWF) will undergo a conformational change from a loose tangled coil to elongated strings forming adhesive fibers by binding with other sVWF. VWF's adhesion activity is also related to its length, with the ultra-large form of VWF (ULVWF) being hyper-actively adhesive without exposure to shear stress; it has also been shown to spontaneously form fibers. We used single molecule manipulation techniques with the AFM to stretch pVWF, sVWF and ULVWF and monitor the forces as a function of molecular extension. We showed a similar increase in resistance to unfolding for sVWF and ULVWF when compared to pVWF. This mechanical resistance to forced unfolding is reduced when other molecules known to disrupt their fibril formation are present. Our results show that sVWF and ULVWF domains unfold at higher forces than pVWF, which is consistent with the hypothesis that shear stress induces lateral association that alters adhesion activity of pVWF.

  17. Experimental demonstration of a single-molecule electric motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tierney, Heather L.; Murphy, Colin J.; Jewell, April D.; Baber, Ashleigh E.; Iski, Erin V.; Khodaverdian, Harout Y.; McGuire, Allister F.; Klebanov, Nikolai; Sykes, E. Charles H.

    2011-10-01

    For molecules to be used as components in molecular machines, methods that couple individual molecules to external energy sources and that selectively excite motion in a given direction are required. Significant progress has been made in the construction of molecular motors powered by light and by chemical reactions, but electrically driven motors have not yet been built, despite several theoretical proposals for such motors. Here we report that a butyl methyl sulphide molecule adsorbed on a copper surface can be operated as a single-molecule electric motor. Electrons from a scanning tunnelling microscope are used to drive the directional motion of the molecule in a two-terminal setup. Moreover, the temperature and electron flux can be adjusted to allow each rotational event to be monitored at the molecular scale in real time. The direction and rate of the rotation are related to the chiralities of both the molecule and the tip of the microscope (which serves as the electrode), illustrating the importance of the symmetry of the metal contacts in atomic-scale electrical devices.

  18. Single-molecule analysis of the full transcription cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strick, Terence

    2005-03-01

    By monitoring the extension of a mechanically stretched, supercoiled DNA molecule containing a single bacterial promoter, we have been able to directly observe in real time the change in DNA extension associated with topological unwinding of ˜1 helical turn of promoter DNA by RNAP during transcription initiation. We find that this stage of transcription initiation is extremely sensitive to the torque acting on the supercoiled DNA. Upon addition of limited sets of nucleotides, changes in the polymerase/promoter interaction which are related to the process of abortive initiation can be studied in detail. Upon addition of the full set of nucleotides, the subsequent stages of transcription -- promoter escape, productive elongation and transcription termination -- can also be observed in real-time. The changes in DNA topology which occur at each of these stages have been determined, and these results provide for the first global view of the entire transcription cycle at the resolution of single molecules. Co-authors: Richard H. Ebright, Chen-Yu Liu and Andrey Revyakin, HHMI & Waksman Institute, Rutgers University.

  19. Analysis and Interpretation of Single Molecule Protein Unfolding Kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lannon, Herbert; Brujic, Jasna

    2012-02-01

    The kinetics of protein unfolding under a stretching force has been extensively studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM) over the past decade [1]. Experimental artifacts at the single molecule level introduce uncertainties in the data analysis that have led to several competing physical models for the unfolding process. For example, the unfolding dynamics of the protein ubiquitin under constant force has been described by probability distributions as diverse as exponential [2,3], a sum of exponentials, log-normal [4], and more recently a function describing static disorder in the Arrhenius model [5]. A new method for data analysis is presented that utilizes maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) combined with other traditional statistical tests to unambiguously rank the consistency of these and other models with the experimental data. These techniques applied to the ubiquitin unfolding data shows that the probability of unfolding is best fit with a stretched exponential distribution, with important implications on the complexity of the mechanism of protein unfolding. [4pt] [1] Carrion-Vazquez, et. al. Springer Series in Biophys. 2006 [0pt] [2] Fernandez et. al. Science 2004 [0pt] [3] Brujic et. al. Nat. Phys 2006 [0pt] [4] Garcia-Manyes et. al. Biophys. J. 2007 [0pt] [5] Kuo et. al. PNAS 2010

  20. Developing Single-Molecule Technique with Microsecond Resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akhterov, Maxim V.

    Molecular machines like proteins are responsible for many regulatory and catalytic functions. Specifically, molecular motions of proteins and their flexibility determine conformational states required for enzyme catalysis, signal transduction, and protein-protein interactions. However, the mechanisms for protein transitions between conformational states are often poorly understood, especially in the milli- to microsecond ranges where conventional optical techniques and computational modeling are most limited. This work describes development of an electronic single-molecule technique for monitoring microsecond motions of biological molecules. Dynamic changes of conductance through a transistor made of a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT-FET) report conformational changes of a protein molecule tethered to the SWNT sidewall. In principle, the high operating speed of SWNT-FETs could allow this technique to resolve molecular events with nanosecond resolution. This project focused on improving the technique to a 200 kHz effective bandwidth in order to resolve microsecond-scale dynamics. The improvement was achieved with a home-built electrochemical flow cell. By minimizing parasitic capacitance due to liquid coupling to electrodes and eliminating noise pickup, the flow cell enabled low-noise, high bandwidth measurement of molecular events as short as 2 mus. The apparatus was used to observe closing and opening motions of lysozyme. Preliminary results suggest that lysozyme has a distribution of possible velocities with the most probable speed approaching our experimental resolution of 2 mus.

  1. Experimental demonstration of a single-molecule electric motor.

    PubMed

    Tierney, Heather L; Murphy, Colin J; Jewell, April D; Baber, Ashleigh E; Iski, Erin V; Khodaverdian, Harout Y; McGuire, Allister F; Klebanov, Nikolai; Sykes, E Charles H

    2011-09-04

    For molecules to be used as components in molecular machines, methods that couple individual molecules to external energy sources and that selectively excite motion in a given direction are required. Significant progress has been made in the construction of molecular motors powered by light and by chemical reactions, but electrically driven motors have not yet been built, despite several theoretical proposals for such motors. Here we report that a butyl methyl sulphide molecule adsorbed on a copper surface can be operated as a single-molecule electric motor. Electrons from a scanning tunnelling microscope are used to drive the directional motion of the molecule in a two-terminal setup. Moreover, the temperature and electron flux can be adjusted to allow each rotational event to be monitored at the molecular scale in real time. The direction and rate of the rotation are related to the chiralities of both the molecule and the tip of the microscope (which serves as the electrode), illustrating the importance of the symmetry of the metal contacts in atomic-scale electrical devices.

