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Dynamic control of membrane curvature and its role in membrane protein assembly

Final Report Summary - MEMCURV (Dynamic control of membrane curvature and its role in membrane protein assembly)

During this year the first 2 phases of the project took place: (1) Construction of patterned substrate, and (2) Study of physical properties of supported lipid bilayers. The main goal of the 1st phase was to create substrates with a variety of three-dimensional patterns, and then to create local curvature changes in membrane by micro-patterning the underlying substrate. To this end, we had used two substrate-patterning techniques: colloidal lithography and electron beam lithography. Colloidal lithography is to deposit polystyrene particles with different diameters combined with thermal modification of radius of curvature. Using the similar strategy, we developed to make negative curvature with dissolving the polystyrene beads contained in the agarose layer. We also used electron beam (e-beam) lithography to make curved features in the nanometer range that can be highly repetitive and/or vary spatially. We had constructed kinds of bump and hole arrays with different periods and diameters. The 2nd phase focused on the properties of supported lipid bilayers with the goal to acquire deep understanding of the interaction of lipid bilayers with substrate. The 1st dealt with the preparation of lipid bilayers on flat mica surface, determining their physical properties, particular the mechanical properties. The results of these phase are included in the deliverable titled " work progress of curvature".

A summary of the progress of the researcher training activities:

The short-term objectives outlined in the "Career Development Plan" include: (i) research results, (ii) research skills and techniques, (iii) research management, and (iv) communication skills.