Research

Variable resolution algorithms for macromolecular simulations

TwoPhD positions are available in the framework of the ERC StG project VARIAMOLS – Variable resolution algorithms for macromolecular simulations. The successful candidates will work on the development and application of computational methods for the study of large macromolecules – e.g. proteins and DNA. The research projects aim at the design, implementation, and application of […]

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Interfacial mechanisms responsible for the frictional behavior

We invite applications for a one-year postdoctoral position to work on
the interfacial mechanisms responsible for the frictional behavior of
solid bodies. We experimentally investigate the role of interfacial
heterogeneities in the frictional failure. The research will be carried
out under the supervision of Elsa Bayart, in the Physics Laboratory at
Ecole Normale Supérieure, Lyon, France.
The position is for a […]

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Microfluidic flow of biomimetic tissues

The University of Montpellier offers three PhD grants to carry on a PhD in Physics in the Laboratory of Charles Coulomb (L2C), starting on October 2018 and for a duration of three years.
Project description: 
During embryogenesis, tissues and organs develop through cell differentiation and reorganization. Individual and collective motion of cells leads to a flow tissue, […]

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Polymer synthesis and characterization, ESPCI Paris

Context
L’École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris (ESPCI Paris; https://www.espci.fr/en/) is both a “Grande École d’ingénieurs” and a research institute (17 laboratories) of international reputation with a strong culture of scientific excellence. Teaching and research are at the crossroads of knowledge and know-how in physics, chemistry and biology.
TEACHING
Teaching will […]

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Mechano-bactericidal mechanism of graphene nanomaterials

Interface Focus, 8, 20170060, (2018)
Denver P. Linklater, Vladimir A. Baulin, Saulius Juodkazis and Elena P. Ivanova
Growing interest in the bactericidal effect of graphene and graphene-derived nanomaterials has led to the investigation and effective publication of the bactericidal effects of the substratum, many of which present highly conflicting material. The nature of bacterial cell death on graphene […]

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Study of melanin localization in the mature male Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis damselfly wings

J. Synchrotron Rad. 25, 874-877 (2018)
Vi Khanh Truong, Jitraporn Vongsvivut, Nipuni Mahanamanam Geeganagamage, Mark J. Tobin, Pere Luque, Vladimir A. Baulin, Marco Werner, Shane Maclaughlin, Russell J. Crawford and Elena P. Ivanova
Damselflies Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis exhibiting black wings are found in the western Mediterranean, Algeria, France, Italy, Spain and Monaco. Wing pigmentation is caused by the presence of melanin, which is involved […]

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Pheochromocytoma (PC12) Cell Response on Mechanobactericidal Titanium Surfaces

Materials 2018, 11(4), 605 (2018); https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11040605
Jason V. Wandiyanto, Denver Linklater, Pallale G. Tharushi Perera, Anna Orlowska, Vi Khanh Truong, Helmut Thissen, Shahram Ghanaati, Vladimir A. Baulin, Russell J. Crawford, Saulius Juodkazis and Elena P. Ivanova
Titanium is a biocompatible material that is frequently used for making implantable medical devices. Nanoengineering of the surface is the common method for increasing material […]

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Nanomaterial interactions with biomembranes: Bridging the gap between soft matter models and biological context

Biointerphases 13, 028501 (2018); https://doi.org/10.1116/1.5022145
M. Werner, T. Auth, P. A. Beales, J. B. Fleury, F. Höök, H. Kress, R. C. Van Lehn, M. Müller, E. P. Petrov, L. Sarkisov, J.-U. Sommer and V. A. Baulin
Synthetic polymers, nanoparticles, and carbon-based materials have great potential in applications including drug delivery, gene transfection, in vitro and in vivo imaging, and […]

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Formation and Stabilization of Pores in Bilayer Membranes by Peptide-like Amphiphilic Polymers

