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Chiral interaction in lipid membrane

Vejleder: Beate Klösgen

Deltagerantal: 1 studerende


Chirality is an asymmetry property of many molecules when their mirror image of the molecule is distinguishable from the molecule itself.

The major compound of biomembranes are lipid molecules. Phospholipid molecules are chiral, 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 analyse and accomplish existing results, collected by X-ray diffraction, inelastic neutron scattering, and thermodynamic experiments as Langmuir compression and calorimetry. The project will mostly focus on data analysis but may involve some thermodynamic experiments to complete the existing data set. Especially, the students will be introduced to professional data analysis software (OriginPro) and learn to apply it for to data sets collected by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and by Langmuir compression.  The software shall be applied to further analysis and the data fitting, and few additional samples be made and studied. The results shall be assembled and compared to older results and actual literature. The results shall be assembled and discussed, to be filed into a thesis text.

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Sidst opdateret: 23.08.2021