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Research Facilities at the Department of Biochemistry



Dual optical tweezers & Fluorescence confocal-based Microscopy

We are pleased to announce that the Department has received delivery of the C-trap, a state-of-the-art, single-molecule instrument that was purchased thanks to the generous support of the BBSRC 19ALERT scheme.


The C-trap Dual Optical Tweezers – Fluorescence and Label-free Microscopy allows simultaneous manipulation and visualization of single-molecule interactions in real-time with high spatial and temporal resolutions. It combines high-resolution dual optical tweezers, confocal-based fluorescence microscopy, and label-free force measurements with advanced microfluidics in a truly integrated system. The instrument enables researchers to investigate the behaviour of biological systems at the single-molecule level and can measure both biomolecular structural changes or interactions in real-time with a high degree of resolution and mechanical control.

The instrument is now available and we are looking forward to the unique scientific insights that its technology will provide. The C-trap is the latest addition to our set of biophysical tools, that researchers in biochemistry routinely use in their ground-breaking research.



Certified users can directly book the instrument using the biophysics booking system (Raven credentials required). Interested internal or external users should contact Dr Luay Joudeh to arrange for bookings or enquire about the training process. Any booking cancellation needs to be communicated with the facility manager at least 24 hours prior to the booking date, failure to do so, may result in your booking being cancelled without refund of charges.



External academic/industrial and service-mode users must obtain a custom quote from the Facility Manager and raise a purchase order. Charges for experiments run in person by University of Cambridge members (i.e. internal users) are at £200/day. Biochemistry users must supply a grant code. Payment from non-Biochemistry departments is by purchase order. Rates will be reviewed regularly so that we can continue to recover all our costs.



The facility is well stocked with tubes, tips, cuvettes, etc and certain specific consumables are also provided free of charge (e.g. reagents for cleaning procedures, flowcell neutralization, and basic buffers 1xPBS). Users must supply or bring their own reaction and imaging buffers, surface-activated beads, and DNA/RNA constructs.



The C-Trap setup is located in room #123 on level B of the Hopkins Building.


Useful Links:

C-Trap microfluidics cleaning procedures 

C-Trap SOP

C-Trap Training session videos