Chiral interaction in lipid membrane

Vejleder: Beate Klösgen

Deltagerantal: 1 studerende


Chirality is a symmetry property of many molecules and applies when the mirror image of the molecule does not coincide with its image.

Phospholipid molecules are chiral, too, and evolution has chosen them to constitute the major structural element that build the bilayers of natural biomembranes. The inherent chirality of L-α-lipids thus induces interfacial chirality to biomembranes. Chiral discrimination is therefore most probably relevant when membranes are encountered as reaction platforms, for recognition and signalling.

The impact of chirality can be studied by diverse methods. A promising route is the assembly of chemically pure systems with a systematic compositional variation of two chiral compounds, namely the natural L-α-lipids and non-natural L-β-lipids. Demixing will result in nano-scopic domains and phase boundaries, and related modifications in structure and dynamics of the system.

The bachelor (or master) project shall accomplish existing recent results, collected by X-ray diffraction, inelastic neutron scattering, and calorimetry. Especially, the project will involve an experimental and a more theoretical part. Preliminary results collected by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) shall be revised and further analysed, and few additional samples be made and studied. The results shall be assembled and discussed, to be filed into a thesis text.