Single-molecule Phenomena

Recent advances in the technology and development of physical methods enable one to probe biomolecular processes in real-time at single molecule level. These led to the study of biophysical properties of single molecule DNA, folding & unfolding of proteins, transcription and translation activity in real-time, single molecule DNA-protein interactions, enzymatic kinetics etc. Such studies involve nanoscale manipulation of biomolecules. The challenge in doing science at this level is to deal with the length scale of few nanometers and an energy scale of few KBT (~10-21J). At these scales, viscous forces dominate both animate and inanimate objects which are compounded with the Brownian noise arising out of fluctuations in KBT. Our lab is focused on the development of such nanoscale manipulation and detection methods using optical tweezers & fluorescence microscopy and their application in biology broadly in the domain of spatio-temporal characterization of DNA-protein interaction.

Nano-scale Imaging

Nano- science and technology involve the study of structures from 1-100nm. It is believed that the influence of nanotechnology will be felt across a broad spectrum of fields from computing and information technology, health care and biotechnology, environment, energy and transportation to space exploration. Conventional lithography techniques generate structures at nanoscale using a top-down approach. Self assembly techniques use a bottom up approach to nanostructures. The impending integration of these two approaches is the cause for much of the excitement and optimism in the field. Powerful imaging techniques like AFM and con-focal microscopy are useful in investigating and understanding the phenomena at nano-scale resolution.





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