Optical trapping laboratory

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia
Area(s) of Expertise

The optical trapping laboratory specializes in the mechanical characterization of individual molecules and microscale materials. Expertise ranges from single-molecule measurements to microrheology. The laboratory houses state-of-the-art instrumentation, including a centrifuge force microscope and optical trapping instruments, one a dynamic holographic optical tweezers instrument useful for characterizing soft materials (such as gels and matrices) that exhibit 2- and 3-dimensional microscale heterogeneity.  In characterizing the growth of materials, our expertise includes monitoring the development of viscoelastic heterogeneity at high bandwidth (>1 kHz) over time scales from seconds to hours. The comprehensive wet lab neighbouring the optical tweezers instrumentation means that we can prepare and characterize biological and chemical samples in-house.

What the facility does

Characterization of biopolymers and soft materials

Research Services

Mechanical characterization of soft materials at the single-molecule and microscale levels.

Sectors of Application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Clean technology
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Manufacturing and processing

Name of specialized lab

Name of equipment

Description of function

Optical trapping laboratory

Dynamic holographic optical tweezers

Soft materials microrheology; monitoring spatially resolved development of viscoelasticity at the microscale

 

Optical tweezers

Single-molecule characterization, microrheology

High-throughput single-molecule manipulation laboratory Centrifuge force microscope Force-dependent enzymatic cleavage, ligand-receptor interactions

Molecular biology laboratory

Cell culture facilities

 

 

Microscopy facilities

 

 

Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography (FPLC)

 

 

UV-Vis Spectrophotometer

 

 

Fluorescence Plate Reader

 

 

Thermocycler

 

 

Gel electrophoresis and blotting

 

 

Close access to many other characterization facilities

 

Title

URL

Video showcasing our CFI-funded infrastructure

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiZIteAWlcI