Nanohole optical trapping is a tool that has been shown to analyze proteins at the single molecule level using pure samples. The next step is to detect and study single molecules with dirty samples. We demonstrate that using our double nanohole optical tweezing configuration, single particles in an egg white solution can be classified when trapped. Different sized molecules provide different signal variations in their trapped state, allowing the proteins to be statistically characterized. Root mean squared variation and trap stiffness are methods used on trapped signals to distinguish between the different proteins. This method to isolate and determine single molecules in heterogeneous samples provides huge potential to become a reliable tool for use within biomedical and scientific communities.
Noa Hacohen, Candice J. X. Ip, Gurunatha K. Laxminarayana, Timothy S. DeWolf, and Reuven Gordon, "Nanohole optical tweezers in heterogeneous mixture analysis," Proc. SPIE 10347, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XIV, 103470F (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 06, 2017; Published: 25 August 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2273358.
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