Life of a single biomolecule in a motion picture


Numerous biomolecules and their interactions possess physiologically relevant heterogeneities that can be unravelled only by means of single-molecule tools. All current single-molecule imaging methods, however, require fluorescent labelling or immobilization onto a surface, which might alter the biomolecule’s natural behaviour. Recently, I have developed a ground-breaking optical microscopy method – Nanofluidic Scattering Microscopy (NSM) – whose unprecedented resolution enabled me to bypass those limitations and to image individual proteins in free motion without any label. Nevertheless, the study of interactions between proteins remains challenging, due to the fast motion of biomolecules, which makes their residence time in the field of view of a microscope extremely short. In this project I will develop the next-generation of NSM, which will enable the study of biomolecular interactions. This will be achieved by electrostatic or entropic trapping, that allows to enclose a high number of biomolecules inside specifically tailored nanofluidic reactors.