Single Molecule Manipulation and Biosensing using Optical Tweezer and Mems Diagnostic Technology - Bioanalytics @ Molecular Level

Welcome to the bioanalytics laboratory at Trinity College Dublin. As the leader of this group I welcome you to visit our website, correspond with members of our group and discuss your technical interests with us.

Our laboratory is focusing on bioanalytics at molecular – and system level. We explore the dynamics and kinetics of interacting biomolecules, the mechanics of protein imported to mitochondria membranes, the kinetics of molecular motors under external strain and the nanomechanical action at ribosomal complexes during translation (Impact of Single Molecule Research). We develop and utilize state of the art combined force – and optical spectroscopy tweezers instruments for single biomolecule analysis. We design in-vitro diagnostic MEMS platforms based on microfluidic liquid systems and tailor made bio-engineered nano-mechanical biosensors. Our current research focus is on quantitative diagnostic assays in drug monitoring (miRNA diagnostic and siRNA pharmakokinetics), proteomics, microbio (environmental and clinical) and heamostasis assays. Most of our developed devices and assays will be used in translational science in collaboration with hospitals (St. James Hospital, Dublin and Lund University, SWE) and health institutes (Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel).

A team of 2 researchers (Physics, Molecular Biology, Bioengineering, Nanoscale Science) under the guidance of Martin Hegner is currently developing the next generation of in vitro-diagnostic nano-mechanical assays. With several national and international collaborations we are involved in a multi-disciplinary team effort with the goal of developing specialized devices and assays for a rich variety of applications. We are committed to changing the world through discoveries and development of new technologies. Our efforts begin where the imaginative mind meets the experienced. We are excited about what future technology can offer society.

Prof. Martin Hegner

Principal Investigator CRANN



Prof. Hegner studied Life Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich in 1984 (CH). He received his Diploma ("master of science") degree in Cellular Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Immunology and Toxicology in 1989 and he completed his PhD thesis in 1994 with work in the field of 'Protein Translocation across Membranes' and 'Biological Scanning Probe Microscopy' at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Institute for Biochemistry in Zurich. In 1994-96 he had a post-doctoral position at the Institute of Physics in Basel in the laboratory of Prof. H.-J. Güntherodt, a pioneer in the field of scanning probe microscopy. Thereafter ('96-'99) he joined the world leading group of C. Bustamante at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Eugene, OR and then at University of California at Berkeley, CA as a research associate to acquire know-how in the field of single molecule manipulation with optical tweezers. In 1999 he joined the Institute of Physics at University of Basel (Switzerland) as group and project leader for biological nanoscale science within the newly founded Swiss National Centre of Competence 'Nanoscale Science'. Until today he introduced several novel approaches to investigate molecular interactions with nanomechanical tools. In 2001 he received his 'venia docendi' in Experimental Physics at the University of Basel, Switzerland and in 2007 he joined the Physics faculty of the University of Dublin, Trinity College Dublin Ireland. He was appointed as Professor and pursues his interdisciplinary research in the Centre of Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) in the field of Nanobiotechnology.

Full contact details:

Prof. Martin Hegner
Principal Investigator
The Naughton institute
School of Physics
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin 2,

Tel: +353-1-8962285
Fax: +353-1-8963037