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Electrophoretically Actuated Nanoscale Optoentropic Transduction Mechanisms

B. Sullivan, D. Dehlinger, S. Zlatanovic, S. Esener and M.J. Heller
University of California San Diego, US

nanoscale transducers, nanoscale mechanisms, DNA, FRET

We have identified a novel oscillatory optoentropic transduction mechanism that may enable modern communications theory to augment DNA and protein target detection within complex biological samples. More specifically, we have shown that electric field driven fluorescent resonant energy transfer assemblies improve the differentiation between complementary and mismatched DNA probes, and that integration of oscillatory responses over time give near single molecule sensitivity within a high background of autofluorescence. These findings are extremely significant, given that modulated signals overcome the inverse relationship between sensitivity and specificity characteristic of classical Gaussian distributed processes. Electric field driven, osmotically coupled relaxation within several Debye lengths of a conductive substrate may facilitate the analysis of mechanical modes and entropic contributions to the free energy minima of bound oligonucleotides. It is unknown whether entropic or mechanical modes will maximize the differences between mismatched probes. This study is aimed at examining low-frequency entropic modes of distance dependent, hinge-type transducers. If successful, the application of coding theory to nanoscale mechanical systems may lead to unique strategies to improve the resolution of in situ genetic changes between hyperplasia, carcinoma, and metastasis, and to examine mutations in upstream promoter regions inaccessible by RT-PCR methods.

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