My group is part of the Physics of Living Systems Section in the faculty of Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The research in the group focuses on exploring DNA-proteins interactions and biophysical/biomechanical properties of viral capsids & cells. The aim is to work with increasingly more complex assemblies of proteins in order to investigate the emergent properties from these systems. This approach bridges experimental systems biology and single-molecule manipulation techniques. We use a variety of techniques such as optical tweezers, AFM and single molecule fluorescence as well as com- binations of these techniques. The data obtained are related to biochemical studies and used for theoretical modeling.
Research related to the project
3D STED imaging of stationary metaphase chromosomes
The focus here is to bring imaging of metaphase chromosomes to a new level of resolution and control. The condensed chromosomes will be flown in our microfluidic chamber and captured out of solution using the specific chromosome-microsphere handles. We will apply different imaging approaches, starting with confocal fluorescence microscope and 2D-STED approaches while holding a chromosome with two opti- cally trapped microspheres, and ultimately aiming for 3D-STED imaging of chromosomes held with four microspheres. We envision that this super resolution imaging of different kinds of chromosomes will result in deep insights in chromosome structure.