Optical Manipulation Laboratory

Optical Manipulation Laboratory

Contact: Dan Cojoc

More details and info: http://dancojoc.wix.com/om-lab

The aim of the OM-Lab is to develop new optical manipulation instrumentation and techniques for nanotechnology, biophysics and biomedicine and apply them to cell biology experiments. Established in 2002 as part of the nanofabrication group, the laboratory has operated as a distinct laboratory, head by dr. Dan Cojoc, since 2008. At present OM-Lab runs three optical manipulation stations including multiple trapping, manipulation, force measurements, laser microsurgery, Raman spectroscopy, phase contrast imaging, TIRF and FRET.

We have developed techniques to measure pN forces exerted by the neuronal growth cones during differentiation, or manipulate bio-crystals in front of a micro X-ray beam. Since 2010 our activity has been focused, almost exclusively, on cell biology applications. Local delivery of active molecules to specific position of living cells by means of optically manipulated vectors represents one of the main projects. Vectors as coated beads and filled liposomes are used to locally stimulate neuronal cells with signalling molecules. We have recently introduced a technique for fast detection of malaria by using speckle microscopy ) and investigated the viscoelastic properties of cancer cells by membrane tether extraction using optical tweezers force spectroscopy.