  2. Single molecule atomic force microscopy and force spectroscopy of chitosan.

    PubMed

    Kocun, Marta; Grandbois, Michel; Cuccia, Louis A

    2011-02-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and AFM-based force spectroscopy was used to study the desorption of individual chitosan polymer chains from substrates with varying chemical composition. AFM images of chitosan adsorbed onto a flat mica substrate show elongated single strands or aggregated bundles. The aggregated state of the polymer is consistent with the high level of flexibility and mobility expected for a highly positively charged polymer strand. Conversely, the visualization of elongated strands indicated the presence of stabilizing interactions with the substrate. Surfaces with varying chemical composition (glass, self-assembled monolayer of mercaptoundecanoic acid/decanethiol and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)) were probed with chitosan modified AFM tips and the corresponding desorption energies, calculated from plateau-like features, were attributed to the desorption of individual polymer strands. Desorption energies of 2.0±0.3×10(-20)J, 1.8±0.3×10(-20)J and 3.5±0.3×10(-20)J were obtained for glass, SAM of mercaptoundecanoic/dodecanethiol and PTFE, respectively. These single molecule level results can be used as a basis for investigating chitosan and chitosan-based materials for biomaterial applications.

  3. A single molecule study of cellulase hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yu-San; Luo, Yonghua; Baker, John O.; Zeng, Yining; Himmel, Michael E.; Smith, Steve; Ding, Shi-You

    2010-02-01

    Cellobiohydrolase-I (CBH I), a processive exoglucanase secreted by Trichoderma reesei, is one of the key enzyme components in a commercial cellulase mixture currently used for processing biomass to biofuels. CBH I contains a family 7 glycoside hydrolase catalytic module, a family 1 carbohydrate-binding module (CBM), and a highlyglycosylated linker peptide. It has been proposed that the CBH I cellulase initiates the hydrolysis from the reducing end of one cellulose chain and successively cleaves alternate β-1,4-glycosidic bonds to release cellobiose as its principal end product. The role each module of CBH I plays in the processive hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose has yet to be convincingly elucidated. In this report, we use a single-molecule approach that combines optical (Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence microscopy, or TIRF-M) and non-optical (Atomic Force Microscopy, or AFM) imaging techniques to analyze the molecular motion of CBM tagged with green fluorescence protein (GFP), and to investigate the surface structure of crystalline cellulose and changes made in the structure by CBM and CBH I. The preliminary results have revealed a confined nanometer-scale movement of the TrCBM1-GFP bound to cellulose, and decreases in cellulose crystal size as well as increases in surface roughness during CBH I hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose.

  4. Ferromagnetic manganese "cubes": from PSII to single-molecule magnets.

    PubMed

    Inglis, Ross; Stoumpos, Constantinos C; Prescimone, Alessandro; Siczek, Milosz; Lis, Tadeusz; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang; Brechin, Euan K; Milios, Constantinos J

    2010-05-28

    The reaction of Mn(O₂CMe)₂·2H₂O with Me-saoH₂ (Me-saoH₂ = 2-hydroxyphenylethanone oxime) in MeCN forms the complex [Mn(III)₄(Me-sao)₄(Me-saoH)₄] (1) in good yields. Replacing Me-saoH₂ with Naphth-saoH₂ (Naphth-saoH₂ = 2-hydroxy-1-napthaldoxime) in the presence of CH₃ONa forms the complex [Mn(III)₄(Naphth-sao)₄(Naphth-saoH)₄] (2) in low yields, while the reaction between Mn(ClO₄)₂·6H₂O, Et-saoH₂ (Et-saoH₂= 2-hydroxypropiophenone oxime) and NBu₄OH in MeCN gives the complex [Mn(III)₄(Et-sao)₄(Et-saoH)₄] (3) in moderate yields. All three tetrametallic cages exclusively contain Mn(III) centres arranged in a "cube"-like topology, in which the metal centres are connected by -N-O(oximate) groups. The magnetic properties of 1-3 are near identical, revealing the presence of only ferromagnetic interactions between the metal ions leading to high-spin ground states of S = 8. The complexes display frequency dependent out-of-phase signals in ac susceptibility studies and, in the case of 1 single-molecule magnetism has been observed by means of single-crystal hysteresis loop measurements.

  5. Single-molecule dissection of stacking forces in DNA.

    PubMed

    Kilchherr, Fabian; Wachauf, Christian; Pelz, Benjamin; Rief, Matthias; Zacharias, Martin; Dietz, Hendrik

    2016-09-09

    We directly measured at the single-molecule level the forces and lifetimes of DNA base-pair stacking interactions for all stack sequence combinations. Our experimental approach combined dual-beam optical tweezers with DNA origami components to allow positioning of blunt-end DNA helices so that the weak stacking force could be isolated. Base-pair stack arrays that lacked a covalent backbone connection spontaneously dissociated at average rates ranging from 0.02 to 500 per second, depending on the sequence combination and stack array size. Forces in the range from 2 to 8 piconewtons that act along the helical direction only mildly accelerated the stochastic unstacking process. The free-energy increments per stack that we estimate from the measured forward and backward kinetic rates ranged from -0.8 to -3.4 kilocalories per mole, depending on the sequence combination. Our data contributes to understanding the mechanics of DNA processing in biology, and it is helpful for designing the kinetics of DNA-based nanoscale devices according to user specifications.

  6. Thermopower distribution of single molecule junctions with different interaction types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Taekyeong

    2015-11-01

    The thermopower (S) distribution in single-molecule junctions with different interaction types were investigated by using a scanning tunneling microscope break-junction (STM-BJ) technique. We used 4,4'-bipyridine (BPy) and 1,2-bis(4-pyridyl)ethylene (BPyE) molecules, each having the Van der Waals (vdW) interaction between a pyridine ring and a Au atom and a donor-acceptor (DA) interaction between a nitrogen(N) atom and a Au atom, depending on the different binding geometries formed with the Au electrodes. From the full width at half maximum (FWHM) in the distribution of S, we found that S had a smaller variation for the vdW interaction compared to the DA interaction, due to the high binding stability of vdW interaction. Furthermore, we measured the molecular bonding forces which are in the range of 1.5 nN - 1.8 nN for the vdW interaction and 0.8 nN for the DA interaction. This confirms that the bonding is stronger for the vdW interaction than for the DA interaction, which is consistent with the experimental results for the S distributions as well as those for the molecular bonding stabilities.

