Project Summary

Nano-sized particles and dispersions are truly ubiquitous in nature and require detailed characterisation to improve safety and enable products as widely diverse as vaccines, drug delivery formulations, advanced materials, paints, food products or minerals separation processes. In particular, for “soft” biological nanoscaled objects and molecular complexes (e.g. exosomes and DNA/protein assemblies such as chromatin), there is a critical need for technologies that can interrogate their in-solution response under molecular stimuli to elucidate the intricate mechanisms of critical biological processes such as the control of DNA to RNA conversion within chromatin complexes, and cell-to-cell communication via exosome complexes.

The aim of this project is to produce a generic platform technology that is capable of in-situ characterisation of the full spectrum of nano-scaled objects on a particle-by-particle basis to further understand and exploit the underlying fundamental scientific principles of an integrated Nanopore/optical system. Development of such a system will facilitate investigations into a secondary aim: the trapping and quantitative observation of single bio-molecular complexes in solution during molecular stimulation, e.g., observing the unfolding of a single DNA chromatin complex triggered by enzymatic control.

Tracking of fluorescent particles as they exit a nanopore.


Research Group

Trau Group


Bayesian methods, single cell RNA-seq, technical variability, quality control, normalization

Project members

Lead Investigator

Professor Matt Trau

Senior Group Leader
Trau Group