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Opt Express. 2008 May 12;16(10):6941-56.

Controlling Brownian motion of single protein molecules and single fluorophores in aqueous buffer.

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1
Dept. of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. cohen@chemistry.harvard.edu

Abstract

We present an Anti-Brownian Electrokinetic trap (ABEL trap) capable of trapping individual fluorescently labeled protein molecules in aqueous buffer. The ABEL trap operates by tracking the Brownian motion of a single fluorescent particle in solution, and applying a time-dependent electric field designed to induce an electrokinetic drift that cancels the Brownian motion. The trapping strength of the ABEL trap is limited by the latency of the feedback loop. In previous versions of the trap, this latency was set by the finite frame rate of the camera used for video-tracking. In the present system, the motion of the particle is tracked entirely in hardware (without a camera or image-processing software) using a rapidly rotating laser focus and lock-in detection. The feedback latency is set by the finite rate of arrival of photons. We demonstrate trapping of individual molecules of the protein GroEL in buffer, and we show confinement of single fluorophores of the dye Cy3 in water.

PMID:
18545398
PMCID:
PMC2435051
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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