Analyzing Biomolecular Interactions

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Science  15 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5562, pp. 2103-2105
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5562.2103

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A recent development in instruments to investigate biomolecular interactions is surface plasmon resonance (SPR) detection with a biospecific sensor chip. In this method, a probe (P) or a target molecule (T) is bound to a gold-plated cell and a solution containing the other molecule is passed over it. Light is beamed through a prism and strikes the glass surface of the flow cell containing the sample at an angle, such that the beam is totally reflected. At a particular wavelength and incident angle between the beam and glass, a surface plasmon wave of excited electrons (plasmon resonance) is produced at the gold layer and is detected as a reduced intensity of the reflected light beam. By measuring the deflection of the beam, binding of P &T can be easily quantitated. This article describes the mechanism and applicatioins of the SPR technique.