Center for Optical Bio-Manipulation

Center for Optical Bio-Manipulation (COBM) is an interdisciplinary research infrastructure whose purpose is to provide local researchers with state of the art equipment and expertise within optical manipulation and imaging of biological systems.

Center for Optical Bio-Manipulation (COBM) Center for Optical Bio-Manipulation (COBM) Center for Optical Bio-Manipulation (COBM) Center for Optical Bio-Manipulation (COBM) Center for Optical Bio-Manipulation (COBM) Center for Optical Bio-Manipulation (COBM)

These include investigation of molecular scale processes in biology, medicine and plant science. Examples include investigations of DNA, molecular motors, biomembrane-protein interactions, cytoskeletal dynamics, but also cellular-scale biomanipulation. The optical manipulation is performed with up to 4 optical traps which are combined with superresolution imaging and microfluidics to allow for maximum flexibility in the experiment.




COBM is financed by the Novo Nordisk Foundation in 2020 for 5 years. The infrastructure is based in the experimental biophysics and optical manipulation group located at the Niels Bohr Institute. A steering committee is responsible for overall planning of the activities and consists of: Poul Martin Bendix (NBI), Ian Hickson (Medical Institute), Jesper Nylandsted (Danish Cancer Research Institute) and Kirstine Berg-Sørensen (Danish Technical Institute). COBM is part of the Experimental Biophysics and Optical Manipulation group at the Niels Bohr Institute.



COBM offers access to the equipment for all types of academic and industrial researchers at no cost. Interested researchers should contact us with possible projects and these will then be evaluated with respect to relevance and applicability according to the following criteria:

  • Compatibility of the planned activity with the equipment specifications.
  • Scientific excellence of the proposed activity.
  • Availability of the resources needed to complete the proposed activity.
  • The project is within the limit of Danish legislation.

To apply, please contact us with a short description of the proposed activity, expected usage of the tools, and number of users.


We offer the most advanced type of optical bio-manipulation equipment integrated with superresolution (STED) imaging and also with 4 microfluidic channel device. This allows state of the art experiments to be performed at ultra high force sensitivity and high resolution imaging. The 4 traps can be intuitively operated using a joy-stick. Detailed measurements can be programmed using Python software with assistance from an expert user.

We also offer the possibility to perform experiments on other imaging and manipulation setups according to individual assessment. Cell culturing can be performed onsite or cells can be directly transported from other labs in according to existing biological safety rules.

The specifications of the infrastructure are give below:


Imaging using STED versus confocal

Integrated microfluidic system


All new users must receive proper training session for each tool before being able to book it and use it independently.

Please contact the technical leader Younes Barooji ( once your application has been approved by the COBM management board.

The optical manipulation group at the Niels Bohr Institute offers collaboration and advice to all users

Please contact the COBM for more information.


Niels Bohr Institute

Locations is Blegdamsvej 17, 2100 København Ø.

Contact person: Poul Martin Bendix, and

Technical leader: Younes Farhangi Barooji,



Name Title Image
Pól Martin Bendix Associate Professor Billede af Pól Martin Bendix
Younes Farhangi Barooji Academic Staff Billede af Younes Farhangi Barooji

Funded by:

Novo Nordisk Foundation

Project: Center for Optical Bio-Manipulation
Period:  5 Years