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Stem Cell Biology
Feb. 15, 2010

Stem Cell Biology

The view of a tumor as an aberrant tissue whose growth and differentiation is sustained by cancer stem cells is now largely accepted for a wide variety of cancer diseases. Cancer stem cells, as their physiological counterparts, possess the ability to control their fate by maintaining themselves in a quiescent and undifferentiated state or self-renewing to geometrically expand their number. more
Quantum Dots DNA Nanosensors
Jan. 25, 2010

Quantum Dots DNA Nanosensors

Semiconductor quantum dots are light-emitting nanocrystals (2-10 nm) that straddle the border between condensed matter and atomic physics. In a quantum dot, all three spatial dimensions of the crystal are limited to less than the exciton radius of the material such that discrete energy levels arise due to quantum confinement effects and the spacing of which can be controlled by manipulation of crystal size. more
Embryonic Stem Cells Morphology
Jan. 04, 2010

Embryonic Stem Cells Morphology

Morphological characterisation of embryonic stem cells is important in many ways. In culture, the morphology indicates the status of the cells, e.g., undifferentiated or differentiated, and also provides clues about the general health and condition of the cells, e.g, apoptotic, necrotic or mycoplasma contaminated. While there are a vast range of studies characterising stem cell markers by light microscopy, there is limited information about the fine structure of hES cells and colonies by electron microscopy. more
Dec. 30, 2009

The Dynamic of Synthetic Proteo-nucleic Complexes

Synthetic proteo-nucleic structures (PDNA) encompassing a ss-DNA sequence covalently attached to a cytochrome b5-derived protein domain through a synthetic linker were designed. PDNAs can bind to natural or supported membranes through an histidine-tag-nickel-NTA modified phospholipids. Alternatively the structures can be attached, while keeping free lateral diffusion capabilities, by interaction of the protein his-tag with a substrate supported field of nickel ions. more
Dec. 29, 2009

Optical Tweezers

The propulsion of the leading edge of neuronal lamellipodia is a complex process in which the polymerization of actin filaments towards the cell membrane is a major component [1,2]. This process is at the origin of force generation in neurons. By using optical tweezers, we have characterized the dynamics by which lamellipodia of Dorsal Root Ganglia neurons exerted force on encountered obstacles such as silica beads. more
Dec. 28, 2009

AFM-studies on Solid Supported Lipid-bilayers with Bound Proteins

Proteins are involved in all processes which are necessary for living, e.g. they are responsible for growth and cleavage of cells, which makes them an interesting topic for science and medical application. Small GTPases, like Ras, are GTP-binding proteins involved in cellular processes, e.g. vesicle transport, cell cycles, nuclear import and signal transduction. GTPases act as molecular switches, which cycle between a GDP-bound inactive and a GTP-bound active state regulated through different factors. In oncogenic mutants of Ras this regulation is disturbed. more
Dec. 23, 2009

Determination of Physical Properties of a Single Peptide by AFM Experiments

By stretching a polymer in solution using single molecule techniques it is possible to infer about its physical properties. In particular, AFM stretching experiments allow for a full characterization of the elasto-mechanical properties of the sample under study, taking into account both statical and dynamical regimes [1]. In the presented work, single molecule AFM force spectroscopy experiments have been used to determine mechanical properties of a polymer obtained starting from the Exon 28 (Ex28) of the human elastin gene. more
Dec. 22, 2009

Multiple Facets of Neuronal Growth

A prerequisite for an understanding of the mechanisms of nerve regeneration and neuronal development is the understanding of the principles of force generation in growth cones - the mechanical and chemical sensor of a neuron. In our working group we try to approach this issue from a variety of different aspects, combining experimental and theoretical studies of actin networks, membrane fluctuations and focal adhesion sites. more
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