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


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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