We present a novel experimental setup in which magnetic and optical tweezers are combined for torque and force transduction onto single filamentous molecules in a transverse configuration to allow simultaneous mechanical measurement and manipulation. Previously we have developed a super-resolution imaging module which, in conjunction with advanced imaging techniques such as Blinking assisted Localisation Microscopy (BaLM), achieves localisation precision of single fluorescent dye molecules bound to DNA of 30 nm along the contour of the molecule; our work here describes developments in producing a system which combines tweezing and super-resolution fluorescence imaging. The instrument also features an acousto-optic deflector that temporally divides the laser beam to form multiple traps for high throughput statistics collection. Our motivation for developing the new tool is to enable direct observation of detailed molecular topological transformation and protein binding event localisation in a stretching/twisting mechanical assay that previously could hitherto only be deduced indirectly from the end-to-end length variation of DNA. Our approach is simple and robust enough for reproduction in the lab without the requirement of precise hardware engineering, yet is capable of unveiling the elastic and dynamic properties of filamentous molecules that have been hidden using traditional tools.
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- magnetic tweezers,optical tweezers,super-resolution microscopy