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EPSRC Reference: EP/E015530/1
Title: Protein Manipulation in Lipid Bilayers using Surface Acoustic Waves
Principal Investigator: Evans, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Cunningham, Professor J Linfield, Professor EH Davies, Professor AG
Bushby, Professor RJ Stockley, Professor PG Walti, Professor CP
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2006 Ends: 31 March 2008 Value (£): 187,838
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Acoustics Chemical Biology
Complex fluids & soft solids
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The phospholipid bilayer that separates the internal cellular environment from the outside world presents an impervious barrier for the transport of large molecules and charged ions. Proteins located within this bilayer provide a mechanism for the passage of nutrients and waste products between the cytoplasm and the external environment. Further, they also play pivotal role in transmitting the cellular response to chemical changes such as the interaction with hormones, toxins, etc. It is not surprising that such proteins are of significant pharmaceutical interest. Significant progress in understanding the function of many membrane proteins has been hampered since they often change their structure, and lose their functionality, once removed from their membranous environment. Our group has a strong interest in developing new platforms and tools for studying such bilayer membranes and proteins. Here we propose to develop a new technique for manipulating such proteins whilst keeping them in their lipid bilayer environment. In particular, we wish to use the electric fields associated with evanescent waves (created using a modified surface acoustic wave device) to move charged proteins within the lipid bilayer. This represents the first step towards the facile manipulation of membrane proteins and which will eventually allow us to trap, move and separate proteins within the bilayer. The will be a significant breakthrough for the study of membrane proteins.
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Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk