The Optical Nanomanipulation Lab was established in 2005 at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. It was then moved to the Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, CSIC, in 2007 and to IMDEA Nanoscience, on the same campus, in 2012. The laboratory, developed by Dr. J. R. Arias-Gonzalez, entailed the first experimental environment for single-molecule manipulation experiments by optical tweezers in Spain. With the help of former PhD student, Silvia Hormeño, Dr. Arias-Gonzalez launched experiments on single nucleic acids molecules, organelles and nanoparticles, thus establishing his independent career. This environment was also possible thanks to the generous push from Prof. Carlos Bustamante and the invaluable expertise from Dr. Steven B. Smith, both in U.C. Berkeley by 2005. In Spain, this laboratory was privileged by the scientific collaboration with Prof. José L. Carrascosa and Prof. José M. Valpuesta, in Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, CSIC, Madrid. In 2007, Dr. Borja Ibarra initiated experiments on single DNA polymerases, with which he and his co-workers eventually evolved into an independent laboratory in IMDEA Nanoscience. The Optical Nanomanipulation Lab welcomed Dr. Sara de Lorenzo from Universitat de Barcelona in 2014 as an advanced technician in the Mini-Tweezers instrument, with which improved resolution is achieved. Since its origin, our laboratory has struggled in the understanding of biophysical phenomena that take place in the nanoscale from first physical principles, always keeping an eye on novel instrumental strategies that make possible the manipulation of nanostructures on a one by one basis.



Pictures by Rafael Miranda