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Biological Force Standards

Content About: Biological Force Standards

Published: 01/09/2013 - 10:19am Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Gold glitters because it is highly reflective, a quality once considered important for precision measurements made with gold-coated probes in atomic force microscopy (AFM). In reality, the usual gold coating on AFM probes is a major cause of force instability and measurement imprecision, according to research done by the Perkins group. The group has shown that gold-coated probes are a...

Published: 06/24/2013 - 11:03am Type of Content: Research Areas

The Tom Perkins group is working on the development of DNA and DNA hairpins as a force standard for the nanoworld. Polymers of DNA act like well-calibrated springs. DNA hairpins flicker between open and closed states at a characteristic force. In addition, DNA undergoes a sharp phase transition at ~65 pN. DNA’s unique mechanical properties plus the simplicity and fidelity with which it can be...