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Aligning Molecular Attachment Sites in Single Molecule Force Spectroscopy Measurements

[+] Author Affiliations
Monica Rivera, Whasil Lee, Piotr E. Marszalek, Robert L. Clark

Duke University, Durham, NC

Daniel G. Cole

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Paper No. DETC2008-50019, pp. 663-667; 5 pages
doi:10.1115/DETC2008-50019
From:
  • ASME 2008 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 20th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology; Second International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems
  • Brooklyn, New York, USA, August 3–6, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4328-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3831-5
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME

abstract

In atomic force microscopy (AFM) -based single molecule force spectroscopy, it is assumed that the pulling angle is negligible and that the force applied to the molecule is equivalent to the force measured by the instrument. Although this assumption may hold for flexible, compact molecules, studies have shown that it may not be appropriate for fairly rigid molecules, where measured forces can be a fraction of the actual values experienced by the molecule. Previously, we have proposed a method to align a molecule’s substrate and cantilever attachment sites and tested it in a simulated environment. Here we continue our work and test the alignment program in an experimental environment. In this paper we demonstrate that circling-induced force fluctuations are the result of stretching and relaxing a tethered molecule and we present the results of an alignment trial. Combined, these preliminary results demonstrate the feasibility of the alignment program and are a promising step towards correcting pulling geometry errors in single molecule force spectroscopy studies.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME

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