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Cellular Biophysics

The physical properties of biological membranes, and biological systems in general, can be relevant to the way they accomplish their tasks. These properties include both mechanical and thermodynamic ones. In the recent years a strong effort has been devoted to the study of the physical properties of lipid bilayers with the goal of shedding light on the lipid raft hypothesis and understanding the effect of lipids on membrane protein activity. In particular, exploiting model systems, it is of fundamental interest to understand how the formation of nanoscopic lateral heterogeneities in the membrane can be obtained and how they can affect membrane properties. Moreover, it is also of  great interest to understand how lipophilic molecules such as drugs can modify lipid bilayer behavior.

The mechanical properties of substrates may also have a strong influence on the behavior of cell growing on top of them. These effects can be relevant in the development of tissues for regenerative medicine.

Epi-fluorescence microscopy image of a Giant Unilamellar Vesicle (GUV) presenting a phase separation with Liquid Disordered domains (the red ones) and Liquid Ordered domains (the darker ones)

[Ultimo aggiornamento: 01/07/2015 18:58:25]