Soft matter, 2018, DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02404E,
Ankush Checkervarty, Marco Werner, and Jens Uwe Sommer
We study pore formation in models of lipid-bilayer membranes interacting with amphiphilic copolymers mimicking anti-microbial peptides using Monte Carlo simulations and we rationalize our results by a simple brush-model for the fluid membrane. In our study a weak tension on the membrane is required […]

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Formation and Stabilization of Pores in Bilayer Membranes by Peptide-like Amphiphilic Polymers

Soft matter, 2018, DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02404E, Ankush Checkervarty, Marco Werner, and Jens Uwe Sommer. We study pore formation in models of lipid-bilayer membranes interacting with amphiphilic copolymers mimicking anti-microbial peptides using Monte Carlo simulations and we rationalize our results by a simple brush-model for the fluid membrane. In our study a weak tension on the membrane […]

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Ischia: Management meeting

23-24 March 2018. Management meeting in Ischia island, Naples, Italy

Agenda:
Venue:
Meeting will be held in Hotel “Le Querce”,
Via Baldassarre Cossa, 55 – Ischia, ITALY
Attending people:

Vladimir Baulin (URV, Spain, coordinator)
Marco Werner (URV, Spain, project manager)

Ian Tucker (Unilever, UK)

 John Seddon (Imperial, UK)

 Fernando Bresme (Imperial, UK)

 Domenico Lombardo (CNR, Italy)

 Elena Ivanova (Swinburne, Australia)

 Carlos Marques (CNRS, France)

 Kevin Ward (Biopharma, UK)

 Jian R […]

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Altafulla: Fat is fun

7-9 September 2018 – Altafulla, Spain
Outreach activity: “La personalidad dividida de la grasa”
Demonstration for children on the beach the physics behind fat in water 

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Subtle Variations in Surface Properties of Black Silicon Surfaces Influence the Degree of Bactericidal Efficiency

Nano-Micro Lett., 10, 36 (2018)
Chris M. Bhadra, Marco Werner, Vladimir A. Baulin, Vi Khanh Truong, Mohammad Al Kobaisi, Song Ha Nguyen, Armandas Balcytis, Saulius Juodkazis, James Y. Wang, David E. Mainwaring, Russell J. Crawford, Elena P. Ivanova
One of the major challenges faced by the biomedical industry is the development of robust synthetic surfaces that can resist […]

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Influence of a pH-sensitive polymer on the structure of monoolein cubosomes

Soft Matter, 13, 7571-7577 (2017)
Monika Kluzek, Arwen I. I. Tyler, Shiqi Wang, Rongjun Chen, Carlos M. Marques, Fabrice Thalmann, John M. Seddon, Marc Schmutz
Cubosomes consist in submicron size particles of lipid bicontinuous cubic phases stabilized by surfactant polymers. They provide an appealing road towards the practical use of lipid cubic phases for pharmaceutical and cosmetic […]

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Influence of Acyl Chain Saturation on the Membrane-Binding Activity of a Short Antimicrobial Peptide

ACS Omega, 2(11) 7482–7492 (2017)
Daniela Ciumac, Richard A. Campbell, Luke A. Clifton, Hai Xu∥ , Giovanna Fragneto, and Jian R. Lu
Different bacterial types and their living environments can lead to different saturations in the chains of their membrane lipids. Such structural differences may influence the efficacy of antibiotics that target bacterial membranes. In this work, […]

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The Effect of Coatings and Nerve Growth Factor on Attachment and Differentiation of Pheochromocytoma Cells

Materials, 11(1) 60 (2018)
Anna Orlowska, Pallale Tharushi Perera, Mohammad Al Kobaisi, Andre Dias,
Huu Khuong Duy Nguyen, Shahram Ghanaati, Vladimir A. Baulin, Russell J. Crawford, Elena P. Ivanova
Cellular attachment plays a vital role in the differentiation of pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells. PC12 cells are noradrenergic clonal cells isolated from the adrenal medulla of Rattus norvegicus and studied extensively […]

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Understanding the interactions between sebum triglycerides and water: a molecular dynamics simulation study

