Terahertz Technology for Probing Picosecond Protein Dynamics under Physiological Conditions
The aim of this project is to overcome the present challenges to probe spectroscopic signatures of protein dynamics under physiological conditions in the picosecond time scale. For this, we will develop technologies to simultaneously align the proteins in solution and perform high-sensitive angle dependent terahertz spectroscopy in their native soluble environment. In this way, we will resolve spectroscopic signatures thanks to a coherent response of all the probed molecules.
Methods based on the interaction of proteins and electromagnetic waves from different parts of the spectrum, at different time scales, are critical for the understanding of the fascinating connection between dynamics, structure and function of these molecules, and include infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy or X-ray scattering.
Within the electromagnetic spectrum, the use of terahertz waves, corresponding to the picosecond time scale, to trigger protein dynamics has been limited due to technological issues and limited to artificial conformations. The outcome of this research will provide frontline terahertz techniques that will open a new spectral window for monitoring and identifying protein structure and dynamics.
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- Swedish Research Council (VR) (Public, Sweden)