Single Molecule Instrument for Surface Enhanced Raman Optical Activity of Biomolecules
Small Business Information
44 Hunt Street, Watertown, MA, 02472
AbstractStereochemistry is an essential element of our organic life. Only certain enantiomers are useful as drugs for the human body. Raman Optical Activity (ROA) and vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) provide stereochemical information down to bond levels. Many biomolecules like proteins and DNA can be studied for understanding their structural chemistry and structure related dynamics. These methods do not require material in the crystalline form and hence can be very useful tools.However, ROA signals are even weaker than the Raman signals. Phase I and Phase II work will focus on enhancing Raman optical Activity (ROA) signals in amino acids and biomolecules, which includes measurement of vibrational circular dichroism by using surface enhanced process involving nanoclusters. The use of nanoparticles is known to enhance Raman signals by several orders of magnitude. Our goal is to achieve similar gains in ROA signals. To achieve it, we will use a sensitive detection system in combination with improved surface enhanced chemistry and microfluidics-based single-molecule detection techniques. This will result in improved precision of measurement and shorten measurement time, which currently takes several hours to days.
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