A novel electromagnetic apparatus for rapid multiplex single molecule force spectroscopy.

Author: Shen Y, Czajkowsky DM, Li X, Sun J, Hu J, Shao Z.
Affiliation: Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800, China.
Conference/Journal: J Nanosci Nanotechnol.
Date published: 2013 Feb
Other: Volume ID: 13 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 1232-6 , Word Count: 190

Single-molecule force spectroscopy has revolutionized our ability to probe the details of molecular structures and interactions, but the numbers of individual measurements required for achieving a statistically reliable result can sometimes prove daunting. To overcome this problem, a number of instruments have recently been developed that are capable of monitoring the behavior of tens of individual biomolecules simultaneously. In this work, we have constructed a novel electromagnetic apparatus for multiplex single molecule force measurements utilizing magnetic microspheres. In this system, the magnetic field is generated with an electron-lens of an electron microscope mated with a high voltage flash light circuit to rapidly attain a stable magnetic field. We show that this instrument can generate a uniform magnetic force of up to -20 pN within 5 ms, over a region spanning 1 mm. The successful application of this apparatus to the force-dependent extension of dsDNA fully validates this approach. Furthermore, the lens-like design of the pole piece is fully compatible with optical imaging, thus allowing for the integration of single molecule fluorescence capabilities that should make this system a particularly powerful apparatus for multi-dimensional characterization of fast processes within interacting single molecules.
PMID: 23646609