Protein folding Trigger factor

The effects of protein misfolding resulting in a non-native conformational state generally lead to severe protein dysfunction. Chaperones play a crucial role in the protein folding processes, however, studying chaperone-assisted protein folding has been proven difficult due to highly dynamical interactions. We use optical tweezers and single-molecule fluorescence to reveal how chaperones are able to fold amino-acid chains into functional proteins, and prevent diseases associated with protein misfolding.

Tissue homeostasis Organoid

Many cells in organs, such as the intestine, are constantly renewed to replace damaged cells. These cells are generated by adult stem cells that give rise to all cell types that constitute the organ. But how do stem cells divide and differentiate in a manner that ensures homeostasis? We use time-lapse microscopy to track all individual cells in space and time in growing organoids, allowing us to study the dynamics of cell movement, division and lineages as a function of position in the organoid. With subsequent antibody staining, we can identify different cell types and find correlations between cell differentiation and behavior.

Bacterial coexistence

Bacterial coexistence

Bacteria can be found in almost every corner of our world and are able to live and thrive in a wide range of environmental conditions. One of the survival mechanisms of bacteria is to form complex communities, with themselfs or with other species. These communities can be beneficial or detrimental for us humans. But how are bacteria able to coexist? We use fluorescence microscopy to study the phenomenea observed in bacterial communities and investigate the cellular mechanisms that allow different species to coexist.

OUR EQUIPMENT

C-Trap Optical Tweezers In the Tans Biophysics Group we study the dynamics of single proteins and cells using novel experimental approaches. At the molecular level, we use optical tweezers and single-molecule fluorescence to reveal how chaperones are able to fold amino-acid chains into functional proteins, and prevent protein-malfunction diseases. For this purpuse we use the commercially available Lumicks C-Trap or home-built optical trapping systems

Lightsheet Microscope At the cellular level, we use various types of time-lapse microscopy and image analysis to understand how single cells and multi-cellular systems are able to self-organise A Nikon Multiphoton Confocal Microscope and a Home-built Light Sheet Microscope