In this proposal we aim at developing truly novel optical scanning probe tools to allow nanometric local probing, interrogation, manipulation and dissection of biological function at the level of single molecules in their native environment: the living cell. Our objectives are two-fold: First, to pioneer the development of a novel multi-parameter scanning probe microscope able to provide for the first time simultaneous topographic, optical and biochemical recognition in one and the same instrument. Second, we will exploit the newly devised technology to unravel the organisation and dynamics of the cell surface receptor landscape at the nanometre scale in relation to cell function.
As such, the proposal is fully compatible with the NEST-ADVENTURE objectives since the research is focussed on the development of an entirely new technology which, if successful, will not only open up new avenues for progress in fundamental and applied sciences but also for biotech- and high tech instrumentation- industry. Furthermore, it has a high risk character since we will attempt to enter into an uncharted territory combining areas of nano-instrumentation, nano-photonics and nanometre scale biology. In order to maximise the chances of success we have chosen for an interdisciplinary, trans-national and multi-institutional (research institutions, high education centres and industry) partnership. Thus, our working strategy will rely on the strong cooperation between the different partners, which as added value will also lead to a strengthening of cohesion in European research. In the long term we expect that both, fundamental researchers (material science, surface chemistry) as well as industrial sectors (nano-technology enterprises and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries) will benefit from this new technology.
Call for proposal
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