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Proteins and membrane biophysics

Proteins: biophysics & nanotechnology

Proteins are the dynamic, mutli-functional nanomachines of biology. Different polypeptides can have roles as enzymes, pumps for nutrient uptake, drug receptors, antibodies and structural components, or many others. In the MNP group, we explore the biophysical properties of proteins of interest and even use them for proof-of-concept nanotechnological applications, inspired by biological systems. In order to both understand and manipulate proteins, we take a multi-disciplinary approach, including biochemistry, spectroscopy, nano/micro-fabrication and various microscopies (AFM, EM, fluorescence).

Areas of interest include:

  • Understanding the structure, organisation and energy transfer processes of membrane proteins involved in photosynthesis.
  • Lipid bilayer phase segregation, asymmetry and model systems
  • Micro-array patterning of optically-active proteins for novel nanotechnologies
  • Membrane-damaging peptides (link with Lipid Membranes theme)
  • In-membrane manipulation and crystallisation of membrane proteins
  • Study of medically-relevant drug receptors¬† (link with Nanomedicine theme)
  • Biomimetic surfaces to study protein-protein interactions
  • Protein-based hydrogels (link with Hydrogel theme)
  • Protein folding, stability and dynamics under extreme environmental conditions
  • Self-assembly and aggregation of disease relevant peptides and proteins

Persons involved

Dr Peter G. Adams

Dr Simon D.A. Connell

Prof Stephen D. Evans

Dr Ralf Richter 

Dr Lorna Dougan

Micro-patterned photosynthetic proteins