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Combining optical tweezers microscopy and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to characterize protein structures

• Prof. Jinqing Huang, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Prof. Jinqing Huang and her team at HKUST are developing new single-molecule spectroscopic platforms to study heterogeneous molecular systems in a label-free manner. Recently, the team combined optical tweezers and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to create a hotspot to characterize the secondary structures of proteins in dilute solution.

This optical tweezers-controlled hotspot can provide tunable and reproducible SERS enhancements with up to single-molecule level sensitivity, which helps to identify the transient species of alpha-synuclein (an intrinsically disordered protein closely linked to Parkinson's disease) to reveal the mechanism of amyloid protein aggregation. Besides, it also has the potential to integrate with other surface-sensitive techniques to make single-molecule detections easier.

Jul 28, 2021 03:00 PM in Hong Kong SAR

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