The emergence of molecule glasses capable of unveiling the mysteries of life marks the beginning of a new era in bioscience

- Dr. Lee Yoon-hee of the DGIST Convergence Research Institute has developed a carbon nanotube transistor for single module research. - Analysis of aptamer-ligand interactions is expected to yield a novel tool poised to revolutionize nanotechnology and molecular biology research

□ DGIST (President Lee Kun-woo) announced that Dr. Lee Yoon-hee, a senior researcher at the Division of Biotechnology within the Convergence Research Institute, developed a carbon nanotube (CNT) transistor for molecule glasses that facilitate detailed examination of molecular interactions. This innovative technology is poised to open a fresh research direction in nanotechnology and molecular biology.


□ Tiny particles such as finely charged serotonin and dopamine play significant roles within our bodies. Understanding their movements and interactions is crucial, but there have been constraints in capturing their subtle interactions­­––until now.


□ Using a CNT, Dr. Lee has developed a molecular research transistor, or molecule glasses, with unprecedented sensitivity and resolution. Being miniscule, the CNT has high conductivity and is both strong and flexible. Observing molecules with a CNT will allow for the examination of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which possess subtle electrical charges. Interactions with their bonding counterparts will also be observable.


□ Most importantly, Dr. Lee has applied the newly developed technology to capture structural transformation in four states of aptamer interaction with small serotonin and dopamine molecules, successfully revealing the complex and previously unknown interaction between aptamer and ligand.


□ The research findings are expected to be valuable tools in nanomedical and biomolecular engineering in the future, heralding advancement to the high-precision study of intermolecular interactions.


□ Dr. Lee stated, “This technology will open a new horizon for understanding interactions at the molecule level more closely. We aim to offer society a precise medical technology capable of controlling biological systems at the molecular level, while also reducing the technological barriers and research costs associated with molecular diagnosis of diseases in the future.”


□ These discoveries were published in an online article on January 17 in Nature Nanotechnology, a highly esteemed academic journal in the field of nanotechnology. Dr. Lee is the first author, Professor Kenneth L. Shepard of Columbia University is the corresponding author, and Dr. Jakob Buchheim is the co-first author. The paper was jointly published with a research team from Columbia University. This research was supported by the Ministry of Science and ICT's Mid-Career Research Grant Program.

 - Ccorresponding Author E-mail Address : [email protected]

Published: 24 Feb 2024

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