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Combined Molecular Study Techniques


New instrument combines optical traps with fluorescence for insight into dynamic molecular processes

Researchers at the University of Illinois (UI) at Urbana-Champaign have combined two molecular imaging technologies to create an instrument with incredible sensitivity that provides new detailed insight into dynamic molecular processes. The new technique combines optical traps with fluorescence. In this illustration, ultrahigh-resolution optical traps are combined with single molecule fluorescence detection. The image shows DNA (blue double helix) streched out between two beads (gray spheres) held by optical traps (red cones) with a bound protein glowing with fluorescence excited by a confocal laser (green cones).

This research was directly funded through the National Science Foundation Center for the Physics of Living Cells. To learn more about this research, see the UI news story Combined molecular study techniques reveal more about DNA proteins. Further information about the center is available Here. (Date of Image: February 2011)

Credit: Matthew Comstock, Center for the Physics of Living Cells, University of Illinois
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