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Manipulating and measuring the physical properties and local structure of biomembranes

by D'Onofrio, Terrence G.

Abstract (Summary)
Local composition, structure, morphology, and phase are interrelated in lipid bilayer membranes. This gives us the opportunity to control one or more of these properties by manipulating others. These properties are important in biology for endocytosis and exocytosis, lipid raft formation, and lateral diffusion of membrane-bound species. We discuss methods of preparing two-component/two-phase giant unilamellar vesicles as models for biological membranes and we detail the development of tools to measure and to control the properties of these membranes. We investigate these relationships with combinations of simultaneous two-color widefield fluorescence imaging, threedimensional rendering of vesicle domains, and manipulation of the vesicle morphology and measurement of the material properties via micropipette aspiration. We demonstrate microtubule degradation induced by free radicals that penetrate the membrane. Such systematic measurements are critical in understanding the roles of individual membrane components and their aggregate effects on the behavior of the whole system. iv Section List of Figures List of Abbreviations List of Variables
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School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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