Project Tile: Nanostructural characterisation of protein interactions with lipid bilayer membranes : basis for biosensor development
This PhD project is in the field of biosensors based on nanostructured biomimetic tethered lipid bilayers (tBLM) to detect plasma proteins. These proteins are used as biomarkers of severe pathologies including cancer, but their detection is difficult due to their relatively low abundance. Often present in glycosylated form they form complexes with lipids in order to be transported in the blood. A lipidic environment is thus an appropriate environment for a biosensor, also including the capturing antibody, to detect all biomarkers bound to protein/lipid complexes in blood samples. A proof-of-concept biosensor utilising tBLM connected to an Impedance Spectroscopy was developed recently for the detection of a glycosylate protein cancer biomarker soluble VE-cadherin by utilizing a tBLM produced by SDx Tethered Membranes Pty Ltd. The PhD student will perform a nanostructural characterisation of the interaction between peptide and protein biomarkers and tBLM, and will identify the role of the lipid part to modulate the interaction between tBLM and specific peptides and proteins. These fundamental results will provide the basis for biosensors and analytical procedures that can detect scarce biomarker proteins from other high-abundance proteins and from lipidic moieties in blood samples. The biosensors envisaged are based on nanostructured tBLM in which we have optimised the lipid composition for specific proteins interactions.
Further information may be obtained from Giovanna Fragneto (email:email@example.com) and from Marco Maccarini (email: firstname.lastname@example.org), Donald Martin (email: email@example.com)
More details about the application procedure on www.innovaxn.eu/for-students/documents/
The successful candidate will be enrolled in the doctoral school of Université Grenoble Alpes and based full-time at the ILL (Grenoble, France), other than a 3-month secondment at SDX-membranes (Roseville, Australia). Additional visits totaling no more than 3 months may be made to the University Grenoble Alpes when needed. Furthermore, a varied pedagogical training programme will be offered to the successful candidate throughout the 3-year PhD project.
More details on the InnovaXN programme on www.innovaxn.eu
InnovaXN is a Horizon 2020 MSCA COFUND programme providing an opportunity for 40 industrial companies to work with 40 PhD students, performing advanced research and exploiting the unique characterisation techniques of the ESRF and ILL. Through collaborations with industry, innovation will be the central theme of the programme. This will provide a unique cross academic-industry science setting, secondment opportunities and society-relevant research, training the future key researchers able to tackle major research and societal challenges.