A novel nanoactuator system has been developed
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.
Related studies use either organic or in-organic interfaces or materials as probes. Our idea was to fuse these two domains together to achieve the best from the both worlds, says postdoctoral researcher Kosti Tapio.
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.
"This finding will enable conformational studies of variety of multiple interesting biomolecules, or even viruses", says Associate Professor Vesa Hytönen from the Protein Dynamics Group from the University of Tampere.
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.
"Nanoparticle systems with post-fabrication tuneable optical properties have been developed in the past, but typically the tuning processes are irreversible. Our approach offers more customizability and possibilities when it comes to the detection wavelengths and molecules", states Associate Professor Jussi Toppari from the University of Jyväskylä.
DNA-nanoparticle actuator enabling optical monitoring of nanoscale movements induced by electric field
K. Tapio, D. Shao, S. Auer, J.-P. Tuppurainen, M. Ahlskog, V.P. Hytönen and J. Toppari, Nanoscale
Associate Professor Jussi Toppari
University of Jyväskylä's Department of Physics and Nanoscience Center, Molecular Electronics and Plasmonics Group
Tel: +358 40 8054123
Associate Professor Vesa Hytönen
University of Tampere's Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences and BioMediTech, Protein Dynamics Group
Tel: +358 40 1901517
University of Potsdam's Department of Chemistry, Optical Spectroscopy and Chemical Imaging
Tel: +358 50 5118827
University of Jyväskylä