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Single-Molecule Measurements of Proteins using Carbon Nanotube Field-Effect Transistors

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Single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) field-effect transistors (FETs) provide a promising platform for investigating proteins at the single-molecule level. Recently, we have demonstrated that SWCNT FETs have sufficient sensitivity and bandwidth to monitor the conformational motions and processivity of an individual T4 lysozyme molecule. This is accomplished by functionalizing a SWCNT FET device with a single protein and measuring the conductance versus time through the device as it is submerged in an electrolyte solution. To generalize this approach for the study of a wide variety of proteins at the single-molecule level, this dissertation

investigates the conjugation process to determine and isolate the key parameters involved in functionalizing a SWCNT with a single protein, the physical basis for transducing conformational motion of a protein into an electrical signal, and finally, the general application of the technique to monitor the binary and ternary complex formation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA).

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