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Welcome to the Optical Trapping Lab - Grup de Biofotònica website. The BiOPT lab belongs to the Applied Physics and Optics Department of the University of Barcelona, Spain. 

The group, which has an increasingly interdisciplinary composition, develops photonic tools to address problems of biological interest. Specifically, we explore the capabilities of optical tweezers technology for the study of living matter at the molecular and cellular scales.

Our systems combine fluorescence microscopy, holographic optical manipulation, force measurement and high speed imaging, allowing us to reach inside cells and help study their inner processes.




News


December 2015

  • We are glad to announce that a new PhD student, Dorian Treptow, is moving from Germany to join the group and work on optical tweezers systems using acousto-optic and liquid crystal modulators. Welcome, Dorian!

November 2015

  • On November 18th, we have attended the first IN2UB workshop to exchange ideas with other researchers of the Institute. Thank you for the initative, it was a productive morning.
  • A new interview to the Impetux team was published at the specialised newspaper L'Econòmic (in catalan). You can view the interview here.

September 2015

  • Raúl Bola joins the group to start his PhD thesis related to force measurement in living cells. Welcome, Raúl!
  • Rafael Perpiñán successfully presented his final Degree in Physics project, entitled "Optical tweezers with controlled force profiles". Rafa will go on working with us to obtain his master thesis (Master in Photonics).

June 2015

  • Júlia Ferrer successfully presented her final Degree in Physics project, devoted to the set-up of a dynamic optical tweezers system including acousto-optic deflectors. Júlia was granted to pursue the 2-year Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Photonics. Good luck Júlia, hope to have you back soon!

April 2015

  • We are glad to know that we have been granted for the next 3 years by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, under the research project "Medida de fuerzas y reología en el interior de células vivas mediante laser tweezers" (FIS2014-60052-R).
  • Arnau and Ferran leave to attend the 2015 OSA Biomedical Optics & Photonics Congress: Optics in the Life Sciences, Optical Trapping Applications (12-15 April), to be held in Vancouver (Canada). Arnau will give an invited talk to present our last results on force measurements in complex samples.

January 2015

  • Estela, Arnau and Ferran attended the great conference Trends in Optical Micromanipulation III (25-30 January). They had a very productive week sharing our results on force measurements on non-spherical particles trapped with non-Gaussian beams and suspended in non-homogeneous media. They had some free time for skiing, too!

December 2014

  • The Impetux team was interviewed at the newspaper La Vanguardia (in catalan).
  • Some good news just before Christmas... again, after a fruitful collaboration with prof. Jochen Guck's group, a paper has been accepted for publication: “A monolithic glass chip for active single-cell sorting based on mechanical phenotyping”. It is available on line in Lab on a Chip.
  • Two new undergraduate students join the group to do their final Degree in Physics project: Rafa Perpiñán and Júlia Ferrer. Welcome!

November 2014

  • The paper “Dynamic operation of optical fibres beyond single-mode regime facilitates the orientation of biological cells” is now available on line in Nature Communications.
  • Dorian Treptow finally presented his German diploma thesis ("Video-based calibration of holographic optical traps"), supervised in Barcelona by Mario Montes-Usategui and Estela Martín-Badosa, and by prof. Norbert Fruehauf in the University of Stuttgart.

October 2014

  • We are glad to announce that, after a collaboration with the group led by prof. Jochen Guck at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge (currently at the Biotechnology Center, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany),  the paper “Dynamic operation of optical fibres beyond single-mode regime facilitates the orientation of biological cells”, has now been accepted for publication in Nature Communications.

September 2014

  • It is finally official: Arnau Farre's thesis has been awarded with the Extraordinary prize for the best thesis in Applied Physics of the course 2012-2013. Congratulations again, Arnau!
  • Noemí Domínguez successfully defended her master thesis, entitled "Measurement of holographic trap positioning". Congratulations, and good luck in your next placement!

August 2014

  • Arnau attended the 23rd Congress of the International Commission for Optics (ICO), where he received his Justiniano Casas second prize for his thesis, entitled "Momentum measurements of single-beam traps and quantitative holographic experiments: two sides of the same coin". Congratulations again! You can read this news in the SECPho webpage.
  • Mario, Arnau, Ferran and Frederic attended the SPIE Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XI conference (17-21 August) to present our last results on force measurement from the changes in light momentum, and its use on irregular samples and for the study of in vivo trapped organelles.

July 2014

  • Undergraduate call: there is an open call (deadline 15 September) of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports for undergraduate students who would like to pursue some work in a research group. You can find the call details here. If you are interested, please contact Estela Martín Badosa.
  • We are really glad to announce that Frederic Català has been awarded with a 4-year grant from the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport to pursue his PhD studies. You deserved it, Frede!

June 2014

  • Our patent "Method for manipulating microscopic samples and measuring forces acting thereon" has been finally granted (30 June, publication number ES 2395496).
  • Arnau Farré has been awarded with the Justiniano Casas second prize for research in Optical Imaging, 4th edition, for his thesis, entitled "Momentum measurements of single-beam traps and quantitative holographic experiments: two sides of the same coin". The award ceremony will be held on the 29 of August in Santiago de Compostela during the meeting of the 23rd Congress of the International Commission for Optics (ICO). Congratulations!
  • On June 25th Astrid Ribot defended her final Degree in Physics project, entitled "Beam steering with spatial light modulators: Quantisation effects". Excellent Astrid!
  • Frederic Català and Estela Martín Badosa have attended the 6th meeting of the Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology of the Universitat de Barcelona (6 June), and presented the work "Force measurements on irregular samples with holographic optical tweezers".

May 2014

  • Together with other students of the Master in Photonics, Noemí Domínguez has won the second edition of the SECPhO Photonics Innovation Award, for their project Tueris, in which optical tweezers are applied to in vitro fertilization. Congratulations to all the team!
  • From now on we are an officially recognised Research Group (2014 SGR 807) by the Generalitat de Catalunya.

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(last updated: 18 November 2015)
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