Proteins & Nanoparticles @ Membranes 2014
SoftComp Topical Workshop, open to everyone!
19 - 22 October 2014
Lipid and surfactant membranes are important building blocks for many applications of soft matter physics, and play an essential role for biological systems. A detailed understanding of protein, nanoparticle and virus interactions with membranes is important for a variety of processes – ranging from material transport within the cell and cellular uptake to viral infection and nanotoxicity.
The relevant mechanisms can only be understood by considering simultaneously the physicochemical properties of membrane, nano-particles, and proteins. Therefore, this workshop intends to bring together researchers that are interested in particles and proteins, as well as those interested in lipid membranes and surfactants.
This workshop is sponsored by the SoftComp network, but is open to anyone who wishes to take part. Contributed talks and posters will be selected on the basis of the abstracts submitted.
We look forward to welcoming you to Jülich in October!
Thorsten Auth, Patricia Bassereau, and Gerhard Gompper
Lipid and detergent membranes are essential building blocks for many applications of soft matter physics, and also play an important role in complex processes in biological systems. Budding, deformation, and wrapping are mechanisms for biological cells to communicate and to exchange material within the cell and with its environment.
For example, viruses can leave a cell by wrapping of a single virus or cooperatively via budding; nanoparticles can be taken up by a cell via membrane wrapping or by penetration. Proteins, nanoparticles, and colloids can affect the membrane properties by binding to the membrane, which locally changes the membrane curvature and can lead to domain formation and tubulation. Particle and protein binding and can be coupled to composition fluctuations in mixed lipid membranes, which can induce lipid sorting.
A detailed understanding of the processes of protein and nanoparticle interactions with membranes is important for applications ranging from nanotoxicity and the control of cellular processes to the engineering of soft matter composite systems with nanoparticles.
However, the relevant mechanisms cannot be understood from a membrane point of view alone, but depend on the physicochemical properties of both the membrane and nano-particle or protein. This workshop therefore brings together researchers that are interested in particles and proteins, as well as those interested in lipid membranes and surfactants – mainly from a physics point of view. We hope that this will advance a rapidly developing field, at the interface between Soft Matter and Biophysics.