The emergence of nanosciences in the 1990s has introduced a new set of methods and tools accompanied by a different way of thinking and scientific approach. A particularly active and exciting field of research is nanobiophysics, where outstanding problems of molecular and cell biology are attacked using nanoscientific techniques. Examples of some of the recent works are: resolving the details of the motion of single motor proteins, interaction of single viruses with host cells, nanomechanics of the cell, and realization of artificial cells in the context of synthetic biology.

In our group, we employ sophisticated methods from experimental quantum optics, nanofluidics, and nano-optics in the following scientific endeavors:

1) Development of ultrahigh resolution optical microscopy

2) Interferometric detection of very small biological nanoparticles such as proteins without the need for fluorescence tags or resonant structures

3) Imaging and tracking the diffusion and transport of individual lipids & proteins

4) Trapping and manipulation of biological nanoparticles

Student projects are possible in each of these activities. Although the lab research involves experimental physics, a strong interest in life sciences is desirable. For more information, please feel free to contact Prof. Vahid Sandoghdar ( or consult our website and publications.

Some exemplary references:

1- High-speed nanoscopic tracking of the position and orientation of a single virus

P. Kukura, H. Ewers, C. Müller, A. Renn, A. Helenius, V. Sandoghdar

Nature Methods 6, 923 (2009).

2- Geometry-induced electrostatic trapping of nanometric objects in a fluid

M. Krishnan, N. Mojarad, P. Kukura, V. Sandoghdar 

Nature 467, 692 (2010).

3- Optical sensing of single unlabeled small proteins & super-resolution microscopy of their binding sites

M. Piliarik and V. Sandoghdar

Nature Communications 5, 4495 (2014).

4- Scanning-aperture trapping and manipulation of single charged nanoparticles

J.-T. Kim, S. Spindler & V. Sandoghdar

Nature Communications 5, 3380 (2014).

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