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Sylvio May


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Biomolecule Surface Patterning May Enhance Membrane Association

S. Pogodin, N. K. H. Slater and V. A. Baulin

ACS Nano, 6(2), 1308-1313 (2012)

Under dehydration conditions, amphipathic late embryogenesis abundant proteins fold spontaneously from a random conformation into α-helical structures, and this transition is promoted by the presence of membranes. To gain insight into the thermodynamics of membrane association, we model the resulting α-helical structures […]

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Microplastics destabilize lipid membranes by mechanical stretching

PNAS 118 (31), e2104610118 (2021)
Jean-Baptiste Fleury, Vladimir A. Baulin

Estimated millions of tons of plastic are dumped annually into oceans. Plastic has been produced only for 70 y, but the exponential rise of mass production leads to its widespread proliferation in all environments. As a consequence of their large abundance globally, microplastics are also found in […]

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7 fully-funded PhD studentships in Biophysics (BiPAS CDT)

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Biological Physics Across Scales (BiPAS) at King’s College London ( ) is currently recruiting for 7 PhD studentships.  In particular, we are looking for students with a background in the physical sciences (e.g. physics, chemistry, maths, computer science, engineering) who have a keen interest in studying biological physics.  The BiPAS […]

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Unexpected Cholesterol-Induced Destabilization of Lipid Membranes near Transmembrane Carbon Nanotubes

Phys. Rev. Lett. 124(3), 038001 (2020)
Yachong Guo, Marco Werner, Jean Baptiste Fleury and Vladimir A. Baulin

Cholesterol is a crucial component of mammalian cell membranes that takes part in many vital processes. It is generally accepted that cholesterol stabilizes the membrane and induces transitions into ordered states. In contrast to expectations, we demonstrate that cholesterol can […]

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Postdoc position in Molecular Simulation of Colloids – University of Manchester, UK

A postdoctoral Research Associate position, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, is available for an outstanding and ambitious researcher to develop stochastic simulation methods for the study of the dynamics in crowded colloidal suspensions.

The selected candidate will work in my group, at the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, The University of Manchester.

Starting date: May […]

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Tension-Induced Translocation of Ultra-Short Carbon Nanotube through a Phospholipid Bilayer

ACS Nano, November (2018)
Yachong Guo, Marco Werner, Ralf Seemann, Vladimir A Baulin, and Jean-Baptiste Fleury
Increasing awareness of bioeffects and toxicity of nanomaterials interacting with cells puts in focus the mechanisms by which nanomaterials can cross lipid membranes. Apart from well-discussed energy-dependent endocytosis for large objects and passive diffusion through membranes by solute molecules, there can […]

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PhD in multiscale mechanisms of evolutionary dynamics in microbes

The Theoretical Biology Group at ETH Zurich is hiring a Ph.D. student to study multiscale mechanisms of evolutionary dynamics in microbes.  We will begin reviewing applications on November 15, 2018.  For more information on the position and how to apply, please follow the link:

Please feel free to pass this information along to others who may […]

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Development and mechanistic characterisation of membrane-active anticancer peptides

Organisms are well known to produce their own antibiotic host-defence peptides that act through damaging bacterial membranes due to their different molecular composition compared to the host organism’s own cells. Some of these antimicrobial peptides are also known to have anticancer properties. One particularly promising anticancer peptide is polybia MP1 (MP1) from the venom of […]

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Theoretical problems in the areas of soft and living matter

Prof. Eleni Katifori in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, is looking for a post-doctoral associate to work on theoretical problems in the areas of soft and living matter. The projects will involve the statistical physics of complex networks.

The successful candidate will join the soft matter theory group […]

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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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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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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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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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“Race for the surface”: eukaryotic cells can win

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces: 8(34) 22025-22031 (2016)
Vy T. H. Pham, Vi Khanh Truong, Anna Orlowska, Shahram Ghanaati, Mike Barbeck, Patrick Booms, Alex James Fulcher, Chris M. Bhadra, Ricardas Buividas, Vladimir A Baulin, Charles James Kirkpatrick, Pauline Doran, David E. Mainwaring, Saulius Juodkazis, Russell J Crawford, and Elena P. Ivanova

With an aging population and the consequent […]

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The Bioeffects Resulting from Prokaryotic Cells and Yeast Being Exposed to an 18 GHz Electromagnetic Field

PLoS ONE 11(7): e0158135 (2016)
The Hong Phong Nguyen , Vy T. H. Pham , Song Ha Nguyen , Vladimir A. Baulin, Rodney J. Croft, Brian Phillips, Russell J. Crawford, Elena P. Ivanova

The mechanisms by which various biological effects are triggered by exposure to an electromagnetic field are not fully understood and have been the subject […]

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Training course in Strasbourg

As the year 2015 was coming to its end, SNAL ESRs gathered again in Strasbourg to get their last dose of new and contemporary ideas in the field of Lipid Membrane Research. The aim of this training course was to expose ESRs working from the different aspects of same research field, namely synthesis, theory and […]

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Mechanism of dynamic reorientation of cortical microtubules due to mechanical stress

Biophysical Chemistry, (2015) 207, 82–89 DOI: 10.1016/j.bpc.2015.09.004
Alexander Muratov and Vladimir A. Baulin
Directional growth caused by gravitropism and corresponding bending of plant cells has been explored since 19th century, however, many aspects of mechanisms underlying the perception of gravity at the molecular level are still not well known. Perception of gravity in root and shoot gravitropisms is usually attributed to gravisensitive […]

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SNAL @ Imperial Festival

Discover why a ‘split personality’ makes fat molecules key to life, and play with a sticky polymer slime you can make at home.

