Indexed on: 19 Jul '03Published on: 19 Jul '03Published in: Science
Direct quantification of biomolecular interaction by single-molecule force spectroscopy has evolved into a powerful tool for materials and life sciences. We introduce an approach in which the unbinding forces required to break intermolecular bonds are measured in a differential format by comparison with a known reference bond (here, a short DNA duplex). In addition to a marked increase in sensitivity and force resolution, which enabled us to resolve single-base pair mismatches, this concept allows for highly specific parallel assays. This option was exploited to overcome cross-reactions of antibodies in a protein biochip application.