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., (2017)
Anna Sofia Tascini, Massimo Noro, Rongjun Chen, John Seddon and Fernando Bresme
In recent years, the sebum oil has been found to play a key role in the regulation of the hydration of the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum. Understanding how a major component of the sebum oil, the triglyceride […]

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Sugar-based collagen membrane cross-linking increases barrier capacity of membranes

Clin. Oral Invest.,  (2017)
Po-ju Chia-LaiAnna OrlowskaSarah Al-MaawiAndre DiasYunxin ZhangXuejiu WangNiklas ZenderRobert SaderC. James KirkpatrickShahram Ghanaati
This study examines the permeability and barrier capacity of a sugar cross-linked resorbable collagen membrane ex vivo and in vivo. In an ex vivo study, injectable platelet-rich fibrin (i-PRF), a peripheral blood-derived human leukocyte-and-platelet-rich plasma was used to analyze membrane permeability. […]

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Reduction of the relative centrifugal force influences cell number and growth factor release within injectable PRF-based matrices

J Mater Sci: Mater Med, 28, 188 (2017)
Simon Wend, Alica Kubesch, Anna Orlowska, Sarah Al-Maawi, Niklas Zender, Andre Dias, Richard J. Miron, Robert Sader, Patrick Booms, C. James Kirkpatrick, Joseph Choukroun, Shahram Ghanaati
Platelet rich fibrin (PRF) is a blood concentrate system obtained by centrifugation of peripheral blood. First PRF matrices exhibited solid fibrin scaffold, more recently […]

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EUREKA Prize for SNAL partner Elena Ivanova

Known as the Oscars of Australian Science, this year Eureka Prize was given to SNAL associated partner in Swinburne University of Technology Profs. Elena Ivanova and Saulius Juodkazis for invention of mechano-bactericidal surfaces inspired by insect wings. See full story at Swinburne University web site.
A line of SNAL research Membrane-active nanostructured surfaces has won the […]

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Unilever: Course on lipid science and technology

Date: 12 September 2017 (morning)
Location: Online
Time: 10:00 – 13:00 CET (9:00 – 12:00 UK)
Online (WebEx) half-day course for SNAL ESRs and ERs (see program of the event)
Specific course on lipid science and technology (inter-sectorial)
Unilever has extensive knowledge of basic physical chemistry about lipid structures, phases and interactions with polymers and surfactants. This capability underpins the company’s leading […]

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Bactericidal activity of self-assembled palmitic and stearic fatty acid crystals on highly ordered pyrolytic graphite

Acta Biomaterialia, 59, 148-157 (2017).
Elena P. Ivanova, Song Ha Nguyen, Yachong Guo, Vladimir A. Baulin, Hayden K. Webb, Vi Khanh Truong, Jason V. Wandiyanto, Christopher J. Garvey, Peter
J. Mahon, David E. Mainwaring, Russell J. Crawford
The wings of insects such as cicadas and dragonflies have been found to exhibit nanostructure arrays that are assembled from fatty acids, […]

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Nanoparticles of Various Degrees of Hydrophobicity Interacting with Lipid Membranes

J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 8, 4069–4076 (2017).
Chan-Fei Su, Holger Merlitz, Hauke Rabbel, and Jens-Uwe Sommer
Using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, we study the passive translocation of nanoparticles with a size of about 1 nm and with tunable degrees of hydrophobicity through lipid bilayer membranes. We observe a window of translocation with a sharp maximum for nanoparticles […]

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In vivo cellular reactions to different biomaterials—Physiological and pathological aspects and their consequences

Seminars in Immunology, DOI: 10.1016/j.smim.2017.06.001 (2017).
Sarah Al-Maawi, Anna Orlowska, Robert Sader, C. James Kirkpatrick, Shahram Ghanaati
Biomaterials are widely used in guided bone regeneration (GBR) and guided tissue regeneration (GTR). After application, there is an interaction between the host immune system and the implanted biomaterial, leading to a biomaterial-specific cellular reaction. The present review focuses on […]

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Altafulla: 6th Workshop on biomaterials and their interactions with biological and model membranes 2017

7-9 September 2017. 6th Workshop on biomaterials and their interactions with biological and model membranes 2017 will be held at the hotel Gran Claustre****, Altafulla (Costa Dorada), Spain
Scope
The meeting is a part of regular workshops held in Salou since 2011. The selected contributions to the meeting can be published in the web themed issue “Interaction of nano-objects with lipid membranes” in Soft Matter.

