Mechanical forces are critical to protein function across many biological contexts-from bacterial adhesion to muscle mechanics and mechanotransduction processes. Hence, understanding how mechanical forces govern protein activity has developed into a central scientific question. In this context, single-molecule magnetic tweezers has recently emerged as a valuable experimental tool, offering the capability to measure single proteins over physiologically relevant forces and timescales. In this chapter, we present a detailed protocol for the assembly and operation of our magnetic tape head tweezers instrument, specifically tailored to investigate protein dynamics. Our instrument boasts a simplified microscope design and incorporates a magnetic tape head as the force-generating apparatus, facilitating precise force control and enhancing its temporal stability, enabling the study of single protein mechanics over extended timescales spanning several hours or even days. Moreover, its straightforward and cost-effective design ensures its accessibility to the wider scientific community. We anticipate that this technique will attract widespread interest within the growing field of mechanobiology and expect that this chapter will provide facilitated accessibility to this technology.

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