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Elasticity and unfolding studies of single molecules of the cytoskeletal protein spectrin


Research objectives and content
Mechanical properties of the skeletal protein spectrin will be investigated by .scanning probe techniques: atomic force microscopy and optical tweezer.s. We plan to determine experimentally the force-extension relationship and so the visco-elastic properties of a single molecule of spectrin. At some threshold, a stress-relaxation behaviour is expected and shall be studied. Furthermore, the study shall reveal the unfolding of separated domains of spectrin. Genetically modified spectrin will help to understand the relation between mechanical properties and structure. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
This research will provide me with a training in the techniques of molecular biology and will thus develop the necessary skills to work as a at the Physics/Biology interface. The experience that I have acquired on fine optical and mechanical techniques will help the realisation of this experimental study on a fundamental mechanism of Life. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)

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European Molecular Biology Laboratory
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