Detection of long-range electrostatic interactions between charged molecules by means of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy
AbstractIn the present paper, an experimental feasibility study on the detection of long-range intermolecular interactions through three-dimensional molecular diffusion in solution is performed. This follows recent theoretical and numerical analyses reporting that long-range electrodynamic forces between biomolecules could be identified through deviations from Brownian diffusion. The suggested experimental technique was fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). By considering two oppositely charged molecular species in aqueous solution, namely, lysozymes and fluorescent dye molecules (Alexa488), the diffusion coefficient of the dyes has been measured for different values of the concentration of lysozyme, that is, for different average distances between the oppositely charged molecules. For our model, long-range interactions are of electrostatic origin, suggesting that their action radius can be varied by changing the ionic strength of the solution. The experimental outcomes clearly prove the detectability of long-range intermolecular interactions by means of the FCS technique. Molecular dynamics simulations provide a clear and unambiguous interpretation of the experimental results.