Biomechanics of proteins

Single molecule mechanical manipulation of proteins


Glycan-rich extracellular matrix

Oocytes carry an ultrasoft and compliant matrix


Biopolymer hydrogels & other biomaterials

Biomechanics: proteins, hydrogels & cells

We are developing experimental and computational techniques to study the mechanical properties of cells, tissues and their building blocks. From a biomechanical perspective, cells and tissues can be pictured as complex fluids and hydrogels, and their mechanical properties arise from the hierarchical assembly of biomolecules such as proteins and glycans. Cells sense and respond to the mechanical properties of their environment. By studying biomechanics at various length scales, from molecules to tissues, we define mechanisms underpinning health and disease and advance the development of novel biomaterials with tailored mechanical properties.

Areas of interest include

  • Mechanics of biological and engineered hydrogels (Lorna Dougan, Ralf Richter, Neil Thompson)
  • Fibrin nanomechanics (Simon Connell)
  • Nanomechanics of extremophile proteins (Lorna Dougan)
  • Nanomechanics of protein-glycan bonds (Ralf Richer)
  • Collagen nanomechanics (Neil Thompson)
  • Mechanobiochemistry of glycan rich extracellular matrices (Ralf Richter)
  • Cell mechanics (Stephen Evans)

Persons involved

Dr Ralf Richter 

Dr Lorna Dougan

Dr Neil H. Thomson

Dr Simon D.A. Connell

Prof Stephen D. Evans