You are here Biopharmaceutical/ Genomics Glossary Homepage  Technologies> >Ultrasensitivity &  biopharmaceuticals

Ultrasensitivity & pharmaceuticals glossary
Evolving Terminology for Emerging Technologies
Comments? Questions? Revisions?
Mary Chitty MSLS
Last revised January 09, 2020

Technologies term index   Related glossaries include Cell & tissue technologies   Gene amplification & PCR;   Labels, Signaling & detectionNanoscience & miniaturization  

attomole: 10-18 mole. One quintillionth.

femtomole: : 10-15 mole. One quadrillionth. From the Norwegian for fifteen, approved by the International Committee [on Weights and Measures] in 1961. [OED]

FRET: Labels, Signaling & detection

mole, mol: The mole is the amount of substance of a system which contains as many elementary entities as there are atoms in 0.012 kilogram of carbon 12. 2. When the mole is used, the elementary entities must be specified and may be atoms, molecules, ions, electrons, other particles, or specified groups of such particles. [Bureau International de poids et mesures, SI base units, Système International d'Unités, (International System of Units)  

nano (various definitions): Nanoscience & miniaturization 

nanomole: 10 -9 mole.  One billionth. From the Greek for dwarf. One thousand- millionth. Adopted by the Union International [OED]

nanonewton: Nanoscience & miniaturization 

picomole:  10 –12 mole. One trillionth. From the Spanish pico beak, peak, (in phrases) little bit. [OED]

picoonewton: Nanoscience & miniaturization 

quantum dot: Labels, Signaling & detection

sensitivity: Molecular Diagnostics

single cell : Cell & tissue technologies
single cell diagnostics: Molecular Diagnostics

single DNA molecule sequencing: Sequencing

Single Electron Devices SED: Nanoscience & Miniaturization

single molecule detection: Recent advances in optical imaging and biomechanical techniques have demonstrated that it is possible to make observations on the dynamic behavior of single molecules, to determine mechanisms of action at the level of an individual molecule, and to explore heterogeneity among different molecules within a population.... Despite the promise of single molecule methods, there are a number of technical challenges that must be met to optimize these studies. Development of the collateral chemistry and instrumentation required to carry out single molecule studies is essential for progress. New tools and strategies, as well as refinement of current methods, are also needed. Single molecule methods are likely to lead to significant advances in understanding molecular movement, dynamics, and function. ... There is an urgent need to bring chemists into this field ... Traditionally, technical advances that have led to radical changes in the spectroscopic methods have come from physicists supported by agencies other than the NIH. For this field to move forward, it is essential to attract physicists into biology laboratories. In addition to collaborations with physicists, the NIH should focus on new, and creative ways to train physicists to think about single molecule experiments  NIGMS, NICDC, NHGRI, Single Molecule Detection and Manipulation, Feb. 12, 2001

Single molecule experiments single-molecule experiment is an experiment that investigates the properties of individual molecules. Single-molecule studies may be contrasted with measurements on an ensemble or bulk collection of molecules, where the individual behavior of molecules cannot be distinguished, and only average characteristics can be measured. Since many measurement techniques in biology, chemistry and physics are not sensitive enough to observe single molecules, single-molecule fluorescence techniques (that have emerged since the 90s for probing various processes on the level of individual molecules) caused a lot of excitement, since these supplied many new details on the measured processes that were not accessible in the past. Indeed, since the 90s, many techniques for probing individual molecules have been developed.[2]  Single-molecule techniques impacted optics, electronics, biology, and chemistry. In the biological sciences, the study of proteins and other complex biological machinery was limited to ensemble experiments that nearly made impossible the direct observation of their kinetics. For example, it was only after single molecule fluorescence microscopy was used to study kinesin-myosin pairs in muscle tissue that direct observation of the walking mechanisms were understood. These experiments, however, have for the most part been limited to in vitro studies, as useful techniques for live cell imaging have yet to be fully realized. The promise of single molecule in vivo imaging,[12] however, brings with it an enormous potential to directly observe bio-molecules in native processes. These techniques are often targeted for studies involving low-copy proteins, many of which are still being discovered. These techniques have also been extended to study areas of chemistry, including the mapping of heterogeneous surfaces.[13]  Wikipedia accessed 2018 Sept 3

Single molecule See related Cell & Tissue Technologies single cell

single-pair FRET spFRET: Labels, Signaling & detection

ultrasensitive: Ever lower quantities are becoming detectable. Single molecule and even single atom detection have been reported. Related terms: zeptomole, yoctomole

yoctomole:   10 -24  mole. One septillionth.

zeptomole:  10 –21 mole. One-sextillionth.

Compare with prefixes for the largest number: Computers & computing (under peta), exa, zetta, yotta

Ultrasensitivity resources
Bruner, Bob Metric prefixes from yotta to yocto 
Metric System Prefixes 
Wikipedia, Unit Prefixes

How to look for other unfamiliar  terms

IUPAC definitions are reprinted with the permission of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Contact | Privacy Statement | Alphabetical Glossary List | Tips & glossary FAQs | Site Map