Electrically induced conformational change of peptides on metallic nanosurfaces

Yi-Chun Chen, Eduardo R. Cruz-Chu, Jaie C. Woodard, Manas R. Gartia, Klaus Schulten*, Logan Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Surface immobilized biomolecular probes are used in many areas of biomedical research, such as genomics, proteomics, immunology, and pathology. Although the structural conformations of small DNA and peptide molecules in free solution are well studied both theoretically and experimentally, the conformation of small biomolecules bound on surfaces, especially under the influence of external electric fields, is poorly understood. Using a combination of molecular dynamics simulation and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, we study the external electric field-induced conformational change of dodecapeptide probes tethered to a nanostructured metallic surface. Surface-tethered peptides with and without phosphorylated tyrosine residues are compared to show that peptide conformational change under electric field is sensitive to biochemical modification. Our study proposes a highly sensitive in vitro nanoscale electro-optical detection and manipulation method for biomolecule conformation and charge at bio-nano interfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8847-8856
Number of pages10
JournalACS Nano
Issue number10
StatePublished - 23 Oct 2012


  • electrically induced conformational change
  • gold nanoparticle
  • molecular dynamics
  • molecule-gold interface
  • surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

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