The […]

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Apatite nanoparticles strongly improve red blood cell cryopreservation by mediating trehalose delivery via enhanced membrane permeation

Biomaterials, 140, 138-149 (2017).
Martin Stefanic, Kevin Ward, Harvey Tawfik, Ralf Seemann, Vladimir Baulin, Yachong Guo, Jean-Baptiste Fleury, Christophe Drouet
Cryopreservation of red blood cells (RBC) is an important method for maintaining an inventory of rare RBC units and managing special transfusion circumstances. Currently, in a clinical setting, glycerol is used as cryoprotectant against freezing damage. After […]

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Implications of lipid monolayer charge characteristics on their selective interactions with a short antimicrobial peptide

Colloids and Surfaces B, 150, 308–316 (2017).
Daniela Ciumac, Richard A. Campbell, Hai Xu, Luke A. Clifton, Arwel V. Hughes, John R.P. Webster, Jian R. Lu
Many antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) target bacterial membranes and they kill bacteria by causing structural disruptions. One of the fundamental issues however lies in the selective responses of AMPs to different cell […]

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pH-Responsive, Lysine-Based, Hyperbranched Polymers Mimicking Endosomolytic Cell-Penetrating Peptides for Efficient Intracellular Delivery

Chem. Mater., DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b00054 (2017).
Shiqi Wang and Rongjun Chen
The insufficient delivery of biomacromolecular therapeutic agents into the cytoplasm of mammalian cells remains a major barrier to their pharmaceutical applications. Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are considered as potential carriers for cytoplasmic delivery of macromolecular drugs. However, due to the positive charge of most CPPs, strong non-specific cell […]

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GPU implementation of the Rosenbluth generation method for static Monte Carlo simulations

Computer Physics Communications, 216, 95–101(2017).
Yachong Guo, Vladimir A. Baulin
We present parallel version of Rosenbluth Self-Avoiding Walk generation method implemented on Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) using CUDA libraries. The method scales almost linearly with the number of CUDA cores and the method efficiency has only hardware limitations. The method is introduced in two realizations: on a […]

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Rome: SNAL workshop within 3rd World Congress on New Technologies (NewTech’17)

 
7 June 2017 from 12:10 to 17:30. The general topic of the meeting is the interactions of lipid membranes with nano-objects including functional biomimetic polymers, polymeric micelles, carbon nanotubes and polymer therapeutic complexes/conjugates to enable the intelligent design of novel materials with improved bilayer modifying properties.
as a apart of
3rd World Congress on New Technologies (NewTech’17)
Given the large […]

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The susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus CIP 65.8 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9721 cells to the bactericidal action of nanostructured Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis damselfly wing surfaces

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2017). doi:10.1007/s00253-017-8205-9
Vi Khanh Truong, Nipuni Mahanamanam Geeganagamage, Vladimir A. Baulin, Jitraporn Vongsvivut, Mark J. Tobin, Pere Luque, Russell J. Crawford, Elena P. Ivanova
Nanostructured insect wing surfaces have been reported to possess the ability to resist bacterial colonization through the mechanical rupture of bacterial cells coming into contact with the surface. In this […]

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Barcelona: Workshop on Nanostructured Surfaces

4 April 2017. Workshop on Nanostructured Surfaces will be held at the Hotel Alimara Barcelona****, Barcelona, Spain.
Scope
The meeting is focused around the topic of nanostructured surfaces: design, fabrication, modelling and applications.

