here - Department of Biomedical Engineering

Department of
AFM-based Approaches to
Study Nanoscale Structural
and Mechanical Properties of
Biomacromolecules and Cells
Fernando Teran Arce, PhD
Assistant Project Scientist
Departments of Bioengineering and Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
University of California at San Diego
Spring 2015
Seminar Series
Room 103
12 PM, Wednesday,
April 29, 2015
Nanoscale structures, including cell membranes, ion channels and cell filaments
define and modulate the activity of biological systems. Their study is complex,
requiring multidisciplinary efforts and appropriate technology to study their structure and mechanical properties. It is thus necessary to possess appropriate visualization and force-sensing techniques capable of operating in the native environments
and length-scales of biological macromolecules. Because of its ability to operate as
a conventional microscope with nanoscale resolution in physiological environments, as well as measuring forces over several orders of magnitude, the atomic
force microscope (AFM) has become an important research tool in the biological
sciences. Using specific examples from biomedicine, materials science and microbiology, I will illustrate the capabilities of the technique and present strategies for its
further development. I will discuss the contributions of AFM, in concert with
complementary techniques, to our understanding of: i) pathological nanostructures
in neurodegenerative diseases, ii) changes in the mechanical properties of the cytoskeleton of endothelial cells in relation to pulmonary injury, and iii) adhesion of
diatoms to fouling-release coatings relevant to marine biofouling. To finalize, I will
describe new strategies to: i) use AFM to simultaneously measure the structure and
electrical activity of macromolecules in lipid membranes, ii) expand the force sensitivity of AFM using plasmonic nanoparticles embedded in the evanescent field of
optical waveguides and iii) develop a technique to detect multiple receptor targets
using conjugated short DNA strands.
Sponsored by:
The Depts. of Biomedical Engineering &
College of Medicine
For additional information contact:
Cecilia Lopez, 621-0780