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Dr. Mangilal Agarwal
Dr. Yogesh Joglekar
Dr. Likun Zhu
Dr. Jian Xie
Dr. Rajesh Sardar
Dr. Ruihua Cheng
Dr. Frédérique Deiss
Dr. Maher Rizkalla
Dr. Horia Petrache
Dr. Hazim El-Mounayri
Determining Electrical Properties of Biomembranes through Scattering and Spectroscopy
Dr. Horia Petrache, Physics, Funded Through Internal Support.

Biological materials exhibit electrical properties that could be exploited in two very different and important ways: 1) for therapies in medicine and 2) to create nanoelectronic devices with unusual electromagnetic response. We will work with lipid membranes and fibrin networks, chosen as representatives of two main classes of biological materials. The proposed project is an experimental investigation of electrical properties of these materials and ion channels. The molecular structures of lipid bilayers will be determined by X-ray scattering, dynamic light scattering, and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, whereas the ionic transport will be measured by electrophysiological measurements of reconstituted membrane systems.

Students will be involved in measurements of membrane electrostatics and will develop expertise in sample preparation, conducting ion-channel measurements, and utilizing sophisticated instrumentation including a small-angle X-ray scattering system.