Ultrasensitive detection and characterization of biomolecules using superchiral fields

Hendry, E., Carpy, T., Johnston, J., Popland, M., Mikhaylovskiy, R.V., Lapthorn, A. , Kelly, S.M., Barron, L.D., Gadegaard, N. and Kadodwala, M. (2010) Ultrasensitive detection and characterization of biomolecules using superchiral fields. Nature Nanotechnology, 5(11), pp. 783-787. (doi:10.1038/nnano.2010.209)

Hendry, E., Carpy, T., Johnston, J., Popland, M., Mikhaylovskiy, R.V., Lapthorn, A. , Kelly, S.M., Barron, L.D., Gadegaard, N. and Kadodwala, M. (2010) Ultrasensitive detection and characterization of biomolecules using superchiral fields. Nature Nanotechnology, 5(11), pp. 783-787. (doi:10.1038/nnano.2010.209)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2010.209

Abstract

The spectroscopic analysis of large biomolecules is important in applications such as biomedical diagnostics and pathogen detection1, 2, and spectroscopic techniques can detect such molecules at the nanogram level or lower. However, spectroscopic techniques have not been able to probe the structure of large biomolecules with similar levels of sensitivity. Here, we show that superchiral electromagnetic fields3, generated by the optical excitation of plasmonic planar chiral metamaterials4, 5, are highly sensitive probes of chiral supramolecular structure. The differences in the effective refractive indices of chiral samples exposed to left- and right-handed superchiral fields are found to be up to 106 times greater than those observed in optical polarimetry measurements, thus allowing picogram quantities of adsorbed molecules to be characterized. The largest differences are observed for biomolecules that have chiral planar sheets, such as proteins with high β-sheet content, which suggests that this approach could form the basis for assaying technologies capable of detecting amyloid diseases and certain types of viruses

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barron, Professor Laurence and Lapthorn, Dr Adrian and Gadegaard, Professor Nikolaj and Kadodwala, Professor Malcolm
Authors: Hendry, E., Carpy, T., Johnston, J., Popland, M., Mikhaylovskiy, R.V., Lapthorn, A., Kelly, S.M., Barron, L.D., Gadegaard, N., and Kadodwala, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Journal Name:Nature Nanotechnology
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1748-3387
ISSN (Online):1748-3395
Published Online:31 October 2010
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
535321Breaking down barriers to cause a paradigm shift in ultra-sensitive detection of protein structureMalcolm KadodwalaMedical Research Council (MRC)G0902256CHEM - CHEMISTRY