  7. Quantum coherence in Mn-based single molecule magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abeywardana, C.; Cho, F. H.; Mowson, A.; Christou, G.; Takahashi, S.

    2015-03-01

    As spin systems in solids, single-molecule magnets (SMMs) form a unique class of materials that have a high-spin, and their spin state and interaction can be easily tuned by changing peripheral organic ligands and solvate molecules. In addition, it has been shown that an individual or a small ensemble of SMMs can be transferred to surface with retention of their magnetic behavior. SMM is therefore a promising system for fundamental quantum science and for applications to dense and efficient quantum memory, computing, and molecular spintronics devices. In spite of diverse interests on quantum properties in SMMs, decoherence properties that ultimately limit such behaviors have not been understood yet. Until now, coherent manipulation of spin states in SMMs has been experimentally demonstrated only in a few SMMs. In this presentation, we investigate quantum coherence in Mn-based SMMs using a high-frequency pulsed EPR technique, which has a significant advantage to quench the spin decoherence due to electron spins.

  8. Single Molecule Analysis of Serotonin Transporter Regulation Using Quantum Dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Jerry; Tomlinson, Ian; Warnement, Michael; Ustione, Alessandro; Carneiro, Ana; Piston, David; Blakely, Randy; Rosenthal, Sandra

    2011-03-01

    For the first time, we implement a novel, single molecule approach to define the localization and mobility of the brain's major target of widely prescribed antidepressant medications, the serotonin transporter (SERT). SERT labeled with single quantum dot (Qdot) revealed unsuspected features of transporter mobility with cholesterol-enriched membrane microdomains (often referred to as ``lipid rafts'') and cytoskeleton network linked to transporter activation. We document two pools of surface SERT proteins defined by their lateral mobility, one that exhibits relatively free diffusion in the plasma membrane and a second that displays significantly restricted mobility and localizes to cholesterol-enriched microdomains. Diffusion model prediction and instantaneous velocity analysis indicated that stimuli that act through p38 MAPK-dependent signaling pathways to activate SERT trigger rapid SERT movements within membrane microdomains. Cytoskeleton disruption showed that SERT lateral mobility behaves a membrane raft-constrained, cytoskeleton-associated manner. Our results identify an unsuspected aspect of neurotransmitter transporter regulation that we propose reflects the dissociation of inhibitory, SERT-associated cytoskeletal anchors.

  9. Profiling of Short RNAs Using Helicos Single-Molecule Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Kapranov, Philipp; Ozsolak, Fatih; Milos, Patrice M.

    2012-01-01

    The importance of short (<200 nt) RNAs in cell biogenesis has been well documented. These short RNAs include crucial classes of molecules such as transfer RNAs, small nuclear RNA, microRNAs, and many others (reviewed in Storz et al., Annu Rev Biochem 74:199–217, 2005; Ghildiyal and Zamore, Nat Rev Genet 10:94–108, 2009). Furthermore, the realm of functional RNAs that fall within this size range is growing to include less well-characterized RNAs such as short RNAs found at the promoters and 3′ termini of genes (Affymetrix ENCODE Transcriptome Project et al., Nature 457:1028–1032, 2009; Davis and Ares, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103:3262–3267, 2006; Kapranov et al., Science 316:1484–1488, 2007; Taft et al., Nat Genet 41:572–578, 2009; Kapranov et al., Nature 466:642–646, 2010), short RNAs involved in paramutation (Rassoulzadegan et al., Nature 441:469–474, 2006), and others (reviewed in Kawaji and Hayashizaki, PLoS Genet 4:e22, 2008). Discovery and accurate quantification of these RNA molecules, less than 200 bases in size, is thus an important and also challenging aspect of understanding the full repertoire of cellular and extracellular RNAs. Here, we describe the strategies and procedures we developed to profile short RNA species using single-molecule sequencing (SMS) and the advantages SMS offers. PMID:22144202

  10. Single molecule studies reveal new mechanisms for microtubule severing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Jennifer; Diaz-Valencia, Juan Daniel; Morelli, Margaret; Zhang, Dong; Sharp, David

    2011-03-01

    Microtubule-severing enzymes are hexameric complexes made from monomeric enzyme subunits that remove tubulin dimers from the microtubule lattice. Severing proteins are known to remodel the cytoskeleton during interphase and mitosis, and are required in proper axon morphology and mammalian bone and cartilage development. We have performed the first single molecule imaging to determine where and how severing enzymes act to cut microtubules. We have focused on the original member of the group, katanin, and the newest member, fidgetin to compare their biophysical activities in vitro. We find that, as expected, severing proteins localize to areas of activity. Interestingly, the association is very brief: they do not stay bound nor do they bind cooperatively at active sites. The association duration changes with the nucleotide content, implying that the state in the catalytic cycle dictates binding affinity with the microtubule. We also discovered that, at lower concentrations, both katanin and fidgetin can depolymerize taxol-stabilized microtubules by removing terminal dimers. These studies reveal the physical regulation schemes to control severing activity in cells, and ultimately regulate cytoskeletal architecture. This work is supported by the March of Dimes Grant #5-FY09-46.

  11. Enhanced multifunctional paint for detection of radiation

    DOEpatents

    Farmer, Joseph C.; Moses, Edward Ira; Rubenchik, Alexander M.

    2017-03-07

    An enhanced multifunctional paint apparatus, systems, and methods for detecting radiation on a surface include providing scintillation particles; providing an enhance neutron absorptive material; providing a binder; combining the scintillation particles, the enhance neutron absorptive material, and the binder creating a multifunctional paint; applying the multifunctional paint to the surface; and monitoring the surface for detecting radiation.

  12. The Citrate Carrier CitS Probed by Single-Molecule Fluorescence Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Kästner, Christopher N.; Prummer, Michael; Sick, Beate; Renn, Alois; Wild, Urs P.; Dimroth, Peter

    2003-01-01

    A prominent region of the Na+-dependent citrate carrier (CitS) from Klebsiella pneumoniae is the highly conserved loop X-XI, which contains a putative citrate binding site. To monitor potential conformational changes within this region by single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, the target cysteines C398 and C414 of the single-Cys mutants (CitS-sC398, CitS-sC414) were selectively labeled with the thiol-reactive fluorophores AlexaFluor 546/568 C5 maleimide (AF546, AF568). While both single-cysteine mutants were catalytically active citrate carriers, labeling with the fluorophore was only tolerated at C398. Upon citrate addition to the functional protein fluorophore conjugate CitS-sC398-AF546, complete fluorescence quenching of the majority of molecules was observed, indicating a citrate-induced conformational change of the fluorophore-containing domain of CitS. This quenching was specific for the physiological substrate citrate and therefore most likely reflecting a conformational change in the citrate transport mechanism. Single-molecule studies with dual-labeled CitS-sC398-AF546/568 and dual-color detection provided strong evidence for a homodimeric association of CitS. PMID:12609868

  13. Simultaneous single-molecule epigenetic imaging of DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation

    PubMed Central

    Song, Chun-Xiao; Brunger, Axel T.; Quake, Stephen R.

