Professor Meiners investigates the experimental dynamics of single DNA molecules and DNA-protein complexes with optical single molecule techniques. His emphasis is on understanding how the topology of a DNA molecule, manifested in e.g. a linear, circular, knotted or supercoiled conformation, affects the dynamics of the molecule, its interaction with other molecules like regulatory proteins, and ultimately its biological functions. For this aim, Professor Meiners’ group is using laser-trapping techniques that allow them to directly manipulate a single DNA molecule and study its dynamics. In particular, a novel optical-tweezer based force measurement technique-femtonewton force spectroscopy enables them to measure ultra-small force fluctuations with millisecond time resolution and thus gives them unprecedented insight into the dynamics of the molecule. They are now also combining these optical methods with modern micro fabrication techniques, such as micro fluidic chips made of silicon elastomers. This greatly enhances their capabilities to study a wide range of DNA-protein interactions and shed more light on fundamental biological processes such as the transcriptional regulation of gene expression.
Professor Meiners is an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Topologic Mixing on a Microfluidic Chip, (H. Chen and J. C. Meiners), Applied Physics Letters, in press (2004).
Particle Transport in Asymmetric Scanning Line Optical Tweezers, (B. Liesfeld, R. Nambiar, and J. C. Meiners), Phys. Rev. E 68, 51907 (2003).
Robust Interconnects and Packaging for Microfluidic Elastomer Chips, (H. Chen, D. Acharya, A. Gajraj, and J. C. Meiners), Analytical Chemistry 75, 5287 (2003).
Fast Position Measurements with Scanning Line Optical Tweezers, (R. Nambiar and J. C. Meiners),Opt. Lett. 27, 836 (2002).
Femtonewton Force Spectroscopy of Single Extended DNA Molecules, (J. C. Meiners and S. R. Quake), Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 5014 (2000).
Direct Measurement of Hydrodynamic Cross Correlations Between Two Particles in an External Potential, (J. C. Meiners and S. R. Quake), Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 2211 (1999).
Adsorption of Block-Copolymer Micelles from a Selective Solvent, (J. C. Meiners, H. Elbs, A. Ritzi-Quintel, J. Mlynek and G. Krausch), Macromolecules 30, 4945 (1997).