Multiplexable super-resolution force spectroscopy using ultrasound methods and magnetic detection
"Multiplexable super-resolution force spectroscopy (M-SURFS) using ultrasound methods and magnetic detection was developed to improve analytical capabilities of distinguishing properties such as mechanical and chemical activities at the single molecular scale. This is important so that researchers can further understand the underpinnings of structures and behavior mechanisms of important biomolecules such as proteins. Having this knowledge, therapies and medicinal technologies can be developed in shorter periods of time and with greater efficacy to provide better medicines to patients suffering from disease.

This M-SURFS technique uses precise ultrasound radiation to exert acoustic radiation force on protein bonds labeled with magnetic particles; the force-induced dissociation is measured as a reduced magnetic signal by a magnetic sensor, such as an atomic magnetometer and provides greater accuracy of molecular properties compared to other techniques. "
  • Bimolecular engineering
  • Pharmaceutical devices for drug therapy screening
Problems Addressed
  • Therapy drugs are less likely to be effective if we do not know how they behave and interact at the molecular level
  • The accuracy of measuring the binding force of molecular bonds and understanding bimolecular motion is not sufficient with current methods 
Competitive Advantages
  • Force resolution of molecular behavior using this technique reaches 0.5 pN (piconewton) which is an order of magnitude improvement over other current-force spectroscopy techniques     
  • Associated spatial resolution for molecular motion is ~O.2 nm which cannot be revealed by other structural techniques such as X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy
  • Provisional patent application filed
Case ID
Shoujun Xu
Associate Professor of Chemistry