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We’ve developed a nanoscale experimental platform that enables kinetic and equilibrium measurements of a wide range of molecular interactions using a gel electrophoresis readout. Programmable, self-assembled DNA nanoswitches serve both as templates for positioning molecules, and as sensitive, quantitative reporters of molecular association and dissociation.
CENTRIFUGE FORCE MICROSCOPE
We are developing a new approach for performing massively parallel single-molecule force measurements using centrifugal force. This is accomplished with a new instrument that we call the Centrifuge Force Microscope (CFM).
Our group investigates how biological systems work at the nanoscale, and the physical laws that govern their behavior. We are particularly interested in how mechanical forces regulate biological processes ranging from hearing to bleeding. We developing and applying novel methods in single-molecule and nanoscale biophysics to accomplish this, combing approaches from fields ranging from molecular biology to optics. Some of our research topics and projects are described below.
Using techniques in single-molecule manipulation, we have illuminated a fundamental feedback mechanism that the body uses to regulate the clotting of blood. Small tensile forces, such as those experienced in the circulation, can unfold the von Willebrand factor A2 domain, enabling its cleavage by the ADAMTS13 enzyme. This, in turn varies the body’s hemostatic potential.
OPTICAL IMAGING AND TRAPPING
Our group develops optical methods, including optical tweezers, 3D high-resolution bead tracking, and single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, to study the mechanics and kinetics of single-molecules.
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