The workshop will cover recent advances in design of the anti-microbial nanostructured surfaces including inspirational theoretical modelling and fabrication of biomimetic surfaces, their characterisation and in-vitro/in vivo validation of […]

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Dynamic studies of the interaction of a pH responsive, amphiphilic polymer with a DOPC lipid membrane

Soft Matter, 13, 3690-3700 (2017)
Sivaramakrishnan Ramadurai, Marco Werner, Nigel K.H. Slater, Aaron Martin, Vladimir A. Baulin, Tia Keyes
Deeper understanding of the molecular interactions between polymeric materials and the lipid membrane is important across a range of applications from permeation for drug delivery to encapsulation for immuno-evasion. Using highly fluidic microcavity supported lipid bilayers, we studied […]

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Membrane-Anchoring, Comb-Like Pseudopeptides for Efficient, pH-Mediated Membrane Destabilization and Intracellular Delivery

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, Article ASAP (2017)
Siyuan Chen, Shiqi Wang, Michal Kopytynski, Marie Bachelet, and Rongjun Chen
Endosomal release has been identified as a rate-limiting step for intracellular delivery of therapeutic agents, in particular macromolecular drugs. Herein, we report a series of synthetic pH-responsive, membrane-anchoring polymers exhibiting dramatic endosomolytic activity for efficient intracellular delivery. The comb-like […]

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Thermal Tunneling of Homopolymers through Amphiphilic Membranes

ACS Macro Lett., 6, pp 247–251 (2017)
Marco Werner, Jasper Bathmann, Vladimir A. Baulin, and Jens-Uwe Sommer
We propose a theory to predict the passive translocation of flexible polymers through amphiphilic membranes. By using a generic model for the potential felt by a monomer across the membrane we calculate the free energy profile for homopolymers as a function […]

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Training in Dresden

An idea not yet presented is as ineffective as no idea.
As almost all the ESRs were reaching the mid term of their Phd projects, they were required to present the ideas that they have learnt and results they have obtained after finishing the half time of their project. All ESRs presented briefly the research, which […]

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Thermal transport across nanoparticle-fluid interfaces: the interplay of interfacial curvature and nanoparticle-fluid interactions

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. (2016)
Anna Sofia Tascini,   Jeff Armstrong,   Eliodoro Chiavazzo,   Matteo Fasano,   Pietro Asinari and    Fernando Bresme

We investigate the general dependence of the thermal transport across nanoparticle-fluid interfaces using molecular dynamics computations. We show that the thermal conductance depends strongly both on the wetting characteristics of the nanoparticle-fluid interface […]

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Open lecture on dragonflies research in Catalonia

18 November 2016 – Amposta, Spain
As a part of the annual event “Week of Science” celebrated in Catalonia (Setmana de la Ciència a Catalunya), Vladimir Baulin (researcher at URV) and Pere Luque (entomologist in the Museu de les Terres de l’Ebre) presented an open lecture for general public about research on dragonflies in Catolonia. The event took place […]

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Direct proof of spontaneous translocation of lipid-covered hydrophobic nanoparticles through a phospholipid bilayer

Science Advances 2 (11), e1600261 (2016)
Yachong Guo, Emmanuel Terazzi, Ralf Seemann, Jean Baptiste Fleury and Vladimir A. Baulin

Hydrophobic nanoparticles introduced into living systems may lead to increased toxicity, can activate immune cells, or can be used as nanocarriers for drug or gene delivery. It is generally accepted that small hydrophobic nanoparticles are blocked by lipid bilayers and accumulate in the […]

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Pure Protein Bilayers and Vesicles from Native Fungal Hydrophobins

Advanced Materials: 10.1002/adma.201602888 (2016)
H. Hähl, J. Nabor Vargas, A. Griffo, P. Laaksonen, G. Szilvay, M. Lienemann, K. Jacobs, R. Seemann, J.-B. Fleury

Pure protein bilayers and vesicles are formed using the native, fungal hydrophobin HFBI. Bilayers with hydrophobic (red) and hydrophilic (blue) core are produced and, depending on the type of core, vesicles in water, oily […]

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