Who we are

We are a group of scientists at the Cavendish Lab, University of Cambridge, UK. Our research is focused on understanding transport processes through membranes.

The physics of ions, macromolecules and particles in confined geometries at the single molecule/-particle level is of particular interest. We exert maximum control over all parameters in our experiments using several techniques: DNA (origami) self-assembly, optical trapping, particle tracking, fluorescence microscopy, electrophysiology, or micro-/nanofluidics, often in combination.

Our interdisciplinary team combines researchers with expertise in physics, engineering, physical chemistry, biochemistry/biology, and micro- and nanofabrication.

In case you are interested in working with us, please get in touch with Ulrich by email: ufk20 (at) cam.ac.uk.

We gratefully acknowledge funding of our work from various sources including:

Logo ERC Logo EPSRC Logo BBSRC
Logo NanoDTC Logo Noether Logo ONT

News

01/5/2020 Published in Science Advances: Direct detection of molecular intermediates from first-passage times


We show for a diverse range of experimental systems that analysis of dynamics can reveal details of a governing energy landscape, in collaboration with the Bayley group and Ritort group relying on the theoretical analysis by Anatoly Kolomeisky. Great work with great collaborators, Alice!


30/3/2020 Published online in Nano Letters: Nanopore-Based DNA Hard Drives for Rewritable and Secure Data Storage


Kaikai, Jinbo and Filip introduce DNA Hard Drives: rewritable digital storage in DNA that can be read with our solid-state nanopores and easily assembled without synthesis from existing building blocks. In addition without the correct key data cannot be read! Phy.Org featured our work in an excellent article by Anna Demming.


19/3/2020 Published in Applied Materials Today: Aerosol-jet printing facilitates the rapid prototyping of microfluidic devices withversatile geometries and precise channel funct
Kareem and Jehangir worked with the lab of Sohini Kar-Narayan in (Materials) to improve printing of microfluidics. Congratulations!


31/12/2019 Published in ACS nano: Tunable Anion Selective Transport through Mono-Layer Graphene and Hexagonal Boron Nitride


Great end and start to new year! We have shown controllable anion and cation selectivity through monolayer graphene and hexagonal boron nitride and modelled the selective ionic transport. Made possible with a collaboration between HofmannGroup and ZettlGroup.


16/12/2019 Published in PNAS: Optimizing Brownian escape rates by potential shaping


Increasing the height of activation barriers can *accelerate* reactions, rather than slow them down. We show experimentally and theoretically in collaboration with the Trizac lab how Arrhenius/Kramers scaling breaks down for certain barrier shapes. Great work, Jannes and a big thank you to the NanoTrans EU-ITN-training network for funding the work.


28/11/2019 Published in Nanotechnology: Noise properties of rectifying and non-rectifying nanopores


Stuart studied the properties of glass nanopores as components in an ionic circuits, showing that while net conduction is bulk dominated, noise is surface dominated. Great work!


5/11/2019 Published in Nano Letters: All-optical detection of neuronal membrane depolarization in live cells using colloidal quantum dots


Mus and Raj collaborated with members from the Rao, Greenham and Franze labs to show that neuronal potentials can be detected with calibrated quantum dots. Great!


23/10/2019 Published in Nucleic Acids Research: Controlling aggregation of cholesterol-modified DNA nanostructures


DNA nanopores for lipid membranes just got more versatile as we can now build systems that control aggregation by designed nucleic acid overhangs. Congratulations Alex and a big thank you to the Aksimentiev Lab for MD simulations and Ranson lab for TEM imaging of our small DNA nanostructures!


11/10/2019 Published in Nano Letters: Monitoring G-Quadruplex Formation with DNA Carriers and Solid-State Nanopores


Filip published part of his MPhil thesis where he uses our glass nanopres for the detection of (un-)folded G-quadruplexes in double-stranded DNA. Congratulations!


11/9/2019 Published in Applied Physics Letters: Cation dependent electroosmotic flow in glass nanopores


Jeff collaborated with Prof Kurt Andresen. We show that cations have unexpected effects on electro-osmotic flows in nanopores. Congrats for being Editor's Pick for issue 11.