Researchers at University of Jyväskylä (Finland) and University of Tampere (Finland) together with BioNavis Ltd (Finland) have developed a novel nanoactuator system, where conformation of biomolecule can be tuned by electric field and probed using optical properties of gold nanoparticle.
Over the past decades, nanoactuators for detection or probing of different biomolecules have attracted vast interest for example in the fields of biomedical, food and environmental industry. To provide more versatile tools for active molecular control in nanometer scale, researchers at University of Jyväskylä and University of Tampere have devised a nanoactuator scheme, where gold nanoparticle (AuNP) tethered on a conducting surface is moved reversibly using electric fields, while monitoring its position optically via changes of its plasmon resonance. Forces induced by the AuNP motion on the molecule anchoring the nanoparticle, can be used to change and study its conformation.
More possibilities to study molecules
According to the current study, it was shown that AuNPs anchored via hairpin-DNA molecule experienced additional discretization in their motion due to opening and closing of the hairpin-loop compared to the plain, single stranded DNA.
Besides studying the structure and behaviour of molecules, this scheme can be extended to surface-enhanced spectroscopies like SERS, since the distance between the particle and the conducting surface and hence the plasmon resonance of the nanoparticle can be reversibly tuned.
The research was funded by the Academy of Finland (OMA - programmable materials) and the Finnish Cultural Foundation (the Central Finland Regional Fund). Authors thank BioNavis Ltd for equipment and essential expertise in the SPR analysis.
SOURCE: University of Jyväskylä