Molecular recognition force spectroscopy

Nicolas Willet, Constanze Lamprecht, Christian Rankl, Martina Rangl, Rhiannon Creasey, Andreas Ebner, Nicolas Hans Voelcker, Peter Hinterdorfer

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Molecular recognition, that is, the complementary interaction between two or more partners via noncovalent bonding, is a key phenomenon that rules many important biological processes, from genome replication and transcription to enzymatic activity, and other cellular processes. Often inspired by Nature, many synthetic systems are designed that also exhibit specific high-affinity interactions between host and guest entities, for example, cyclodextrin with ferrocene or adamantane (1998), genetically engineered polypeptides for inorganics (GEPI) with metallic surfaces (Tamerler et al. 2010), crown ethers with cations (Cooper 1992, Percec et al. 1994, Kado and Kimura 2003), molecular shuttles and many more. Their selectivity and specificity are widely exploited in materials science and nanobiotechnology for the development of smart devices and analytical systems such as (bio)sensors (Lang et al. 2002, McKendry et al. 2002, Zhang et al. 2006, Burg et al. 2007, Huber et al. 2007).
Nowadays, low forces corresponding to noncovalent intermolecular interactions can be investigated on a close to—or real—molecular level by a number of techniques, for example, optical tweezers, magnetic beads, biomembrane force probe, and atomic force microscopy (AFM) (Binnig et al. 1986). While being mainly a high-resolution imaging tool at first (Hoerber and Miles 2003), AFM is now renowned as a versatile technique, allowing probing of a broad range of forces with nanometric lateral resolution, in almost any environmental condition.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMolecular Manipulation with Atomic Force Microscopy
EditorsAnne-Sophie Duwez, Nicolas Willet
Place of PublicationBoca Raton FL USA
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages44
ISBN (Electronic)9781439809679
ISBN (Print)9781439809662
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Willet, N., Lamprecht, C., Rankl, C., Rangl, M., Creasey, R., Ebner, A., Voelcker, N. H., & Hinterdorfer, P. (2012). Molecular recognition force spectroscopy. In A-S. Duwez, & N. Willet (Eds.), Molecular Manipulation with Atomic Force Microscopy (pp. 3-46). CRC Press.