Fluorescence in Bioinspired Nanotechnology

Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) is a widespread technique to study molecular interactions in biology and nanotechnology; it offers both spatial and temporal resolution on a relevant scale. We are interested in using fluorescence to study nano-scale assemblies built using bio-molecules such as DNA or lipids.

Fluorescent molecules in nanometer scale structures and devices can be used as reporter functions giving information about such things as and reaction rates, structural flexibility and interactions in supramolecular assemblies. Fluorescence can also be incorporated into nanoscale devices as a function of the device itself. In light harvesting complexes in bacterial photosynthesis, multistep energy transfer is utilized to gather energy from and to direct it to the reaction centre. Multistep FRET can be adopted as a communication strategy in nanotechnology bridging the gap between the molecular and lithographic length scales.
 
Furthermore, it is of great interest to use light as way to control reactions in molecular devices. Light can be easily switched on and off and can affect molecules without the need to change composition of the sample. These advantages make light and fluorescence attractive tools to manipulate and control devices operating in the nanometer regime.
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Published: Mon 28 Oct 2013.