Science Council (NSC) Project
magnetic tweezers for manipulation and studying mechanical
properties of single biomolecules
of the proposed two-year study is to design and fabricate
a novel micro-magnetic tweezers utilizing MEMS technologies
to manipulate DNA and actin filaments. The micromachined
magnetic tweezers is capable of generating three-dimensional
translational and rotational motions of a magnetic bead
via a simple current control, which is enabling stretching
and rotation of a single biomolecule. The key platform
technologies including (1) micro-electromagnet fabrication,
(2) localized single molecules immobilization, (3) micro-force
measurement, (4) microfluidics, will been integrated
to form the manipulation platform of a single molecule
and a cell.
use a highly efficient, highly specific, and strong
binding method for the construction of DNA two sticky
ends, which is compatible with MEMS techniques. A single
DNA molecule is specifically attached onto a magnetic
bead and a gold surface and will be manipulated under
a magnetic field generated by built-in hexagonally-aligned
micro-electromagnet. Likewise, a single actin filament
could be manipulated using the similar affinity systems.
Besides, a single molecule as a nano-wire could be extended
between two nano-electrodes. We will develop a specific
DNA immobilization platform to fix single DNA molecules
and measure Ohm’s properties of the DNA.
and optimization of the magnetic tweezers will be carried
out by numerical simulation using the finite element
analysis software. To quantify mechanical properties
of an individual biomolecule and a living cell, force
calibration will be performed by using the balance of
gravity forces, hydrodynamic forces, and Brownian motion.
Furthermore, verification of the single molecule biophysics
will be carried out by the theoretical model.
magnetic tweezers will be applied to manipulate a single
molecule and investigate physical properties of (1)
a single DNA molecule, (2) a single actin filament,
or (3) cell surfaces with a real-time fashion. This
new tool has the following advantages over its large-scale
counterparts including noninvasive, appropriate force
range, excellent operation, fair measurability, cost-effectiveness,
IC compatibility, and versatility to integrate with
other MEMS devices. The proposed approach could provide
a powerful tool for study of nano-biotechnology and
improve our understanding of biophysical properties
including flexibility, conductivity and thermodynamics.