A study team has demonstrated real-time monitoring of enzyme reactions using a quantum sensor. The scientists created a system that enabled them to regulate light down to the level of a single particle. It allowed for dim illumination without affecting the enzymes, potentially leading to increased sensitivity. The ability to directly address the sample enabled more precise dynamic tracking.
The scientists monitored variations in a sucrose solution’s chirality caused by the activity of an enzyme called invertase using their novel method. How many sucrose molecules have been broken down by the enzymes can be calculated by monitoring the chirality or a molecule’s capacity to spin the polarization of light. By manipulating the sensor at the quantum level, it was possible to increase sensitivity while minimizing intrusiveness.
The study team leader said that this work is just one illustration of what quantum sensors might be able to do. Numerous light uses could be more effective with quantum sensors, such as gravitational wave tracking, magnetic field sensing, and biological imaging.
Before their method could monitor enzymatic reactions, the researchers claimed that some technical issues needed to be resolved. This early research, which combines biological and quantum physics techniques, may pave the way for the complete development of quantum sensors for biological systems.
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