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Articles: article 3944

Optical Tweezers methods

A Temperature-Jump Optical Trap for Single-Molecule Manipulation.

de Lorenzo S, Ribezzi-Crivellari M, Arias-Gonzalez JR, Smith SB, Ritort F

Biophys.J 2015 108(12) 2854-2864 [ doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2015.05.017 ]

To our knowledge, we have developed a novel temperature-jump optical tweezers setup that changes the temperature locally and rapidly. It uses a heating laser with a wavelength that is highly absorbed by water so it can cover a broad range of temperatures. This instrument can record several force-distance curves for one individual molecule at various temperatures with good thermal and mechanical stability. Our design has features to reduce convection and baseline shifts, which have troubled previous heating-laser instruments. As proof of accuracy, we used the instrument to carry out DNA unzipping experiments in which we derived the average basepair free energy, entropy, and enthalpy of formation of the DNA duplex in a range of temperatures between 5C and 50C. We also used the instrument to characterize the temperature-dependent elasticity of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), where we find a significant condensation plateau at low force and low temperature. Oddly, the persistence length of ssDNA measured at high force seems to increase with temperature, contrary to simple entropic models .

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