Head of research: Professor Luis A. Bagatolli
PhD Fellow Henrik Seir Thoke (co-supervisor)
Postdoc Pablo Marcelo Rodi
Its all about membranes
My current research interests are related to physicochemical aspects of biological systems (Biophysics), particularly on natural and articifial membranes existing in dilute and crowded systems. I am also interested in the development and applications of biophotonic-related techniques to biological systems (fluorescence spectroscopy, multiphoton excitation microscopy). I have authored numerous papers, review articles and book chapters on topics such as lipid-lipid and lipid-proteins interactions in membranes model systems composed of synthetic lipid mixtures, natural membrane’s lipid extracts, naturally occurring biological membranes, as well performed studies on tissue imaging (particularly skin).
Current research projects
Effect of crowding in biological systemsThe aim of this endeavor is to establish new experimental and theoretical models to better explain how cellular processes occur. We propose to consider key, but not yet fully understood, effects of environmental factors such as molecular crowding, spatial confinement and limited availability of free water on the dynamical and structural characteristic of a cell or specific structures existing whithin, i.e. membranes. We intend to understand the role of these conditions in regulating spatiotemporally linked events, which generate discernible patterns whose informational content requires the use of largely unexploited dynamical systems theories. We posit that only a few fundamental physicochemical descriptors are necessary to understand functionality in cellular systems, bringing rationality to the current descriptive schemes based on tens of thousands of molecular actors interacting without any concern for spatiotemporal information. Modern dynamics theory of even simple systems has shown that emergent properties can better be grasped in terms of rules of connectivity rather than interaction-independent enumeration of components. Our proposal complements ongoing initiatives that endeavor to map fine structural and mechanistic details of biological processes but lack unifying concepts and methods to explain the emergence of system-wide properties, or that from “systems biology”, where data analysis relies on models based on mass-action kinetics and equilibrium thermodynamics derived from dilute systems.
Is the fluid mosaic (and the accompanying raft hypothesis) a suitable model to describe fundamental features of biological membranes? What may be missing?
Bagatolli, L. A.; Mouritsen, O. G., Front. Plant Sci., 2013, 4:457.
Spatially resolved two color diffusion measurements in human skin applied to transdermal liposome penetration
Brewer, J.; J. Kubiak, J.; Bloksgaard, M.; Sørensen, J. A.; Bagatolli, L. A., J. Investig. Dermatol, 2013, 133: 1260–1268.
To see or not to see: lateral organization of biological membranes and fluorescence microscopy
Bagatolli, L. A., Biochim Biophys Acta, 2006, 1758:1541-1556.
A full list of publications by professor Luis A. Bagatolli can be found here.