Instruments, a world-leading manufacturer of nanoanalytic instrumentation
for research in life sciences and soft matter, is pleased to announce the installation
of its unique NanoTracker™ optical tweezers system in the laboratory of
Dr. Remus Dame at Leiden University.
JPK Instruments has recently installed its 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. With the advent of a commercial
system, he is able to carry out his research without the extra worries to design,
build and maintain another homemade system.
Optical tweezers are a microscope-based technique that can be used to manipulate
molecules or cells with high precision on the nanometer scale. In more advanced
'force-sensing' systems, the forces that one exerts can actually be recorded
with high precision, 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 (Nature 444:387-390, 2006). With a background in (bio)chemistry, he deliberately
did not want to specialize in instrument development while setting up his own
lab, but preferred to spend his time on tackling interesting biological questions
with the right techniques. For him, the occurrence of off-the-shelf optical
tweezers platforms came at the right moment.
Dame will use his JPK NanoTracker™ to continue his research on the physical
interaction of DNA and its associated proteins. For him, the availability of
ongoing support offered by JPK Instruments, both technically and in terms of
applications, provided a strong argument to purchase the NanoTracker system.