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M. Cynthia Goh

M. Cynthia Goh

Academic Title: Professor

Phone: 416-978-6254

Office: LM 522


Research Homepage: http://www.gohlab.com


The focus of our research is investigation of phenomena in the length scale of tens to thousands of angstroms, with a goal to gaining insight into the fundamental equation of the transition from molecular to macroscopic. At these length scales, the number of surface and bulk molecules are comparable, and interesting changes in such systems, such as growth and loss, occur via interaction with another phase through an interface. Hence, central to the understanding of such phenomena is the study of interfaces. Thus, there are two main components to our studies: small structures and interfaces.

We use atomic force microscopy for the elucidation of complex structures at the nanometer scale. Two projects underway concern the mechanism of assembly of collagen fibres, and of paired helical filaments (PHF) which are an obligate feature of Alzheimer's disease. Our work on PHF in the past year has called into question the accepted structure of these filaments.

With regard to direct studies of interfaces, we utilize the surface sensitivity of second order nonlinear effects, (second harmonic and sum frequency generation), which are symmetry forbidden in isotropic bulk media. We are concerned with the relationship between structure and dynamics at the liquid/air, liquid/liquid and liquid/solid interfaces. Current projects include studies of water near charged interfaces, and cooperative and competitive adsorption at model membranes.

Since interfaces and finite systems are ubiquitous, our approach is interdisciplinary: we have examined biological systems, polymers, colloids and minerals, and used techniques of physics, chemistry and biology as needed. 

Selected Publications

BD Sattin, MC GOH: Novel Polymorphism of RecA Fibrils Revealed by Atomic Force Microscopy. J. Biol Phys 32 (2): 153-168 (2006)

CK Wen, MC GOH: Fibrous Long Spacing Type Collagen Fibrils have a Hierarchical Internal Structure. Proteins 64: 227-233 (2006)

BS Li, BD Sattin, MC GOH: Direct and Real-time Visualization of the Disassembly of a Single RecA-DNA-ATPyS Complex using AFM Imaging in Fluid. Nano Letters, 6 (7): 1474-1478 (2006)

R Loo, JB Goh, MC GOH: Label-free Monitoring of Multiple Biomolecular Interactions in Real-time with Diffraction-based Sensing. Sensors and Actuators B, 106, 243-248 (2005)

RW Loo, PL Tam, JB Goh, MC GOH: An Enzyme-amplified Diffraction-based Immunoassay. Analytical Biochemistry 337 (2): 338-342 (2005)

BD Sattin, MC GOH: Simple, Cost Effective, in Situ Sample Hot Stage for Biological Atomic Force Microscopy. Review of Scientific Instruments 75 (11): 4778-4780 (2004)

BD Sattin, MC GOH: Direct Observation of the Assembly of RecA/DNA Complexes by Atomic Force Microscopy. Biophysical Journal 87 (5): 3430-3436 (2004)