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Harvesting out-of-equilibrium forces for molecular control

Harvesting out-of-equilibrium forces for molecular control

Objective

Numerous biological processes harvest out-of-equilibrium forces for transport, sensing, signaling and more. For example, pumping of ions is performed within fluctuating pores that are believed to facilitate transport. The nature of these forces is extremely diverse, from electrical driving to thermodynamic or chemical driving. The ability to describe nonequilibrium states is critical to understand a broad range of biological processes but remains extremely challenging as appropriate thermodynamic concepts have only recently been introduced and are still scarce . The MolecularControl project aims at developing theoretical tools that can be widely applied to out-of-equilibrium soft matter problems. I will use these tools to address more specificially systems relevant to health issues or sustainable energy.

In this context, I will develop two theoretical frameworks in the USA. The first will address the dynamics of ions in confinement (electrochemical driving) and will be used to describe the blockage mechanism of a specific neuronal ion channel called NMDA. The second will address the fast growth of molecular crystals via screw dislocations (kinetic and thermodynamic driving) and will be applied to the growth of L-cystine crystals, involved in the formation of kidney stones, a major health issue.

Back to Europe with this added value of mastering numerous tools to control molecular assembly and ionic transport in nonequilibrium systems, I will use them to study (a) ion current fluctuations in confinement and between electrodes for applications in individual ionic sensing, advanced capacitive electrode design and blue energy generation and (b) molecular assembly in a more realistic kidney representation, in particular under flow.

This project represents a unique opportunity to grow as an independent researcher with a strong transatlantic network and to become a future leader in an emerging scientific field of great fundamental and societal relevance.

Coordinator

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

Address

Rue Michel Ange 3
75794 Paris

France

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 275 619,84

Partners (1)

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NEW YORK UNIVERSITY

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 839225

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 June 2020

  • End date

    31 May 2023

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 275 619,84

  • EU contribution

    € 275 619,84

Coordinated by:

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France