Nanomechanics of cell membrane systems.


Morphological flexibility of cell membranes provides the foundation for the spatial organization of living cells. The signature morphologies of cellular endomembrane systems are created at the nanoscale where specialized proteolipid complexes assemble to control membrane curvature, shape and topology. We apply novel experimental approaches combining nanomanipulations, electrophysiology and time-resolved fluorescence, confocal and TIRF microscopy to characterize mechanical properties and dynamics of biomimetic and cell membranes at the nanoscale, with particular attention to topological membrane remodeling, fusion and fission, dynamics of the force- and geometry-induced demixing of membrane components and diffusion in complex media. We reconstitute the morphological activity of the prototype proteins controlling membrane remodeling, such as dynamin and matrix protein of enveloped viruses, using nanofabricated lipid templates to resolve subtle features of the proteolipid interactions,

Main specialization

Scientific Area:
ERC discipline:
  • LS - LIFE SCIENCES
  • LS1 Molecular and Structural Biology and Biochemistry
Industrial Leadership:
  • 4. Biotechnology
  • 4.1. Boosting cutting-edge biotechnologies as future innovation drivers
Societal Challenges:
  • 1. Health, demographic change and wellbeing
  • 1.04. Understanding disease