|United States Of America||Issued Patent||10,393,701||08/27/2019||2013-035|
Many biomolecules can exist in more than one stable state or configuration and can switch reversibly between them. Molecular switching may occur spontaneously or in response to an external stimulus, such as change in pH, light, or temperature. Molecular switches have numerous applications in life and engineering sciences, including selective drug administration or molecular electronics, and understanding their switching properties is essential for the development of these applications.
Scientists at UC Berkeley have designed a microfluidic device that dynamically measures molecular switching in real-time, using microfluidic molecular separation techniques. For example, the device has been used to better understand the photophysical properties of the widely used biological probe, green fluorescent protein (GFP). In addition to assaying biomolecule switching, this device can be used to separate and identify proteins in a biological sample, and thus be used as a microfluidic western blot that requires only small sample volumes.
Microfluidics, Western blot, molecular switching, diagnostic