Research activities

At the molecular level, we use optical tweezers and single-molecule fluorescence to study how chaperones fold amino-acid chains into functional proteins, and more recently to probe the role of ribosomes and translation.

At the cellular level, we use time-lapse microscopy and image analysis to understand how multi-cellular systems self-organise, with a specific recent interest in organoids.

The group is based at the AMOLF institute in Amsterdam, and is part of the Living Matter initiative. It is headed by Sander Tans, who is also affiliated with Delft University of Technology, and the Kavli institute of Nanoscience.

If you are interested in joining our team, send us an e-mail to

See the Tans group website

Group Members

  • ERC Synergy Grant for AMOLF-Heidelberg-ETH team

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  • Optimization of human small intestinal organoids

    Collaborating scientists have improved human small intestinal organoids – miniature versions of the small intestine. This will help them to better study the functioning of the small intestine. The scientists …

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  • Cells: strong at the right place and time

    Researchers from TU Delft and AMOLF discovered how certain molecular bonds make living cells both flexible, in order to move, as well as strong, in order to withstand forces. Paradoxically, …

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  • First study of CRISPR-Cas defense in individual cells shows remarkable variability

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