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JPK Instruments Installs First Optical Tweezers System at Leiden University

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JPK Instruments announces the installation of its NanoTracker™ optical tweezers system in the laboratory of Dr. Remus Dame at Leiden University.

JPK Instruments has recently installed its first NanoTracker™ system, a versatile force-sensing optical tweezers platform. Dr. Remus Dame, an assistant professor of Leiden University in the Netherlands, had worked with home-built optical tweezers instrumentation earlier in his career.

Optical tweezers are a microscope-based technique that can be used to manipulate molecules or cells on the nanometer scale. In more advanced ‘force-sensing’ systems, the forces that one exerts can actually be recorded too.

This approach has been used to study many mechanical aspects of biological systems, such as those involving motor proteins or DNA. However, it has largely been the playground for physicists and biophysicists, who have the expertise to develop such intricate instruments themselves.

Dame has done postdoctoral research in such a biophysics group, resulting in a series of publications in many peer-reviewed scientific journals including Nature. With a background in (bio)chemistry, he deliberately did not want to specialize in instrument development, preferring to spend his time on tackling interesting biological questions with the right techniques.

Dame will use his JPK NanoTracker to continue his research on the physical interaction of DNA and its associated proteins.