Sector of Biological and Soft Systems (BSS)
The 21st Century promises a major expansion at the interface of physics with the biological sciences and nanotechnology. These are areas which fall outside the conventional boundaries of the scientific disciplines of Chemistry, Physics and Biology, requiring a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach. The Biological and Soft Systems Sector of the Cavendish Laboratory (BSS), formed in 2004, is pursuing such multidisciplinary research. Using techniques and inspirations from classical polymer physics, soft matter physics and the physics of condensed matter, we build on this foundation with exciting progress in protein folding, biomaterials, cell biophysics and nanoscience, using theoretical, computational, and experimental methods. The BSS Sector is ideally placed, with the right expertise, to be a major player in these exciting new areas of science.
BSS is also a significant part of the Physics of Medicine initiative, and much of our research activity now takes place within the new Centre for the Physics of Medicine.
Our Key Strengths are:
30 April 2013Relaxing DNA takes its time A team of physicists working at the Universities of Cambridge and Leipzig have used a combination of single molecule techniques and theoretical calculations to follow and quantitatively describe the relaxation dynamics of DNA molecules. The work was published in the journal Nature Communications.
25 April 2013New system to improve DNA sequencing Dr Ulrich Keyser of the University’s Cavendish Laboratory, along with PhD student Nick Bell and other colleagues, has developed a system which combines a solid-state nanopore with a technique known as DNA origami, for use in DNA sequencing, protein sensing and other applications. The technology has been licensed for development and commercialisation to UK-based company Oxford Nanopore, which is developing portable, low-cost DNA analysis sequencing devices.
- Effect of Au Nanoparticle Spatial Distribution on the Stability of Thin Polymer Films, G. Amarandei, C. O’Dwyer, A. Arshak, U. Thiele, U. Steiner D. Corcoran, Langmuir DOI: 10.1021/la400659q
- DNA Interactions in Crowded Nanopores, L. Laohakunakorn, S. Ghosal, O. Otto, K. Misiunas, and U. F. Keyser, Nano Letters
- Single molecule SERS and detection of biomolecules with a single gold nanoparticle on mirror junction, L. Li, T. Hutter, U. Steiner, S. Mahajan, Analyst DOI: 10.1039/C3AN00447C
- Rapid internal contraction boosts DNA friction, O. Otto, S. Sturm, N. Laohakunakorn, U. F. Keyser, K. Kroy, Nature Communications 1780
- All sector publications...