    2016-01-01

    The modifications 5-methylcytosine (5mC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) are the two major DNA epigenetic modifications in mammalian genomes and play crucial roles in development and pathogenesis. Little is known about the colocalization or potential correlation of these two modifications. Here we present an ultrasensitive single-molecule imaging technology capable of detecting and quantifying 5hmC and 5mC from trace amounts of DNA. We used this approach to perform single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) experiments which measure the proximity between 5mC and 5hmC in the same DNA molecule. Our results reveal high levels of adjacent and opposing methylated and hydroxymethylated CpG sites (5hmC/5mCpGs) in mouse genomic DNA across multiple tissues. This identifies the previously undetectable and unappreciated 5hmC/5mCpGs as one of the major states for 5hmC in the mammalian genome and suggest that they could function in promoting gene expression. PMID:27035984

  14. Single molecule imaging of conformational dynamics in sodium-coupled transporters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terry, Daniel S.

    Neurotransmitter:sodium symporter (NSS) proteins remove neurotransmitters released into the synapse through a transport process driven by the physiological sodium ion (Na+) gradient. NSSs for dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin are targeted by the psychostimulants cocaine and amphetamines, as well as by antidepressants. The crystal structure of LeuT, a prokaryotic NSS homologue, revealed the NSS molecular architecture and has been the basis for extensive structural, biochemical, and computational investigations of the mechanism of transporter proteins with a LeuT-like fold. In this dissertation, the conformational states sampled by LeuT are explored using single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer imaging methods, with special focus on the motions of transmembrane helix 1a that lead to inward release of substrate. We also explored how dynamics are modulated by substrate, Na+, and protons to produce efficient transport. These advances represent a first of a kind study of the dynamics of an integral membrane protein at a truly single-molecule scale. Advances in instrumentation, analysis tools, and organic fluorophores were all required to achieve these goals, and such advances are also described. While these experiments were performed with detergent-solubilized protein, preliminary work suggests that imaging of LeuT in proteoliposomes is feasible and a fluorescence sensor assay could be used to simultaneously detect conformational dynamics and transport function.

  15. Single molecule localization microscopy of the distribution of chromatin using Hoechst and DAPI fluorescent probes

    PubMed Central

    Szczurek, Aleksander T; Prakash, Kirti; Lee, Hyun-Keun; Żurek-Biesiada, Dominika J; Best, Gerrit; Hagmann, Martin; Dobrucki, Jurek W; Cremer, Christoph; Birk, Udo

    2014-01-01

    Several approaches have been described to fluorescently label and image DNA and chromatin in situ on the single-molecule level. These superresolution microscopy techniques are based on detecting optically isolated, fluorescently tagged anti-histone antibodies, fluorescently labeled DNA precursor analogs, or fluorescent dyes bound to DNA. Presently they suffer from various drawbacks such as low labeling efficiency or interference with DNA structure. In this report, we demonstrate that DNA minor groove binding dyes, such as Hoechst 33258, Hoechst 33342, and DAPI, can be effectively employed in single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) with high optical and structural resolution. Upon illumination with low intensity 405 nm light, a small subpopulation of these molecules stochastically undergoes photoconversion from the original blue-emitting form to a green-emitting form. Using a 491 nm laser excitation, fluorescence of these green-emitting, optically isolated molecules was registered until “bleached”. This procedure facilitated substantially the optical isolation and localization of large numbers of individual dye molecules bound to DNA in situ, in nuclei of fixed mammalian cells, or in mitotic chromosomes, and enabled the reconstruction of high-quality DNA density maps. We anticipate that this approach will provide new insights into DNA replication, DNA repair, gene transcription, and other nuclear processes. PMID:25482122

  16. Single-Molecule Measurements of T4 Lysozyme using Carbon Nanotube Electronic Circuits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sims, Patrick Craig

    Because of their unique electronic and chemical properties, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are attractive candidates for label-free, single-molecule sensing and detection applications. In this work, a field-effect transistor (FET) architecture comprised of an individual SWNT is used to transduce the conformational motion of a single T4 lysozyme protein, conjugated to the SWNT side wall, into a corresponding electrical current signal. The SWNTs are grown using chemical vapor deposition, and metal electrical contacts are formed using electron beam evaporation. Using N-(1-Pyrene)maleimide, the protein is conjugated to the SWNT side wall. After conjugation, the sensing area of the device is submerged in an electrolyte solution, and the source-drain current is measured while applying an electrolyte-gate. Analysis of the signal provided single-molecule resolution of the dynamical activity of lysozyme as it hydrolyzes macromolecular peptidoglycan, a component of bacterial cell walls. This analysis revealed seven different independent time scales that govern the activity of lysozyme, the pH dependence of these time scales, and a lower limit on the number rate-limiting steps in lysozyme's hinge opening and closing motions. Furthermore, the signals elucidated differences in how lysozyme traverses and catalyzes structurally varying peptidoglycan constructs.

  17. Single molecule localization microscopy of the distribution of chromatin using Hoechst and DAPI fluorescent probes.

    PubMed

    Szczurek, Aleksander T; Prakash, Kirti; Lee, Hyun-Keun; Zurek-Biesiada, Dominika J; Best, Gerrit; Hagmann, Martin; Dobrucki, Jurek W; Cremer, Christoph; Birk, Udo

    2014-01-01

    Several approaches have been described to fluorescently label and image DNA and chromatin in situ on the single-molecule level. These superresolution microscopy techniques are based on detecting optically isolated, fluorescently tagged anti-histone antibodies, fluorescently labeled DNA precursor analogs, or fluorescent dyes bound to DNA. Presently they suffer from various drawbacks such as low labeling efficiency or interference with DNA structure. In this report, we demonstrate that DNA minor groove binding dyes, such as Hoechst 33258, Hoechst 33342, and DAPI, can be effectively employed in single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) with high optical and structural resolution. Upon illumination with low intensity 405 nm light, a small subpopulation of these molecules stochastically undergoes photoconversion from the original blue-emitting form to a green-emitting form. Using a 491 nm laser excitation, fluorescence of these green-emitting, optically isolated molecules was registered until "bleached". This procedure facilitated substantially the optical isolation and localization of large numbers of individual dye molecules bound to DNA in situ, in nuclei of fixed mammalian cells, or in mitotic chromosomes, and enabled the reconstruction of high-quality DNA density maps. We anticipate that this approach will provide new insights into DNA replication, DNA repair, gene transcription, and other nuclear processes.

