LUMICKS was founded in 2014 as academic spin-off from the research group of Prof. Gijs Wuite, Prof. Erwin Peterman, and Dr. Iddo Heller at VU University Amsterdam. After returning from Berkeley and Stanford, Wuite and Peterman joined forces on single molecule analysis. By integrating force manipulation and measurement with high-resolution confocal imaging, they created the ability to correlate molecular activity with the molecule’s states and conformational changes. The ability to correlate the structure – function relationship proved highly valuable. With the help of Dr. Iddo Heller, super-resolution was added.

After significant interest from the market, LUMICKS was founded, and these technologies were commercialized and made easy to use with high throughput so that the power of dynamic single-molecule analysis could be put in the hands of biologists.

Onward and Upward



  • LUMICKS grew to over 100 employees, doubling that of the previous year
  • We moved our Amsterdam HQ from Vrije University to a vast 1750-meter-squared complex which we fit with 7 unique meeting rooms, advanced R&D facilities, and a dedicated area for seminars.
  • Our grand reopening was inaugurated by Dutch minister van Engelshoven.
  • Expanded the C-Trap and m-Trap instruments with the Surface Assay Toolkit (SAT): unique assortment of new features to deliver ultra-stable surface arrays at the single-molecule level.
  • More sales to key institutions worldwide: Universities of Munich, Tel Aviv, Vermont, Tianjin, Vanderbilt, NIH and Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Microtubules imaged in real time using the C-Trap optical tweezers correlated with widefield and label free microscopy

Correlated Widefield IRM

Expanding Across New Markets



  • First sales in South America & Australia; new customers in TU Delft, University at Buffalo, Hong KongUniversity of Science and Technology, Semmelweis University, Ludwig Maxmillian University and many more
  • LUMICKS grows to 55 people
  • Established the first Center for dynamic single-molecule drug research in partnership with AstraZeneca and the University of Cambridge
  • Entered the immunology market with z-Movi for Cell avidity measurements
  • Launched G2 product line & next-gen Bluelake software
  • Developed Surface Assay toolkit for use in cell biology

The LUMICKS team, end of 2018

LUMICKS Team (2018)

A Global Presence



  • Sales to Imperial College London, University of California Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, University of Zurich and more
  • First Pharmaceutical Customers
  • 30% revenue from China
  • Opened LUMICKS’ first US Sales office in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Received series A funding
  • The company grew to 38 employees
  • Started investing in scale-up

Release of the m-Trap™ Optical Tweezers

Key Accounts & Broadening Technologies



  • Sales to Rockefeller University, AMOLF, ShanghaiTech University, University of Göttingen
  • First Nature publication with data captured using C-Trap™
  • Organic growth
  • 2nd product introduced into the market: AFS™
  • First C-Trap installations in peer-reviewed journals
  • LUMICKS grew to 19 FTEs
  • Break even


Co-founder & CEO Olivier Heyning accepts the 2016 Young Start-up Award. Picture by Eric Brinkhorst

Breaking Through



  • First C-Trap™ sales following product introduction
  • 12 employees
  • Break-even

BIOCEV Prague & MPI-CBG, the first two C-Trap™ users

LUMICKS Incorporated



  • First component sale to Harvard
  • License agreement
  • LUMICKS was founded

Co-founder Andrea Candelli demonstrating LUMICKS Technology to State Secretary Sander Dekker

The First Steps



  • First Patent Filed
  • Publication in Nature on CTFM Technology
  • ERC Proof of Concept subsidy granted

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