Welcome to the Single Molecule Force Spectroscopy (SMFS) Lab


Our current research focuses on investigating relationships between structural, functional, and mechanical properties of polysaccharides, DNA, and proteins. We study these molecules at a single molecule level using scanning probe microscopy techniques and computational methods involving Molecular Dynamics simulations and ab initio quantum mechanical calculations.

The ultimate goal is to elucidate basic phenomena such as:

We are also interested in investigating DNA damage and repair using atomic force microscopy and spectroscopy techniques that we plan to develop into nanoscale DNA diagnostic tools.


We use a pico-force AFM from Digital Instruments/ Veeco for our pulling and imaging experiments. We also are building our own 1-D and 3-D AFM instruments.

Computer resources

We have a linux cluster with 8 CPU units from Parallel Quantum Solutions dedicated to Ab Initio calulations of sugar rings. We also have a linux cluster with 10 CPU units dedicated to molecular dynamics calculations of polysaccharides.


Our research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.