A Method of Using Responsive Micro and Sub-micro Scale Polymer Particles for Mechanical Manipulation of Molecules


A method to study the mechanical/controlled unfolding of biomolecules using a polymer force clamp (PFC).

Key Benefits

  • Particles can be immobilized onto virtually any type of support.
  • Particles can also be functionalized with a variety of small-molecule, peptide and protein ligands.
  • Ability to have multiple PFC’s measuring associated DNA unfolding at the same time.

Market Summary

Life science tools are essential for elucidating the underlying mechanisms of disease to develop diagnostics and therapeutics. Studying the folding and unfolding of proteins and other molecules within cells and tissues can help determine various states of disease and even the presence of malignancies. Additionally, it can aid in the development of new medicines for which there are no viable treatment options. Unfortunately, current methods (e.g., atomic force microscopy & optical and magnetic tweezers) to study folding and unfolding interactions are limited due to low throughput, expensive equipment and reagents, and a complicated workflow. The described technology has the potential to overcome these limitations, offering researchers an accurate, inexpensive, and high throughput method for measuring nanoscale force interactions.

Technical Summary

Researchers at Emory have developed a method for the study of mechanical/controlled unfolding of biomolecules using a polymer force clamp (PFC). The method consists of using a responsive polymer such as light or heat to manipulate the molecules found between substrates. The technology for the method is based on a platform-bound ligand that is fused to domains that being a fluorophore and a quencher separated by a PEG (polyethylene glycol) linker. The fluorophore/ligand is placed in proximity to the quenching signal in the absence of binding, furthermore, there is no fluorescence.

Developmental Stage

Prototype developed.

Patent Information

Tech ID: 18082
Published: 7/6/2022