Smart Nano-objects for Alteration of Lipid bilayers (SNAL) Initial Training Network is a multidisciplinary EU-funded 7th Framework Programme specially designed to provide scientific and transferable skill training and career development for early stage researchers and experienced researchers in the field of lipid research.

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ESR9-M: Investigation of interaction of membrane-lytic molecules with lipid monolayer

Supported bilayers and vesicles


The intention of this project is to obtain experimental information and feedback for system improvement of nano-objects interacting with model membranes (supported bilayers and vesicles).

  • to apply a combination of techniques including neutron reflectivity, SANS (Manchester, Unilever), AFM, TEM (Strasbourg, Manchester) to characterise supported lipid bilayers and model vesicles;
  • to  investigate  how  different  nano-objects  (polymers,  block  copolymers,  short  peptide  aggregates, CNTs,  nanoparticles)  interact  with  lipid  bilayers;
  • to undertake  selected  studies  of  the  interactions  with therapeutic complexes to identify the vectors that provide optimal therapeutic delivery with minimal cytotoxicity.

Tasks and methodology

Interaction of nano-objects with monolayers and supported membrane lipid bilayers. The flat geometry of lipid mono- and bi-layers allows for the use of cutting edge techniques, e.g. neutron reflectivity, dual polarisation interferometry, ellipsometry, etc. in order to identify the intrinsic features of the interactions between nano-objects and the lipid systems under consideration. The work will start with establishing the methodology for producing robust supported mono- and bi-layer via Langmuir trough.

Starting date

September 2014

Methods and techniques

Daniela Ciumac

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