My master's work focused on designing, setting up and characterising an optical tweezers system for single molecule experiments.
the system consists of 2 lasers, one for trapping and one for imaging, which are coupled to a microscope
by an Optical train. imaging is achieved either by Flourescence/bright field microscopy using a cooled CCD device, and
by imaging the trapped object (usually a polysterene or silica bead) onto a Quadrant Photo Diode (QPD).
This system will be used to study 2 poorly understood biophysical phenomena: The first is the protein formin ability to
nucleate barbed end polymerization and keeping attached to the barbed end while it continues to polymerize. The second
is the cooperative behaviour of large groups of molecular motors (myosin II) working on the same track (actin) under the
influence of external force.