Real time imaging of DNA repair a step toward prevention and treatment of cancer

Jun 13, 2014 by Olivier Heyning

LUMICKS, an Amsterdam-based spin off from VU University, offers for the first time a solution enabling real time imaging of interactions between molecules such as DNA and proteins. Real time is important for observing the dynamics of biological processes like DNA repair, which can now be tracked under representative conditions. This in turn can lead to knowledge of importance in the prevention or treatment of cancer.

Making films of molecular interactions

By combining a technique for manipulating molecules using optical tweezers with super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, detailed, real time images of how molecules interact are suddenly made possible. This technology, called 'Correlative Tweezers Fluorescence Microscopy' or 'CTFM', is the culmination of developments by Professor Gijs Wuite and Professor Erwin Peterman during the past decade at VU University, and recently published in Nature Methods. "We can now make films of individual proteins as they interact with a DNA molecule, something that was not possible before", says Gijs Wuite, VU Professor at VU University and one of the founders of LUMICKS. VU University scientist and co-founder Andrea Candelli adds: "Every time we put a biological system into one of our instruments we have to 'rewrite the books'. Until now people have generated all sorts of models on mostly very indirect information. Now for the first time we can actually see what happens, in and at the molecular level. We can learn about the dynamics of such as DNA repair."

Lumicks will market complete, ready-to-use, advanced apparatus systems

LUMICKS has entered into a license agreement with the VU University to gain access to the technology and related patents. It is currently launching a product portfolio around integrated systems for correlative optical tweezers-fluorescence. It has attracted an industry CEO with Olivier Heyning joining the team, and will be seeking grants and investors to accelerate the approach to markets. Launch of the company has immediately attracted great interest and LUMICKS is currently talking to several interested customers. Olivier Heyning, LUMICKS CEO: "The first order has been placed and we have a pipeline of well over 2 million euros in projects with customers. The launch of LUMICKS marks the addition of a new high tech manufacturing company in the Netherlands."

Explore further: Imaging dynamics of small biomolecules inside live cells

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

DNA falls apart when you pull it

May 20, 2011

DNA falls apart when you pull it with a tiny force: the two strands that constitute a DNA molecule disconnect. Peter Gross of VU University Amsterdam has shown this in his PhD research project. With this research, ...

Novel technique reveals dynamics of telomere DNA structure

Jan 17, 2013

Biomedical researchers studying aging and cancer are intensely interested in telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes. In a new study, scientists at UC Santa Cruz used a novel technique to reveal structural ...

Watching molecule movements in live cells

Jul 24, 2013

The newly developed STED-RICS microscopy method records rapid movements of molecules in live samples. By combining raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) with STED fluorescence microscopy, researchers ...

Imaging dynamics of small biomolecules inside live cells

Mar 02, 2014

Researchers at Columbia University have made a significant step toward visualizing small biomolecules inside living biological systems with minimum disturbance, a longstanding goal in the scientific community. ...

Recommended for you

Japanese scientist resigns over stem cell scandal

Dec 19, 2014

A researcher embroiled in a fabrication scandal that has rocked Japan's scientific establishment said Friday she would resign after failing to reproduce results of what was once billed as a ground-breaking study on ...

'Hairclip' protein mechanism explained

Dec 18, 2014

Research led by the Teichmann group on the Wellcome Genome Campus has identified a fundamental mechanism for controlling protein function. Published in the journal Science, the discovery has wide-ranging implications for bi ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.