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Lattice diffusion of a single molecule in solution


Ruggeri, Francesca; Krishnan, Madhavi (2017). Lattice diffusion of a single molecule in solution. Physical review. E, 96:062406.

Abstract

The ability to trap a single molecule in an electrostatic potential well in solution has opened up new possibilities for the use of molecular electrical charge to study macromolecular conformation and dynamics at the level of the single entity. Here we study the diffusion of a single macromolecule in a two-dimensional lattice of electrostatic traps in solution. We report the ability to measure both the size and effective electrical charge of a macromolecule by observing single-molecule transport trajectories, typically a few seconds in length, using fluorescence microscopy. While, as shown previously, the time spent by the molecule in a trap is a strong function of its effective charge, we demonstrate here that the average travel time between traps in the landscape yields its hydrodynamic radius. Tailoring the pitch of the lattice thus yields two different experimentally measurable time scales that together uniquely determine both the size and charge of the molecule. Since no information is required on the location of the molecule between consecutive departure and arrival events at lattice sites, the technique is ideally suited to measurements on weakly emitting entities such as single molecules.

Abstract

The ability to trap a single molecule in an electrostatic potential well in solution has opened up new possibilities for the use of molecular electrical charge to study macromolecular conformation and dynamics at the level of the single entity. Here we study the diffusion of a single macromolecule in a two-dimensional lattice of electrostatic traps in solution. We report the ability to measure both the size and effective electrical charge of a macromolecule by observing single-molecule transport trajectories, typically a few seconds in length, using fluorescence microscopy. While, as shown previously, the time spent by the molecule in a trap is a strong function of its effective charge, we demonstrate here that the average travel time between traps in the landscape yields its hydrodynamic radius. Tailoring the pitch of the lattice thus yields two different experimentally measurable time scales that together uniquely determine both the size and charge of the molecule. Since no information is required on the location of the molecule between consecutive departure and arrival events at lattice sites, the technique is ideally suited to measurements on weakly emitting entities such as single molecules.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:540 Chemistry
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:28 Dec 2017 07:54
Last Modified:18 Apr 2018 11:49
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN:2470-0045
Funders:Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung (SNSF), European Research Council
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.96.062406
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project TitleSchweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung (SNSF)
  • : Funder
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project TitleEuropean Research Council

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