Photoactive membranes

Vejleder: Beate Klösgen

Deltagerantal: 1 studerende


The bio-membrane is the basic structure of all living organisms, consisting mostly of a lipid matrix with integrated proteins. Physically, this matrix represents a 2-dimensional liquid or liquid-crystal established by L-α-phospholipids (e.g. DPPC). The liquid crystal of DPPC exhibits characteristic thermotropic phase transitions among several phases, from solid via gel to liquid. Within the separate phases, the 2D-system of molecules exhibits peculiar structures and related mobilities (biologically evident as variation in softness, permeability, … ). The membrane properties may be switched by inoculated photosensitive molecules, to serve as future tools for drug delivery via external trigger.


The phase modulation of lipid membranes by use of a photo-active variety of cholesterol shall be studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC).

The bachelor (or master) project shall accomplish existing recent results, collected by X-ray and neutron scattering, and optical spectroscopy. Especially, the project will involve experimental work making samples and conducting calorimetry (DSC) experiments. The data will be analysed using the software Origin Pro. The student will learn about the thermodynamics of 2D-systems, the making of controlled samples, applying calorimetry, and get acquainted with the software. The results shall be assembled and discussed, to be filed into a thesis text.