|PROPOSAL NUMBER:||05 S2.05-9082|
|PROPOSAL TITLE:||Single Molecule Instrument for Surface Enhanced Raman Optical Activity of Biomolecules|
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN
(Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt St
Watertown ,MA 02472 - 4699
(617) 926 - 1167
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER
(Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Rajan S. Gurjar, PhD
44 Hunt St
Watertown, MA 02472 -4699
(617) 926 - 1167
TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Stereochemistry is an essential element of our organic life. Only certain enantiomers are useful as drugs for the human body. Raman Optical Activity (ROA) and vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) provide stereochemical information down to bond levels. Many biomolecules like proteins and DNA can be studied for understanding their structural chemistry and structure related dynamics. These methods do not require material in the crystalline form and hence can be very useful tools.
However, ROA signals are even weaker than the Raman signals. Phase I and Phase II work will focus on enhancing Raman optical Activity (ROA) signals in amino acids and biomolecules, which includes measurement of vibrational circular dichroism by using surface enhanced process involving nanoclusters. The use of nanoparticles is known to enhance Raman signals by several orders of magnitude. Our goal is to achieve similar gains in ROA signals. To achieve it, we will use a sensitive detection system in combination with improved surface enhanced chemistry and microfluidics-based single-molecule detection techniques. This will result in improved precision of measurement and shorten measurement time, which currently takes several hours to days.
POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
NASA's main interest in determining helicity of biomolecules is for their extra-terrestrial life search programs. Indication of prevalence of Laevo or Dextro type biomolecules, their structure and isotope identification can lead to useful clues whether life existed elsewhere in the outer space. Surface enhanced Raman optical activity (SEROA) tool will be very useful especially for unknown biomolecules whose racemic mixtures cannot be easily identified and separated by phase separation techniques. Moreover, trace identification to the order of parts-per-trillion, or structure identification when crystalline structure is non-existent are also some of the important issues which ROA can address.
POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Research can lead to better methods to measure and quantify ROA. Many chemical and drug industries employ spectrometer systems to measure circular dichroism. So far, the focus was on measuring electronic or linear dichroism on large number of molecules due to ease of measurement. However, with ROA, a single molecule can be studied. Other benefits include not having to rely of phase separation techniques, which are not easily available for every molecule. Our efforts will pave the way for obtaining improved ROA signals using existing spectrometers with little modification. Knowledge of specific enantiomers can help drug research.
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