Navigation and service

Proteins & Nanoparticles @ Membranes 2014

SoftComp Topical Workshop, open to everyone!

19 - 22 October 2014
Jülich, Germany



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.