  18. Single Molecule Nanospectroscopy Visualizes Proton-Transfer Processes within a Zeolite Crystal

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Visualizing proton-transfer processes at the nanoscale is essential for understanding the reactivity of zeolite-based catalyst materials. In this work, the Brønsted-acid-catalyzed oligomerization of styrene derivatives was used for the first time as a single molecule probe reaction to study the reactivity of individual zeolite H-ZSM-5 crystals in different zeolite framework, reactant and solvent environments. This was accomplished via the formation of distinct dimeric and trimeric fluorescent carbocations, characterized by their different photostability, as detected by single molecule fluorescence microscopy. The oligomerization kinetics turned out to be very sensitive to the reaction conditions and the presence of the local structural defects in zeolite H-ZSM-5 crystals. The remarkably photostable trimeric carbocations were found to be formed predominantly near defect-rich crystalline regions. This spectroscopic marker offers clear prospects for nanoscale quality control of zeolite-based materials. Interestingly, replacing n-heptane with 1-butanol as a solvent led to a reactivity decrease of several orders and shorter survival times of fluorescent products due to the strong chemisorption of 1-butanol onto the Brønsted acid sites. A similar effect was achieved by changing the electrophilic character of the para-substituent of the styrene moiety. Based on the measured turnover rates we have established a quantitative, single turnover approach to evaluate substituent and solvent effects on the reactivity of individual zeolite H-ZSM-5 crystals. PMID:27709925

  19. Single-molecule super-resolution microscopy reveals how light couples to a plasmonic nanoantenna on the nanometer scale.

    PubMed

    Wertz, Esther; Isaacoff, Benjamin P; Flynn, Jessica D; Biteen, Julie S

    2015-04-08

    The greatly enhanced fields near metal nanoparticles have demonstrated remarkable optical properties and are promising for applications from solar energy to biosensing. However, direct experimental study of these light-matter interactions at the nanoscale has remained difficult due to the limitations of optical microscopy. Here, we use single-molecule fluorescence imaging to probe how a plasmonic nanoantenna modifies the fluorescence emission from a dipole emitter. We show that the apparent fluorophore emission position is strongly shifted upon coupling to an antenna and that the emission of dyes located up to 90 nm away is affected by this coupling. To predict this long-ranged effect, we present a framework based on a distance-dependent partial coupling of the dye emission to the antenna. Our direct interpretation of these light-matter interactions will enable more predictably optimized, designed, and controlled plasmonic devices and will permit reliable plasmon-enhanced single-molecule nanoscopy.

  20. Solid-phase single molecule biosensing using dual-color colocalization of fluorescent quantum dot nanoprobes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jianbo; Yang, Xiaohai; Wang, Kemin; Wang, Qing; Liu, Wei; Wang, Dong

    2013-10-01

    The development of solid-phase surface-based single molecule imaging technology has attracted significant interest during the past decades. Here we demonstrate a sandwich hybridization method for highly sensitive detection of a single thrombin protein at a solid-phase surface based on the use of dual-color colocalization of fluorescent quantum dot (QD) nanoprobes. Green QD560-modified thrombin binding aptamer I (QD560-TBA I) were deposited on a positive poly(l-lysine) assembled layer, followed by bovine serum albumin blocking. It allowed the thrombin protein to mediate the binding of the easily detectable red QD650-modified thrombin binding aptamer II (QD650-TBA II) to the QD560-TBA I substrate. Thus, the presence of the target thrombin can be determined based on fluorescent colocalization measurements of the nanoassemblies, without target amplification or probe separation. The detection limit of this assay reached 0.8 pM. This fluorescent colocalization assay has enabled single molecule recognition in a separation-free detection format, and can serve as a sensitive biosensing platform that greatly suppresses the nonspecific adsorption false-positive signal. This method can be extended to other areas such as multiplexed immunoassay, single cell analysis, and real time biomolecule interaction studies.The development of solid-phase surface-based single molecule imaging technology has attracted significant interest during the past decades. Here we demonstrate a sandwich hybridization method for highly sensitive detection of a single thrombin protein at a solid-phase surface based on the use of dual-color colocalization of fluorescent quantum dot (QD) nanoprobes. Green QD560-modified thrombin binding aptamer I (QD560-TBA I) were deposited on a positive poly(l-lysine) assembled layer, followed by bovine serum albumin blocking. It allowed the thrombin protein to mediate the binding of the easily detectable red QD650-modified thrombin binding aptamer II (QD650-TBA II) to

  1. Visualization of DNA Double-Strand Break Repair at the Single-Molecule Level

    SciTech Connect

    Dynan, William S.; Li, Shuyi; Mernaugh, Raymond; Wragg, Stephanie; Takeda, Yoshihiko

    2003-03-27

    Exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation is universal. The signature injury from ionizing radiation exposure is induction of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). The first line of defense against DSBs is direct ligation of broken DNA ends via the nonhomologous end-joining pathway. Because even a relatively high environmental exposure induces only a few DSBs per cell, our current understanding of the response to this exposure is limited by the ability to measure DSB repair events reliably in situ at a single-molecule level. To address this need, we have taken advantage of biological amplification, measuring relocalization of proteins and detection of protein phosphorylation as a surrogate for detection of broken ends themselves. We describe the use of specific antibodies to investigate the kinetics and mechanism of repair of very small numbers of DSBs in human cells by the nonhomologous end-joining pathway.

