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Three C-Trap® systems installed in the US East Coast

We are excited to share that three more institutes on the US East Coast are now equipped with a C-Trap® Optical Tweezers – Fluorescence Microscope! The three new instruments are now housed at a new core facility at MSKCC, at the NanoSystems Laboratory at the OSU, and at the UPMC-Hillman Cancer Center. Check out their stories below!

At the UPMC-Hillman Cancer Center at the University of Pittsburgh, the instrument will be used by multiple research labs to better understand various processes involving DNA-protein binding events. For example, the group of Prof. Ben Van Houten will study the dynamics of DNA damage-binding proteins with other nucleotide and base excision repair proteins, by observing the assembly and actions of specific proteins at specific binding sites.

“We are delighted to have been able to work with the LUMICKS team to procure the instrument through a lease to buy option, which will facilitate our ability to generate the necessary preliminary data for a successful S10 grant application. The instrument will allow us to follow up to three different repair proteins at the single-molecule [level] at sites of damage in real-time. The five-chamber microfluidic chamber will allow us to stage reactions and follow the binding kinetics in an entirely new way. The ability to carefully adjust the force on the DNA suspended between two beads will allow determining if repair proteins that bind the DNA lose their capacity for damage recognition at higher DNA tensions.” – Prof. Ben Van Houten, UPMC-Hillman Cancer Center

The instrument installed at the NanoSystems Laboratory at the Department of Physics at Ohio State University (OSU) will be used by various labs to characterize mechanical properties and molecular dynamics in a wide range of biomolecular and cellular systems. One example is the group of Dr. Michael Poirier that will characterize the interactions of chromatin with both transcription factors and co-activators. In the lab of Dr. Carlos Castro, users will investigate the physical properties of DNA origami devices. Dr. Karin Musier-Forsyth and her team will investigate the regulation of retroviral genome packaging. Lastly, the researchers of Dr. Comert Kural’s group will study membrane receptor dynamics during vesicle transportation processes.

“The C-Trap is already having a significant impact on biomolecular, mechanobiology, and bioengineering efforts at OSU. This is due to both the versatility and the ease of use of the instrument. Within 2 months of the installation, three different labs are already collecting data for NIH-funded projects. In addition, the instrument has been used to provide preliminary data for a new grant proposal. I have been impressed by the range of labs that plan to use the instrument. This includes labs from departments in a number of colleges including Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Pharmacy and even Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. Because of this, I anticipate that the C-Trap will have a significant impact on research labs throughout OSU.”  – Dr. Michael Poirier, Ohio State University

Last but not least, we installed a system configured with four optical traps and three-color fluorescence at the Molecular Cytology Core Facility of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. This advanced instrument will enable multiple researchers at the MSKCC to manipulate and measure the behaviors of individual molecular machines in real-time. For example, the group of Dr. Scott Keeney will use the system to investigate mechanisms involved in meiotic recombination.

The LUMICKS team would like to wish the involved researchers the best of luck, and we cannot wait to see the first results!

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