Single-Molecule Studies of Intermolecular Kinetics Using Nano-Electronics Circuits
Froberg, James Steven
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As science and medicine advance, it becomes ever more important to be able to control and analyze smaller and smaller bioparticles all the way down to single molecules. In this dissertation several studies aimed at improving our ability to manipulate and monitor single biomolecules will be discussed. First, we will discuss a study on developing a way to map dielectrophoresis with nanoscale resolution using a novel atomic force microscopy technique. Dielectrophoresis can be applied on nanoparticles through micron-scale electrodes to separate and control said particles. Therefore, this new method of mapping this force will greatly improve our ability to manipulate single biomolecules through dielectrophoresis. The next two studies discussed will be aimed at using carbon nanotube nanocircuits to monitor single protein kinetics in real time. Drug development and delivery methods rely on the precise understanding of protein interactions, thus creating the need for information on single protein dynamics that our techniques provides. The proteins studied in these sections are MMP1 and HDAC8, both of which are known targets of anti-cancer drugs. Finally, we developed a new strategy for diagnosing pancreatic cancer. Our strategy involves using graphene nanotransistors to detect exosomes released from the pancreatic tumor. The ability to reliably diagnose pancreatic cancer before it reaches metastasis would greatly improve the life expectancy of patients who develop this condition. We were able to test our technique on samples from a number of patients and were successfully able to distinguish patients with pancreatic cancer from noncancerous patients.