  2. Single-molecule enzyme kinetics in the presence of inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Saha, Soma; Sinha, Antara; Dua, Arti

    2012-07-28

    Recent studies in single-molecule enzyme kinetics reveal that the turnover statistics of a single enzyme is governed by the waiting time distribution that decays as mono-exponential at low substrate concentration and multi-exponential at high substrate concentration. The multi-exponentiality arises due to protein conformational fluctuations, which act on the time scale longer than or comparable to the catalytic reaction step, thereby inducing temporal fluctuations in the catalytic rate resulting in dynamic disorder. In this work, we study the turnover statistics of a single enzyme in the presence of inhibitors to show that the multi-exponentiality in the waiting time distribution can arise even when protein conformational fluctuations do not influence the catalytic rate. From the Michaelis-Menten mechanism of inhibited enzymes, we derive exact expressions for the waiting time distribution for competitive, uncompetitive, and mixed inhibitions to quantitatively show that the presence of inhibitors can induce dynamic disorder in all three modes of inhibitions resulting in temporal fluctuations in the reaction rate. In the presence of inhibitors, dynamic disorder arises due to transitions between active and inhibited states of enzymes, which occur on time scale longer than or comparable to the catalytic step. In this limit, the randomness parameter (dimensionless variance) is greater than unity indicating the presence of dynamic disorder in all three modes of inhibitions. In the opposite limit, when the time scale of the catalytic step is longer than the time scale of transitions between active and inhibited enzymatic states, the randomness parameter is unity, implying no dynamic disorder in the reaction pathway.

  3. Tools for Studying Electron and Spin Transport in Single Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ralph, Daniel C.

    2005-03-01

    Experiments in the field of single-molecule electronics are challenging in part because it can be very difficult to control and characterize the device structure. Molecules contacted by metal electrodes cannot easily be imaged by microscopy techniques. Moreover, if one attempts to characterize the device structure simply by measuring a current-voltage curve, it is easy to mistake nonlinear transport across a bare tunnel junction or a metallic short for a molecular signal. I will discuss the development of a set of experimental test structures that enable the properties of a molecular device to be tuned controllably in-situ, so that the transport mechanisms can be studied more systematically and compared with theoretical predictions. My collaborators and I are developing the means to use several different types of such experimental "knobs" in coordination: electrostatic gating to shift the energy levels in a molecule, mechanical motion to adjust the molecular configuration or the molecule-electrode coupling strength, illumination with light to promote electrons to excited states or to make and break chemical bonds, and the use of ferromagnetic electrodes to study spin-polarized transport. Our work so far has provided new insights into Kondo physics, the coupling between a molecule's electronic and mechanical degrees of freedom, and spin transport through a molecule between magnetic electrodes. Collaborators: Radek Bialczak, Alex Champagne, Luke Donev, Jonas Goldsmith, Jacob Grose, Janice Guikema, Jiwoong Park, Josh Parks, Abhay Pasupathy, Jason Petta, Sara Slater, Burak Ulgut, Alexander Soldatov, H'ector Abruña, and Paul McEuen.

  4. Single-molecule manipulation measurements of polymer/solution interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dittmore, Andrew N.

    Because the properties of soft materials emerge from the physics of the constituent polymers, we are motivated to characterize chain molecules at a fundamental level. We build upon the magnetic tweezers single-molecule manipulation technique, which involves measuring the distance between the ends of a polymer in real time and with nanometer precision while applying stable magnetic stretching forces in the piconewton range. Here we demonstrate new applications of this technique, specifically by measuring the interactions between a polymer and the surrounding solvent. First, through low-force elastic measurements, we determine a range of fundamental parameters that quantify solvent quality and chain structure. We present a force-solvent phase diagram to summarize these parameters and our experimental data, and discuss where PEG, DNA, RNA, and proteins fit into the diagram. The unstructured and structured states of a biomolecule reside at opposite ends of the diagram, indicating that folding is accompanied by a change in the character of the solvent. We therefore chose to investigate the local solvent change that occurs when a charged biomolecule folds. We present a thermodynamic framework for measuring the uptake of counterions that accompanies nucleic acid folding. Our measurements of a simple DNA hairpin identify potential shortcomings in thermodynamic parameters of MFOLD, the most widely used predictive software for nucleic acids. Finally, we present a variety of polymer immobilization schemes, achieve low-noise measurements with a strong magnet design, identify new assays, and provide technical guidance that may be useful to those interested in pursuing future magnetic tweezers experiments.

  5. Lab-on-a-chip technologies for single-molecule studies.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yanhui; Chen, Danqi; Yue, Hongjun; French, Jarrod B; Rufo, Joseph; Benkovic, Stephen J; Huang, Tony Jun

    2013-06-21

    Recent developments on various lab-on-a-chip techniques allow miniaturized and integrated devices to perform on-chip single-molecule studies. Fluidic-based platforms that utilize unique microscale fluidic behavior are capable of conducting single-molecule experiments with high sensitivities and throughputs, while biomolecular systems can be studied on-chip using techniques such as DNA curtains, magnetic tweezers, and solid-state nanopores. The advances of these on-chip single-molecule techniques lead to next-generation lab-on-a-chip devices, such as DNA transistors, and single-molecule real-time (SMRT) technology for rapid and low-cost whole genome DNA sequencing. In this Focus article, we will discuss some recent successes in the development of lab-on-a-chip techniques for single-molecule studies and expound our thoughts on the near future of on-chip single-molecule studies.

  6. Lab-on-a-chip technologies for single-molecule studies

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yanhui; Chen, Danqi; Yue, Hongjun; French, Jarrod B.; Rufo, Joey; Benkovic, Stephen J.; Huang, Tony Jun

    2014-01-01

    Recent developments on various lab-on-a-chip techniques allow miniaturized and integrated devices to perform on-chip single-molecule studies. Fluidic-based platforms that utilize the unique microscale fluidic behavior are capable of conducting single-molecule experiments with high sensitivities and throughputs, while biomolecular systems can be studied on-chip using techniques such as DNA curtains, magnetic tweezers, and solid-state nanopores. The advances of these on-chip single-molecule techniques lead to next-generation lab-on-a-chip devices such as DNA transistors, and single-molecule real-time (SMRT) technology for rapid and low-cost whole genome DNA sequencing. In this Focus article, we will discuss some recent successes on developing lab-on-a-chip techniques for single-molecule studies and expound our thoughts on the near future of on-chip single-molecule studies. PMID:23670195

  7. Video-Rate Confocal Microscopy for Single-Molecule Imaging in Live Cells and Superresolution Fluorescence Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jinwoo; Miyanaga, Yukihiro; Ueda, Masahiro; Hohng, Sungchul

