Mechanically resolving noncovalent bonds using acoustic radiation force
The resolution of molecular bonds and subsequent selective control of their binding are of great significance in chemistry and biology. We have developed a method based on the use of acoustic radiation force to precisely dissociate noncovalent molecular bonds. The acoustic radiation force is produced by extremely low-power ultrasound waves and is mediated by magnetic particles. We successfully distinguished the binding of antibodies of different subclasses and the binding of DNA duplexes with a single-base-pair difference. In contrast to most ultrasound applications in chemistry, the sonication probe is noninvasive and requires a sample volume of only a few microliters. Our method is thus viable for noninvasive and accurate control of molecular bonds that are widely encountered in biochemistry.