Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Iowa State, Ames Lab researchers invent new tool to study single biological molecules

Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers, left to right, Sanjeevi Sivasankar, Chi-Fu Yen and Hui Li have invented microscope technology to study single biological molecules. Larger photo. Photo by Bob Elbert.
Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers, left to right, Sanjeevi Sivasankar, Chi-Fu Yen and Hui Li have invented microscope technology to study single biological molecules. Larger photo.

Photo by Bob Elbert.

Abstract:
By blending optical and atomic force microscope technologies, Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers have found a way to complete 3-D measurements of single biological molecules with unprecedented accuracy and precision.

Iowa State, Ames Lab researchers invent new tool to study single biological molecules

Ames. IA | Posted on August 4th, 2012

Existing technologies allow researchers to measure single molecules on the x and y axes of a 2-D plane. The new technology allows researchers to make height measurements (the z axis) down to the nanometer - just a billionth of a meter - without custom optics or special surfaces for the samples.

"This is a completely new type of measurement that can be used to determine the z position of molecules," said Sanjeevi Sivasankar, an Iowa State assistant professor of physics and astronomy and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory.

Details of the technology were recently published by the journal Nano Letters. Co-authors of the study are Sivasankar; Hui Li, an Iowa State post-doctoral research associate in physics and astronomy and an associate of the Ames Laboratory; and Chi-Fu Yen, an Iowa State doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering and a student associate of the Ames Laboratory.

The project was supported by lab startup funds from Iowa State University and a $120,075 grant from the Grow Iowa Values Fund, a state economic development program.

Sivasankar's research program has two objectives: to learn how biological cells adhere to each other and to develop new tools to study those cells.

That's why the new microscope technology - called standing wave axial nanometry (SWAN) - was developed in Sivasankar's lab.

Here's how the technology works: Researchers attach a commercial atomic force microscope to a single molecule fluorescence microscope. The tip of the atomic force microscope is positioned over a focused laser beam, creating a standing wave pattern. A molecule that has been treated to emit light is placed within the standing wave. As the tip of the atomic force microscope moves up and down, the fluorescence emitted by the molecule fluctuates in a way that corresponds to its distance from the surface. That distance can be compared to a marker on the surface and measured.

"We can detect the height of the molecule with nanometer accuracy and precision," Sivasankar said.

The paper reports that measurements of a molecule's height are accurate to less than a nanometer. It also reports that measurements can be taken again and again to a precision of 3.7 nanometers.

Sivasankar's research team used fluorescent nanospheres and single strands of DNA to calibrate, test and prove their new instrument.

Users who could benefit from the technology include medical researchers who need high-resolution data from microscopes. Sivasankar thinks the technology has commercial potential and is confident it will advance his own work in single molecule biophysics.

"We hope to use this technology to move that research forward," he said. "And in doing that, we'll continue to invent new technologies."

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Sanjeevi Sivasankar

515-294-1220

Copyright © Iowa State University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Imaging

New technique for exploring structural dynamics of nanoworld: Developed in a Nobel laureate's laboratory at Caltech, hybrid approach allows ultrafast EM analysis of materials, showing tiny electronic changes in individual atoms within a material on ultrafast time scales April 28th, 2015

News and information

New technique for exploring structural dynamics of nanoworld: Developed in a Nobel laureate's laboratory at Caltech, hybrid approach allows ultrafast EM analysis of materials, showing tiny electronic changes in individual atoms within a material on ultrafast time scales April 28th, 2015

When mediated by superconductivity, light pushes matter million times more April 28th, 2015

Chemists strike nano-gold: 4 new atomic structures for gold nanoparticle clusters: Research builds upon work by Nobel Prize-winning team from Stanford University April 28th, 2015

Self-assembling biomaterial forms nanostructure templates for human tissue formation April 27th, 2015

Nanomedicine

Chemists strike nano-gold: 4 new atomic structures for gold nanoparticle clusters: Research builds upon work by Nobel Prize-winning team from Stanford University April 28th, 2015

Self-assembling biomaterial forms nanostructure templates for human tissue formation April 27th, 2015

International research team discovers new mechanism behind malaria progression: Findings provide a new avenue for research in malaria treatment April 27th, 2015

Scientists join forces to reveal the mass and shape of single molecules April 27th, 2015

Discoveries

New technique for exploring structural dynamics of nanoworld: Developed in a Nobel laureate's laboratory at Caltech, hybrid approach allows ultrafast EM analysis of materials, showing tiny electronic changes in individual atoms within a material on ultrafast time scales April 28th, 2015

When mediated by superconductivity, light pushes matter million times more April 28th, 2015

Chemists strike nano-gold: 4 new atomic structures for gold nanoparticle clusters: Research builds upon work by Nobel Prize-winning team from Stanford University April 28th, 2015

More is less in novel electronic material: Adding electrons actually shrinks the system April 27th, 2015

Announcements

New technique for exploring structural dynamics of nanoworld: Developed in a Nobel laureate's laboratory at Caltech, hybrid approach allows ultrafast EM analysis of materials, showing tiny electronic changes in individual atoms within a material on ultrafast time scales April 28th, 2015

When mediated by superconductivity, light pushes matter million times more April 28th, 2015

Chemists strike nano-gold: 4 new atomic structures for gold nanoparticle clusters: Research builds upon work by Nobel Prize-winning team from Stanford University April 28th, 2015

Sensor Designed in Iran Able to Remove Formaldehyde Gas from Environment April 27th, 2015

Tools

New technique for exploring structural dynamics of nanoworld: Developed in a Nobel laureate's laboratory at Caltech, hybrid approach allows ultrafast EM analysis of materials, showing tiny electronic changes in individual atoms within a material on ultrafast time scales April 28th, 2015

International research team discovers new mechanism behind malaria progression: Findings provide a new avenue for research in malaria treatment April 27th, 2015

Fast and accurate 3-D imaging technique to track optically trapped particles April 24th, 2015

ORNL reports method that takes quantum sensing to new level April 23rd, 2015

Nanobiotechnology

Self-assembling biomaterial forms nanostructure templates for human tissue formation April 27th, 2015

Scientists join forces to reveal the mass and shape of single molecules April 27th, 2015

A silver lining: UCSB researchers cradle silver nanoclusters inside synthetic DNA to create a programmed, tunable fluorescent array April 23rd, 2015

Scientists Use Nanoscale Building Blocks and DNA 'Glue' to Shape 3D Superlattices: New approach to designing ordered composite materials for possible energy applications April 23rd, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project