Nanoscale biophysics

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Although DNA nanopores are widely explored as synthetic membrane proteins, it is still unclear how the anionic DNA assemblies stably reside within the hydrophobic core of a lipid bilayer. Here, the authors use molecular dynamics simulations to reveal the key dynamic interactions and energetics stabilizing the nanopore-membrane interaction.

    • Vishal Maingi
    • , Jonathan R. Burns
    •  & Mark S. P. Sansom
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nanoscopy of non-adherent cells is currently not possible, due to their movement in solution. Here the authors immobilize and manipulate fixedE. coli by multiple optical traps; their holographic optical tweezers enable dSTORM imaging of orthogonal planes via 3D realignment of the sample.

    • Robin Diekmann
    • , Deanna L. Wolfson
    •  & Thomas Huser
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many super-resolution imaging techniques use fluorescence emission intensity to obtain precise positional information, but other spectral information is ignored. Here, the authors develop a method that records the spectrum and position of single dye molecules to map the hydrophobicity of a surface.

    • Marie N. Bongiovanni
    • , Julien Godet
    •  & Steven F. Lee
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Forming self-assembled soft materials with unconventional properties can be useful in many different applications. Here, Sciortino and co-workers have designed and experimentally realized a one-pot DNA hydrogel that melts both on heating and on cooling.

    • Francesca Bomboi
    • , Flavio Romano
    •  & Francesco Sciortino
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Size and molecular composition of biological nanoparticles dictate their function, but cannot be simultaneously determined accurately. Here, Höök and others have subjected constrained biological nanoparticles on a lipid bilayer to hydrodynamic flow to quantify accurately both size and emission intensity.

    • Stephan Block
    • , Björn Johansson Fast
    •  & Fredrik Höök
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Protein nanotechnology for the fabrication of protein-based nanoscale devices is gaining momentum but assembling well-defined three-dimensional shapes is still challenging. Here, the authors use an existing prefoldin assembled system to design a template for the construction of geometrically constrained structures.

    • Dominic J. Glover
    • , Lars Giger
    •  & Douglas S. Clark
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Manipulating the interactions of cells with their environment is usually done with cells in vitro, which does not reflect the complex in vivosystem. Here the authors demonstrate micromanipulation of microparticles, bacteria and immune cells within live zebrafish using optical tweezers.

    • Patrick Lie Johansen
    • , Federico Fenaroli
    •  & Gerbrand Koster
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The intracellular applications of STED microscopy are limited by the availability of dyes. Here the authors develop a two-colour labelling strategy based on SiR and ATTO590 dyes, and apply their strategy to image various subcellular membrane compartments.

    • Francesca Bottanelli
    • , Emil B. Kromann
    •  & Joerg Bewersdorf
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Adenylate kinase catalyses the interconversion of adenosine phosphates, and plays a crucial role in maintaining cellular energy homeostasis. Here, the authors use single molecule optical tweezers to understand how the enzyme’s conformation dynamics modulates catalysis.

    • Benjamin Pelz
    • , Gabriel Žoldák
    •  & Matthias Rief
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In metalloproteins, a metal cofactor participates in the formation of the correct fold. Here the authors demonstrate—using single molecule force spectroscopy and the native copper centre as an embedded internal reporter—that the blue-copper proteins azurin and plastocyanin unfold via two independent competing pathways under force.

    • Amy E. M. Beedle
    • , Ainhoa Lezamiz
    •  & Sergi Garcia-Manyes
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The degradation of materials used in biological applications has an important bearing on their long term performance. Here, the authors show how porous silicon nanoparticle degradation can be accelerated in vivothrough the influence of local tissue pathology, likely influencing drug delivery performance.

    • Adi Tzur-Balter
    • , Zohar Shatsberg
    •  & Natalie Artzi
  • Article |

    The translocation and assembly module (TAM) is a nanomachine responsible for assembly of proteins into the outer membrane of pathogenic bacteria. Here, Shen et al.use magnetic contrast neutron reflectrometry to visualize movements within the TAM and insertion of a substrate protein into the lipid bilayer.

    • Hsin-Hui Shen
    • , Denisse L. Leyton
    •  & Trevor Lithgow
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Complex molecular interactions occur in the active zone cytomatrix (CAZ) within the presynaptic terminal to regulate synaptic plasticity. Here, the authors use imaging techniques to show that the CAZ is composed of units containing on average 137 Bruchpilot proteins, many of which are arranged into clusters.

    • Nadine Ehmann
    • , Sebastian van de Linde
    •  & Robert J. Kittel