Single Molecule Spectroscopy

The Talaga Lab in active in two types of single molecule spectroscopy.
The first type is based on fluorescence. An optical microscope is used with laser excitation to provide enough sensitivity to measure the fluorescence of a single molecule. By strategically placing dyes on a larger molecule (e.g. a protein) of interest we can follow its motions in real time. We are developing new approaches to single molecule fluorescence measurements to enhance our ability to extract useful information from them. Innovations include data acquisition and instrument automation, incorporation of microfluidics, development of new labeling methods, and investigation of various immobilization schemes.
The second type of single molecule measurement is based on electrically driven translocation of biopolymers through nanometer-sized pores. The nanopore conducts electricity. When the biopolymer enters the nanopore, the conductivity decreases according to the biopolymer size and shape allowing detection of the biopolymer.