J. Ricardo Arias González

Optical Nanomanipulation Lab, Departamento de Física Aplicada, Universitat Politècnica de València
Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería de Telecomunicación, València, Spain.

Lugar: Salón de actos, cubo rojo / en linea, CPI, Universitat Politècnica de València
Fecha: 04 de octubre de 2023


Optical tweezers and their application to biological systems The links between Physics and Molecular Biology were formerly understood in terms of the development of experimental techniques to image and understand molecular structures. With the advent of single-molecule techniques, Physics has found a laboratory for complex phenomena at the molecular level inside the cell. From this viewpoint, our cells are microfactories made up of molecular nanomachines (proteins) coordinated, precise and with highly specialized tasks. The software and the transmission of information are determined by the nucleic acids.

Force and torque, stress and strain or work are examples of mechanical, albeit stochastic, actions which are intimately linked to chemical reactions in the cell. This natural laboratory is being explored thanks to technological breakthroughs like optical tweezers, Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018, which is thought to manipulate, both in vitro and in vivo, biomolecular ‘particles’ by means of electromagnetic fields. Their combination with uorescence imaging – including super-resolved microscopy, which breaks the diraction limit – can help determine the position and movement of a certain molecule or domain while it is being manipulated, helping reconstruct not just the dynamic picture of the cell components but the whole biophysical movie.

In this seminar we provide a comprehensive analysis of this laser-based tool and its combination with imaging methods and microuidics. In a second part, we will focus on the specific biophysical research lines of our laboratory, which have to do with three fundamental scale levels in Biology, namely, the levels of the molecule, the organelle and the cell. We will present our experimental results on the manipulation of biological and synthetic nanosystems, including functional nanoparticles with optical and magnetic responses for biomedicine, merged with theoretical results on information management by biomolecular ratchets.

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