    2012-01-01

    There is no confocal microscope optimized for single-molecule imaging in live cells and superresolution fluorescence imaging. By combining the swiftness of the line-scanning method and the high sensitivity of wide-field detection, we have developed a, to our knowledge, novel confocal fluorescence microscope with a good optical-sectioning capability (1.0 μm), fast frame rates (<33 fps), and superior fluorescence detection efficiency. Full compatibility of the microscope with conventional cell-imaging techniques allowed us to do single-molecule imaging with a great ease at arbitrary depths of live cells. With the new microscope, we monitored diffusion motion of fluorescently labeled cAMP receptors of Dictyostelium discoideum at both the basal and apical surfaces and obtained superresolution fluorescence images of microtubules of COS-7 cells at depths in the range 0–85 μm from the surface of a coverglass. PMID:23083712

  8. Controlling Protein Conformations to Explore Unprecedented Material Properties by Single-Molecule Surgery

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-08-17

    Molecule Protein Conformational Dynamics in Enzymatic Reactions,” Single-Molecule Biophysics Meeting, Aspen , CO, Jan. 4-10, 2009. H. P. Lu, “Single...Donor-Acceptor: Cy3-Cy5) pair labeled HPPK molecule tethered between a glass cover-slip surface and a handle (biotin group plus streptavidin), and a...5, 2008. H. P. Lu, “Probing Single-Molecule Protein Conformational Dynamics in Enzymatic Reactions,” Single-Molecule Biophysics Meeting, Aspen

  9. Protein-protein binding detection with nanoparticle photonic crystal enhanced microscopy (NP-PCEM).

    PubMed

    Zhuo, Yue; Tian, Limei; Chen, Weili; Yu, Hojeong; Singamaneni, Srikanth; Cunningham, Brian T

    2014-01-01

    We demonstrate a novel microscopy-based biosensing approach that utilizes a photonic crystal (PC) surface to detect protein-protein binding with the functionalized nanoparticles as tags. This imaging approach utilizes the measurement of localized shifts in the resonant wavelength and resonant reflection magnitude from the PC biosensor in the presence of individual nanoparticles. Moreover, it substantially increases the sensitivity of the imaging approach through tunable localized surface plasmon resonant frequency of the nanoparticle matching with the resonance of the PC biosensor. Experimental demonstrations of photonic crystal enhanced microscopy (PCEM) imaging with single nanoparticle resolution are supported by Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) computer simulations. The ability to detect the surface adsorption of individual nanoparticles as tags offers a route to single molecule biosensing with photonic crystal biosensor in the future.

  10. Single Molecule Quantum-Confined Stark Effect Measurements of Semiconductor Nanoparticles at Room Temperature

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    We measured the quantum-confined Stark effect (QCSE) of several types of fluorescent colloidal semiconductor quantum dots and nanorods at the single molecule level at room temperature. These measurements demonstrate the possible utility of these nanoparticles for local electric field (voltage) sensing on the nanoscale. Here we show that charge separation across one (or more) heterostructure interface(s) with type-II band alignment (and the associated induced dipole) is crucial for an enhanced QCSE. To further gain insight into the experimental results, we numerically solved the Schrödinger and Poisson equations under self-consistent field approximation, including dielectric inhomogeneities. Both calculations and experiments suggest that the degree of initial charge separation (and the associated exciton binding energy) determines the magnitude of the QCSE in these structures. PMID:23075136

  11. Discriminating single-molecule sensing by crown-ether-based molecular junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ismael, Ali K.; Al-Jobory, Alaa; Grace, Iain; Lambert, Colin J.

    2017-02-01

    Crown-ether molecules are well known to selectively bind alkali atoms, so by incorporating these within wires, any change in electrical conductance of the wire upon binding leads to discriminating sensing. Using a density functional theory-based approach to quantum transport, we investigate the potential sensing capabilities of single-molecule junctions formed from crown ethers attached to anthraquinone units, which are in turn attached to gold electrodes via alkyl chains. We calculate the change in electrical conductance for binding of three different alkali ions (lithium, sodium, and potassium). Depending on the nature of the ionic analyte, the conductance is enhanced by different amounts. This change in electrical conductance is due to charge transfer from the ion to molecular wire causing the molecular resonances to shift closer to the electrode Fermi energy.

  12. Insulator-protected mechanically controlled break junctions for measuring single-molecule conductance in aqueous environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muthusubramanian, N.; Galan, E.; Maity, C.; Eelkema, R.; Grozema, F. C.; van der Zant, H. S. J.

    2016-07-01

    We present a method to fabricate insulated gold mechanically controlled break junctions (MCBJ) by coating the metal with a thin layer of aluminum oxide using plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition. The Al2O3 thickness deposited on the MCBJ devices was varied from 2 to 15 nm to test the suppression of leakage currents in deionized water and phosphate buffered saline. Junctions coated with a 15 nm thick oxide layer yielded atomically sharp electrodes and negligible conductance counts in the range of 1 to 10-4 G0 (1 G0 = 77 μS), where single-molecule conductances are commonly observed. The insulated devices were used to measure the conductance of an amphiphilic oligophenylene ethynylene derivative in deionized water.

  13. Structure–function relationships in single molecule rectification by N-phenylbenzamide derivatives

    DOE PAGES

    Koenigsmann, Christopher; Ding, Wendu; Koepf, Matthieu; ...

    2016-06-30

    Here, we examine structure–function relationships in a series of N-phenylbenzamide (NPBA) derivatives by using computational modeling to identify molecular structures that exhibit both rectification and good conductance together with experimental studies of bias-dependent single molecule conductance and rectification behavior using the scanning tunneling microscopy break-junction technique. From a large number of computationally screened molecular diode structures, we have identified NPBA as a promising candidate, relative to the other structures that were screened. We demonstrate experimentally that conductance and rectification are both enhanced by functionalization of the NPBA 4-carboxamido-aniline moiety with electron donating methoxy groups, and are strongly correlated with themore » energy of the conducting frontier orbital relative to the Fermi level of the gold leads used in break-junction experiments.« less

  14. Structure–function relationships in single molecule rectification by N-phenylbenzamide derivatives

    SciTech Connect

    Koenigsmann, Christopher; Ding, Wendu; Koepf, Matthieu; Batra, Arunabh; Venkataraman, Latha; Negre, Christian F. A.; Brudvig, Gary W.; Crabtree, Robert H.; Batista, Victor S.; Schmuttenmaer, Charles A.