From the 8th to the 10th of May, the Imperial Festival returns for the fourth time, opening its doors so that visitors can see, with their own eyes, some of the research carried […]

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Dragonfly Expedition

26 June 2015 – Massif Els Ports, Tarragona, Spain
Dragonfly expedition to Massif Els Ports in collaboration with Museu de les Terres de l’Ebre, Amposta, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia and Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona
Unique limestone massif Els Ports is situated in Catalonia, Valencia and Aragon, characterised by its abrupt cliff faces, which has been inhabited […]

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Imperial College London: Fundamentals and Applications of Lipid Membrane Biophysics

Dates: 22nd-24th September 2015
Location: Horsley Park (Ockham Road South, East Horsley, KT24 6DT)

Lipid membranes are the basic building blocks for almost all living organisms. For years numerous reports have been focused on this area to establish a comprehensive understanding of membrane structures. More recently, the development of modern experimental techniques, such as small-angle X-ray scattering, small-angle neutron scattering and […]

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Cambridge: Management meeting

1-2 October 2014. Management meeting in Cambridge University, UK

Meeting will be held in Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology:
Pembroke Street
1-2 October stay at Fitzwilliam College

Storey’s Way
Cambridge CB3 0DG

 Attending people:

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Informal ESR meeting of ITN SNAL network 6/7 Novembre 2014

6-7 November 2014 – Roda de Barà, Tarragona, Spain
The second article of the Press Release section will be dedicated to the two days spent in Tarragona and organized by the MSCA Early Stage Researchers (ESRs).

This meeting aimed to point out the role of ESRs within the ITN-SNAL Network, its possibilities and improve the relationships between the […]

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General model of phospholipid bilayers in fluid phase within the single chain mean field theory

J. Chem. Phys. 140, 174903 (2014)
Yachong Guo, Sergey Pogodin and Vladimir A. Baulin

Coarse-grained model for saturated phospholipids: 1,2-didecanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DCPC), 1,2-dilauroyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DLPC), 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC), 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC), 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC) and unsaturated phospholipids: 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC), 1,2- dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) is introduced within the single chain mean field theory. A single set of parameters adjusted for DMPC bilayers gives an adequate description […]

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Dr. Beibei Huang


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Registration for Workshop on biomaterials and their interactions with biological and model membranes 2014 is open. Use the following form to register for scientific workshop 1-3 June 2014:

Abstract submission deadline is 15 March 2014. The registration fee is paid by all participants after registration. It includes organization costs, meals and gala dinner. It should be paid until 31 March 2014. Accommodation […]

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Salou: Kick-off meeting and workshop 2014

31 May – 3 June 2014. Kick-off meeting of the ITN project SNAL and 3nd Workshop on biomaterials and their interactions with biological and model membranes 2014 will be held at the hotel Magnolia****, Salou (Costa Dorada), Spain.

This meeting follows up the 1st Workshop held in Salou 19-23 September 2011 and 2nd Workshop 24-26 February 2013. The selected contributions to the meeting will be […]

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Macromolecules in Constrained Environments

Some materials can see their macroscopic properties drastically influenced by the microscopic structure they exhibit. This is particularly the case when these materials are composed of geometrically constrained macromolecules. For example, in tire industry, the usage properties of silica filled elastomers are strongly dependent of the morphological details of the silica aggregates and of the […]

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Homo-polymers with balanced hydrophobicity translocate through lipid bilayers and enhance local solvent permeability

Marco Werner, Jens-Uwe Sommer and Vladimir A. Baulin

Soft Matter, 8, 11708-11716 (2012)

Recent experimental studies indicate that polymeric structures with a well-adjusted balance of amphiphilic parts may translocate through self-assembled phospholipid bilayers and enhance the passive trans-membrane transport of smaller molecules. Using a coarse grained lattice Monte Carlo model with explicit solvent we investigate self-assembled lipid […]

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IPEC solver: Numerical simulation tool of polyion complex aggregation


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Degradation versus self-assembly of block copolymer micelles

A. Muratov and V. A. Baulin

Langmuir, 28, 3071-3076 (2012)

The stability of micelles self-assembled from block co-polymers can be altered by the degradation of the blocks. Slow degradation shifts the equilibrium size distribution of block co-polymer micelles and changes their properties. The quasi-equilibrium scaling theory shows that the degradation of hydrophobic blocks in the core of […]

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All People

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Translocation of nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes and polymers through bilayers

Cell membranes represent a serious protective barrier for external molecules, proteins, nanoparticles and drugs. This barrier is quite efficient in protecting the interior of the cells. However, large nanoscale objects, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have been found inside the cells both in direct and indirect biological experiments. Such experiments suggest that carbon nanotubes can efficiently […]

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Surface patterning of carbon nanotubes can enhance their penetration through a phospholipid bilayer

S. Pogodin, N.K.H. Slater and V.A. Baulin
ACS Nano, 5 (2), 1141–1146 (2011)

Nanotube patterning may occur naturally upon the spontaneous self-assembly of biomolecules onto the surface of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). It results in periodically alternating bands of surface properties, ranging from relatively hydrophilic to hydrophobic, along the axis of the nanotube. Single-chain mean field (SCMF) […]

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Can a carbon nanotube pierce through a phospholipid bilayer?

S. Pogodin and V.A. Baulin
ACS Nano, 4 (9), 5293–5300 (2010)
Great efficiency to penetrate into living cells is attributed to carbon nanotubes due to a number of direct and indirect observations of carbon nanotubes inside the cells. However, a direct evidence of physical translocation of nanotubes through phospholipid bilayers and the exact microscopic mechanism of their […]

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