Photonic-plasmonic hybrid single-molecule nanosensor measures the effect of fluorescent labels on DNA-protein dynamics

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Science Advances  26 May 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 5, e1602991
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602991

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Current methods to study molecular interactions require labeling the subject molecules with fluorescent reporters. However, the effect of the fluorescent reporters on molecular dynamics has not been quantified because of a lack of alternative methods. We develop a hybrid photonic-plasmonic antenna-in-a-nanocavity single-molecule biosensor to study DNA-protein dynamics without using fluorescent labels. Our results indicate that the fluorescein and fluorescent protein labels decrease the interaction between a single DNA and a protein due to weakened electrostatic interaction. Although the study is performed on the DNA-XPA system, the conclusion has a general implication that the traditional fluorescent labeling methods might be misestimating the molecular interactions.

  • single molecule
  • Photonic Crystal
  • Plasmonics
  • Nanosensor
  • Moleulcar dynamics
  • Fluorescent labeling effect
  • Label-free

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