Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Chirality in 'real-time'

An illustration of chirality in a molecule.

CREDIT
M. Oppermann, EPFL
An illustration of chirality in a molecule. CREDIT M. Oppermann, EPFL

Abstract:
In nature, certain molecules with the same chemical composition, can exist in two different shapes that are mirrors images of each other, much like our hands. This property is known as "chirality" and molecules with different chirality are called enantiomers. Enantiomers can exhibit entirely different chemical or biological properties, and separating them is a major issue in drug development and in medicine.

Chirality in 'real-time'

Lausanne, Switzerland | Posted on January 14th, 2019

The method commonly used to detect enantiomers is circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. It exploits the fact that light polarized into a circular wave (like a whirlpool) is absorbed differently by left-handed and right-handed enantiomers. Steady-state CD spectroscopy is a major structural tool in (bio)chemical analysis.

During their function, biomolecules undergo structural changes that affect their chiral properties. Probing these in real-time (i.e. between 1 picosecond and 1 nanosecond) provides a view of their biological function, but this has been challenging in the deep-UV spectrum (wavelengths below 300 nm) where most biologically relevant molecules such as amino acids, DNA and peptide helices absorb light.

The limitations are due to the lack of adequate sources of pulsed light and of sensitive detection schemes. But now, the group of Majed Chergui at the Lausanne Centre for Ultrafast Science (EPFL) has developed a setup that allows the visualization of the chiral response of (bio)molecules by CD spectroscopy with a resolution of 0.5 picoseconds.

The setup uses a photoelastic modulator, which is an optical device that can control the polarization of light. In this system, the modulator permits shot-to-shot polarization switching of a 20 kHz femtosecond pulse train in the deep-UV range (250-370 nm). It is then possible to record changes in the chirality of molecules at variable time-delays after they are excited with a short laser pulse.

"Amino acid residues and DNA bases absorb light below 300 nm," says Malte Oppermann, the paper's first author. "This set-up is the first to cover this region, and we successfully tested it on a model molecular system. Our next aim is to move on to larger biosystems, like DNA oligomers."

###

Other contributors

University of Geneva
University of Zurich

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Nik Papageorgiou

41-216-932-105

Copyright © Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

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 Links

Reference

Related News Press

News and information

Bosch Sensortec launches ideation community to foster and accelerate innovative IoT applications : Creativity hub for customers, partners, developers and makers February 18th, 2019

Exotic spiraling electrons discovered by physicists: Rutgers-led research could lead to advances in lighting and solar cells February 18th, 2019

Tracking pollen with quantum dots: A pollination biologist from Stellenbosch University in South Africa is using quantum dots to track the fate of individual pollen grains. This is breaking new ground in a field of research that has been hampered by the lack of a universal method February 17th, 2019

Super-light, super-insulating ceramic aerogel keeps the hottest temperatures at bay February 17th, 2019

Picosun’s ALD encapsulation prevents electronics degradation February 15th, 2019

Imaging

The smallest skeletons in the marine world observed in 3D by synchrotron techniques February 15th, 2019

Scientists image conducting edges in a promising 2-D material February 8th, 2019

Chemistry

Rice U. lab adds porous envelope to aluminum plasmonics: Scientists marry gas-trapping framework to light-powered nanocatalysts February 10th, 2019

Kanazawa University research: Chirality inversion in a helical molecule at controlled speeds February 6th, 2019

CEA-Leti Builds Prototype of Next-Generation Mid-Infrared Optical Sensors for Portable Devices: Coin-size, On-chip Sensors that Combine High Performance and Low Power Consumption Presented in Paper at SPIE Photonics West 2019 February 5th, 2019

Possible Futures

Exotic spiraling electrons discovered by physicists: Rutgers-led research could lead to advances in lighting and solar cells February 18th, 2019

Tracking pollen with quantum dots: A pollination biologist from Stellenbosch University in South Africa is using quantum dots to track the fate of individual pollen grains. This is breaking new ground in a field of research that has been hampered by the lack of a universal method February 17th, 2019

Super-light, super-insulating ceramic aerogel keeps the hottest temperatures at bay February 17th, 2019

Molecular Lego blocks: Chemical data mining boosts search for new organic semiconductors February 15th, 2019

Nanomedicine

Sensitive sensor detects Down syndrome DNA February 14th, 2019

Laser-induced graphene gets tough, with help: Rice University lab combines conductive foam with other materials for capable new composites February 12th, 2019

Nominations invited for $250,000 Kabiller Prize — the world’s largest monetary award for achievement in nanomedicine: An additional $10,000 award will honor a young investigator in nanoscience, nanomedicine February 7th, 2019

Kanazawa University research: Chirality inversion in a helical molecule at controlled speeds February 6th, 2019

Discoveries

Exotic spiraling electrons discovered by physicists: Rutgers-led research could lead to advances in lighting and solar cells February 18th, 2019

Tracking pollen with quantum dots: A pollination biologist from Stellenbosch University in South Africa is using quantum dots to track the fate of individual pollen grains. This is breaking new ground in a field of research that has been hampered by the lack of a universal method February 17th, 2019

The smallest skeletons in the marine world observed in 3D by synchrotron techniques February 15th, 2019

Researchers create ultra-lightweight ceramic material that withstands extreme temperatures: UCLA-led team develops highly durable aerogel that could ultimately be an upgrade for insulation on spacecraft February 15th, 2019

Announcements

Bosch Sensortec launches ideation community to foster and accelerate innovative IoT applications : Creativity hub for customers, partners, developers and makers February 18th, 2019

Exotic spiraling electrons discovered by physicists: Rutgers-led research could lead to advances in lighting and solar cells February 18th, 2019

Tracking pollen with quantum dots: A pollination biologist from Stellenbosch University in South Africa is using quantum dots to track the fate of individual pollen grains. This is breaking new ground in a field of research that has been hampered by the lack of a universal method February 17th, 2019

Super-light, super-insulating ceramic aerogel keeps the hottest temperatures at bay February 17th, 2019

Tools

The smallest skeletons in the marine world observed in 3D by synchrotron techniques February 15th, 2019

Picosun’s ALD encapsulation prevents electronics degradation February 15th, 2019

Scientists image conducting edges in a promising 2-D material February 8th, 2019

CEA-Leti Builds Prototype of Next-Generation Mid-Infrared Optical Sensors for Portable Devices: Coin-size, On-chip Sensors that Combine High Performance and Low Power Consumption Presented in Paper at SPIE Photonics West 2019 February 5th, 2019

Research partnerships

Exotic spiraling electrons discovered by physicists: Rutgers-led research could lead to advances in lighting and solar cells February 18th, 2019

Laser-induced graphene gets tough, with help: Rice University lab combines conductive foam with other materials for capable new composites February 12th, 2019

Using artificial intelligence to engineer materials' properties: New system of 'strain engineering' can change a material's optical, electrical, and thermal properties February 11th, 2019

Scientists image conducting edges in a promising 2-D material February 8th, 2019

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project