Research

Postdoc: Theoretical modeling of nanoparticles interacting with cells

OBJECTIVES

The project is based on a recent publications showing the importance of membrane tension for interaction of nanoparticles with cells1–3. Deformation of cells and compression of lipid bilayers by strongly adsorbing nanoparticles is related to a non-chemical and non-biological mechanism of recently discovered antibacterial action of nanoparticles.

(i) Molecular Dynamics, Langevin dynamics, numerical surface evolvers, as well as analytical theory based on the Helfrich model will be used to investigate the interaction of idealized cell membrane models with nanoparticles of different geometries. The effect of structure parameters such as size, topography, spikes, flexibility or rigidity of the material, surface properties, charge will be systematically evaluated.

REQUIRED SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES

  • CUDA programming
  • Molecular Dynamics of Soft Matter
  • Monte Carlo simulations
  • Theoretical physics
  • Neural networks algorithms

CONDITIONS

2 years postdoc experience outside Spain

REFERENCES

(1)             Fleury, J.-B.; Werner, M.; Guével, X. L.; Baulin, V. A. Protein Corona Modulates Interaction of Spiky Nanoparticles with Lipid Bilayers. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 2021, 603, 550–558. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2021.06.047.

(2)             Linklater, D. P.; Baulin, V. A.; Guével, X. L.; Fleury, J.-B.; Hanssen, E.; Nguyen, T. H. P.; Juodkazis, S.; Bryant, G.; Crawford, R. J.; Stoodley, P.; Ivanova, E. P. Antibacterial Action of Nanoparticles by Lethal Stretching of Bacterial Cell Membranes. Adv. Mater. 32 (52), e2005679. https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202005679.

(3)             Linklater, D. P.; Baulin, V. A.; Juodkazis, S.; Crawford, R. J.; Stoodley, P.; Ivanova, E. P. Mechano-Bactericidal Actions of Nanostructured Surfaces. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 2020, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41579-020-0414-z.

 

REQUIREMENTS

PhD degree in Physics or Biophysics. Knowledge in computer modelling and computational techniques to engage in high quality research. Knowledge of a range of research techniques and methodologies, including appropriate programming skills C++ and CUDA.

APPLY The applications should be submitted to Vladimir Baulin [email protected] (before 1 September 2021)