    2016-06-30

    Here, we examine structure–function relationships in a series of N-phenylbenzamide (NPBA) derivatives by using computational modeling to identify molecular structures that exhibit both rectification and good conductance together with experimental studies of bias-dependent single molecule conductance and rectification behavior using the scanning tunneling microscopy break-junction technique. From a large number of computationally screened molecular diode structures, we have identified NPBA as a promising candidate, relative to the other structures that were screened. We demonstrate experimentally that conductance and rectification are both enhanced by functionalization of the NPBA 4-carboxamido-aniline moiety with electron donating methoxy groups, and are strongly correlated with the energy of the conducting frontier orbital relative to the Fermi level of the gold leads used in break-junction experiments.

  15. Magnetic behaviour of TbPc2 single-molecule magnets chemically grafted on silicon surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mannini, Matteo; Bertani, Federico; Tudisco, Cristina; Malavolti, Luigi; Poggini, Lorenzo; Misztal, Kasjan; Menozzi, Daniela; Motta, Alessandro; Otero, Edwige; Ohresser, Philippe; Sainctavit, Philippe; Condorelli, Guglielmo G.; Dalcanale, Enrico; Sessoli, Roberta

    2014-08-01

    Single-molecule magnets (SMMs) are among the most promising molecular systems for the development of novel molecular electronics based on spin transport. Going beyond investigations focused on physisorbed SMMs, in this work the robust grafting of terbium(III) bis(phthalocyaninato) complexes to a silicon surface from a diluted solution is achieved by rational chemical design yielding the formation of a partially oriented monolayer on the conducting substrate. Here by exploiting the surface sensitivity of X-ray circular magnetic dichroism, we evidence an enhancement of the magnetic bistability of this SMM, in contrast to the dramatic reduction of the magnetic hysteresis that characterizes monolayer deposits evaporated on noble and ferromagnetic metals. Photoelectron spectroscopy investigations and density functional theory analysis suggest a non-innocent role played by the silicon substrate, evidencing the potentiality of this approach for robust integration of bistable magnetic molecules in electronic devices.

  16. Single-molecule interfacial electron transfer dynamics manipulated by an external electric current.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guofeng; Xiao, Liantuan; Chen, Ruiyun; Gao, Yan; Wang, Xiaobo; Jia, Suotang

    2011-08-14

    Interfacial electron transfer (IET) dynamics in a 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindodicarbocyanine (DiD) dye molecule/indium tin oxide (ITO) film system have been probed at the ensemble and single-molecule levels. By comparing the difference in the external electric current (EEC) dependence of the fluorescence intensities and lifetimes of the ensembles and single molecules, it is shown that the single-molecule probe can effectively demonstrate IET dynamics. The backward electron transfer and electron transfer from the ground state induce single-molecule fluorescence quenching when an EEC is applied to the DiD/ITO film system.

  17. Monitoring Conformational Dynamics with Single-Molecule Fluorescence Energy Transfer: Applications in Nucleosome Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Deindl, Sebastian; Zhuang, Xiaowei

    2016-01-01

    Due to its ability to track distance changes within individual molecules or molecular complexes on the nanometer scale and in real time, single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (single-molecule FRET) is a powerful tool to tackle a wide range of important biological questions. Using our recently developed single-molecule FRET assay to monitor nucleosome translocation as an illustrative example, we describe here in detail how to set up, carry out, and analyze single-molecule FRET experiments that provide time-dependent information on biomolecular processes. PMID:22929765

  18. Single-Molecule Tracking in Living Cells Using Single Quantum Dot Applications

    PubMed Central

    Baba, Koichi; Nishida, Kohji

    2012-01-01

    Revealing the behavior of single molecules in living cells is very useful for understanding cellular events. Quantum dot probes are particularly promising tools for revealing how biological events occur at the single molecule level both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we will introduce how single quantum dot applications are used for single molecule tracking. We will discuss how single quantum dot tracking has been used in several examples of complex biological processes, including membrane dynamics, neuronal function, selective transport mechanisms of the nuclear pore complex, and in vivo real-time observation. We also briefly discuss the prospects for single molecule tracking using advanced probes. PMID:22896768

  19. Photo-induced enhanced Raman spectroscopy for universal ultra-trace detection of explosives, pollutants and biomolecules

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Jaber, Sultan; Peveler, William J.; Quesada-Cabrera, Raul; Cortés, Emiliano; Sotelo-Vazquez, Carlos; Abdul-Karim, Nadia; Maier, Stefan A.; Parkin, Ivan P.

    2016-01-01

    Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy is one of the most sensitive spectroscopic techniques available, with single-molecule detection possible on a range of noble-metal substrates. It is widely used to detect molecules that have a strong Raman response at very low concentrations. Here we present photo-induced-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, where the combination of plasmonic nanoparticles with a photo-activated substrate gives rise to large signal enhancement (an order of magnitude) for a wide range of small molecules, even those with a typically low Raman cross-section. We show that the induced chemical enhancement is due to increased electron density at the noble-metal nanoparticles, and demonstrate the universality of this system with explosives, biomolecules and organic dyes, at trace levels. Our substrates are also easy to fabricate, self-cleaning and reusable. PMID:27412699

  20. Vectorial nanoscale mapping of optical antenna fields by single molecule dipoles.

    PubMed

    Singh, Anshuman; Calbris, Gaëtan; van Hulst, Niek F

    2014-08-13

    Optical nanoantennas confine light on the nanoscale, enabling strong light-matter interactions and ultracompact optical devices. Such confined nanovolumes of light have nonzero field components in all directions (x, y, and z). Unfortunately mapping of the actual nanoscale field vectors has so far remained elusive, though antenna hotspots have been explored by several techniques. In this paper, we present a novel method to probe all three components of the local antenna field. To this end a resonant nanoantenna is fabricated at the vertex of a scanning tip. Next, the nanoantenna is deterministically scanned in close proximity to single fluorescent molecules, whose fixed excitation dipole moment reads out the local field vector. With nanometer molecular resolution, we distinctly map x-, y-, and z-field components of the dipole antenna, i.e. a full vectorial mode map, and show good agreement with full 3D FDTD simulations. Moreover, the fluorescence polarization maps the localized coupling, with emission through the longitudinal antenna mode. Finally, the resonant antenna probe is used for single molecule imaging with 40 nm fwhm response function. The total fluorescence enhancement is 7.6 times, while out-of-plane molecules, almost undetectable in far-field, are made visible by the strong antenna z-field with a fluorescence enhancement up to 100 times. Interestingly, the apparent position of molecules shifts up to 20 nm depending on their orientation. The capability to resolve orientational information on the single molecule level makes the scanning resonant antenna an ideal tool for extreme resolution bioimaging.