Single molecule weighing machine invented at Caltech
A long 12 years of research has bore fruit as scientists at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have finally readied a first-ever device to weigh single molecule.
The milestone achievement is the result of longstanding efforts given by Michael Roukes and his colleagues who were conscientiously working on the project over a decade.
Michael Roukes is the professor of physics, applied physics and bioengineering at Caltech.
About Single molecule device
Until now scientist could weigh only large group of molecules by ionizing them and understanding their electromagnetic activity. But, with the new single molecule weighing technology advanced molecular study would be possible.
Single molecule device is an extremely petite gadget ‘built around a bridge-like structure’. The device would denote single molecular weight by vibrating and changing the oscillating frequency of the bridge on the basis of molecular mass put on to it.
The technique is called Mass spectrometry. The bridge-like device is named nanoelectromechanical system (NEMS) resonator.
How can Single molecule device help?
The single-molecule device invention could bring a major boost to medical science by helping doctors in diagnosing diseases quite easily.
The device would also enable accurate measurement of nanoparticles and air pollution. Thus the environmental scientists could now better understand the techniques to check pollution and climate change.
Finally, subjects like cell biology and virus molecule structure could now also be more efficiently studied with the single molecule weight technology, said researchers at Caltech.
The specifics of the single molecule device are brought out on the online publication of the journal Nature Nanotechnology.