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Conferenciant: Nick Brooks, Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London (UK)
Resum: Lipid membrane structural dynamics and micromechanics are vitally important to a wide range of cellular processes including mediating protein activity, signalling, material transport and apoptosis (programmed cell death). Developing model systems to study the structural and energetic behavior of membranes, and methods to trigger changes in these parameters are essential to understanding the contributions of the many components that make up biological membranes.
We have recently developed a range of novel instruments for studying soft matter and biological system at non-ambient conditions and out-of-equilibrium. Amongst these, our new platforms for high pressure and pressure-jump microscopy and small angle X-ray diffraction (SAXS) have led to a series of exciting studies of the pressure dependence of key micromechanical membrane parameters and membrane structural dynamics.
Of particular interest are recent first measurements of the bending rigidity of lipid membranes under pressure, rapid triggering of domain growth in mixed lipid membranes and the coupled effects of anaesthetics and pressure on membrane structure.