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Single molecule biophysics is a truly interdisciplinary research effort. Bridging the divide between molecular biology and the engineering sciences, the biophysical characterization of single proteins, DNA, and other macromolecules, overcomes many of the limitations inherent to sampling large numbers of molecules in bulk samples. The experimental power of single molecule measurements lies in its ability to accurately discriminate the behavior of individual molecules from that of the remaining population since such behavior is usually lost in background signal.
The nanoscale nature of single molecule research often demands the application of technically challenging, cutting edge methods, requiring researchers to pursue in-depth training in a broad array of fields ranging from genetic engineering and protein purifcation to laser optics and advanced microscopy techniques. The Nanomechanics Laboratory has adopted this approach, providing its researchers with a unique opportunity to study the dynamic interplay of molecular structure and biological function at the single molecule level.
university of michigan
department of mechanical engineering