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:

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24/6/2021 Kaikai uses structured DNA nanostrings to reveal polymer physics in nanopores

Kaikai and Nick designed DNA nanostructures that reveal the velocity fluctuations of polymer chains during voltage-driven translocation. Using two types of solid-state nanopores and simulations by the Muthukumar Group at Amherst, the data reveal a two stage translocation process - tension propagation and speed-up. Read the full story in Nature Physics!

18/6/2021 Jinbo developed multi-level barcodes for nanopore image data storage!

Jinbo, Nik and Kaikai designed DNA nanostructures to enhance the data density on our DNA carriers. With our standard 2-bit barcodes serving as address, Jinbo used DNA flowers to encode gray scale image information on our DNA carriers. In addition, encryption of the data is possible! Great advance for nanopores as we read out mixtures of 16 molecules based on enhanced signal-to-noise ratio.

26/5/2021 Soichiro shows that channel length matters for transport!

Diffusion constants in small channels are always higher than the prediction based on conventional modeling. The paper was published in Soft Matter as inside cover article. Soichiro and his co-authors Karolis and Vahe used a combination of experiments, simulations and analytical calculations to develop and test a new model describing diffusivity in short channels. Great results and nice cover!

17/5/2021 Diana defends PhD and gets paper in JACS!
Last Friday Diana successfully defended her PhD thesis. Well done! As Diana is now postdoc in Lausanne at EPFL we only had online viva drinks. Good timing, as her JACS paper on the role of ions on interactions between DNA and lipid membranes is just out now. It was a great collaboration with the Di Michele and Aksimentiev labs! Great work and great results.

27/4/2021 Update for start of Easter term!
Filip and Kaikai developed a method for random access to DNA structural barcodes - published in Small Structures. Check out the paper here. As part of a collaboration led by Max Ryadnov at NPL, Kareem and Marcus have investigated the cytolytic properties of computationally designed antimicrobial peptides with our lab on chip systems, published in ACS nano.

22/2/2021 New students joining the lab!
Part III project student Chengbo Wang will be working on OLA vesicles and analysis with machine learning. Ashleigh Ruane is starting her NanoDTC mini project on nanopore sensing. Yuan (Molly) Shu will be doing her MPhil project in teh next few months. Welcome to the KeyserLab!

8/2/2021 Successful PhD defense of Mustafa!
Mus defended his PhD thesis today. Of course socially distanced through an online viva. Congratulations for completing the PhD (barring the usual small corrections!) Good luck for the future, Dr. Caglar!