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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November '21 update Please check out our new papers and preprints in the links below. We were quite busy ...

BioRxiv: Combination of DNA nanotech and nanopore identification of RNA isoforms

MedRxiv: Detection of SARS-CoV-2 and variants

PRX: Analysis for transition pathes with 'zero' probability in

Chem.Sci.: Controlled aggregation of G-quadruplexes with metalorganic cages from the Nitschke group.

Nano Letters: DNA origami for FRET-based sensing of membrane voltage with the Tinnefeld and Aksimentiev labs

ACS Synth. Biol. OLA vesicles filtered on chip for artificial cells

PRL: Polymer adsorption potential revealed with nanopore current noise in a collaboration with Douwe Bonthuis led by Alice Thorneywork.

Nano Letters: Nicks or no nicks for DNA based ion channels with our friends from Aksimentiev lab.

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.