Dynamic Electrostatic Alignment of Protiens in Solution

A cartoon of our proposed cell design.Structure and dymanics of proteins play a crucial role in their function. THz time domain spectrocopy has been employed to study proteins dynamics as their vibrational responses fall in the THz range. But the response from the structural motions of proteins in the solution state, which is closest to in vivo states as opposed to powders and crystals,  are often masked by the relaxational contributions by water and protein side chains which also fall in the same frequency range. 

We propose to employ an electric field to dynamiclaly orient protein molecules in the solution state. Our calculations have shown that the structural response from proteins can be enhanced by orienting the molecules along the THz electric field. We have developed a Dynamical Alignment THz spectoscopy (DATS) cell, which has high transmission in the THz frequency and at the same time capable of applying very high electric field perpendicular to the THz path to protein molucules in the solution state. We are currently in the process of testing and enhancing our design, as well as macroscopically visualizing our cell's electrostatic alignement capabilities with SU-8 microrods.