In their environment, cells face a variety of stimuli and stresses inducing membrane curvature and cell deformation. These physico-mechanical stresses include sheer stress by squeezing of red blood cells (RBCs) in the narrow pores of spleen sinusoïds. We will here study how lipid domains could play a role in membrane curvature and cell deformation as well as the interplay between lipid domains, BAR domain proteins and the cytoskeleton. Elucidation of the importance of membrane lipid domains for cell deformation is a prerequisite toward manipulation for therapeutical benefit.
This research will be performed by combining molecular biology tools, atomic force microscopy using in particular multifunctional high-resolution imaging and spectroscopic approaches (force-distance curve) and flurorescence/confocal imaging.
Therefore we will establish a new nanoscopic tool that images biological membranes at a resolution ≤ 1nm and simultaneously maps the mechanical properties.
Prof. Dr. David Alsteens
Place Croix du Sud 4-5, bte L7.07.06
1348 Louvain-La Neuve
Tel. + 32 (0)10/47.35.98.