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Institute of Bioengineering

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Low-Dimensional Polymers, with Prof Graham Leggett, University of Sheffield

Image: Low-dimensional systems. Left: a model of the chromatophore vesicle form a purple bacterium. Centre: AFM image of an intact spherical vesicle. Right: a polymer brush microsystem designed to model transmembrane proton transport
Low-dimensional systems. Left: a model of the chromatophore vesicle form a purple bacterium. Centre: AFM image of an intact spherical vesicle. Right: a polymer brush microsystem designed to model transmembrane proton transport

Date: 19 September 2018   Time: 15:00 - 16:00

Many biological mechanisms can be thought of as being low-dimensional systems: their function is determined by molecular objects of reduced dimensionality. Bacterial photosynthesis is a very good example; the photosynthetic pathway is contained within nano-objects (vesicles) whose function is determined by the nanoscale organization of membrane proteins and by the number of those proteins and the ratio of different types of protein. Systems biology has provided computational models for studying these processes, but there is a need for experimental platforms with which to test their predictions. In this presentation I describe recent work in my group on the development of tools for the reconstruction of membrane processes on solid surfaces. Photochemical methods provide a powerful, versatile means for the organization of molecules and membranes across length-scales from the molecular to the macroscopic. Polymer brushes are highly effective supports for model membranes and versatile functional and structural components in low-dimensional systems. The incorporation of plasmonic elements facilitates enhanced measurement of optical phenomena and provides an additional design principle via the exploitation of quantum optical phenomena. A functional low-dimensional system that incorporates trans-membrane proteins and the means for in situ measurement of trans membrane transport of protons is described.

Location:  PP1 People's Palace, Mile End Campus, Queen Mary University of London
Website:  http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/chemistry/staff/profiles/graham_leggett