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Proceedings Paper

Using optical tweezers to study mechanical properties of collagen
Author(s): Naghmeh Rezaei; Benjamin P. B. Downing; Andrew Wieczorek; Clara K. Y. Chan; Robert Lindsay Welch; Nancy R. Forde
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Paper Abstract

The mechanical response of biological molecules at the microscopic level contributes significantly to their function. Optical tweezers are instruments that enable scientists to study mechanical properties at microscopic levels. They are based on a highly focused laser beam that creates a trap for microscopic objects such as dielectric spheres, viruses, bacteria, living cells and organelles, and then manipulates them by applying forces in the picoNewton range (a range that is biologically relevant). In this work, mechanical properties of single collagen molecules are studied using optical tweezers. We discuss the challenges of stretching single collagen proteins, whose length is much less than the size of the microspheres used as manipulation handles, and show how instrumental design and biochemistry can be used to overcome these challenges.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 August 2011
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8007, Photonics North 2011, 80070K (31 August 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.905714
Show Author Affiliations
Naghmeh Rezaei, Simon Fraser Univ. (Canada)
Benjamin P. B. Downing, Simon Fraser Univ. (Canada)
Andrew Wieczorek, Simon Fraser Univ. (Canada)
Clara K. Y. Chan, Simon Fraser Univ. (Canada)
Robert Lindsay Welch, Simon Fraser Univ. (Canada)
Nancy R. Forde, Simon Fraser Univ. (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8007:
Photonics North 2011
Raman Kashyap; Michel Têtu; Rafael N. Kleiman, Editor(s)

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