High-Resolution Imaging and Nanomechanical Mapping of Virus Binding Sites to Animal Cells
A webinar with Speakers: Prof. Dr. David Alsteens & Dr. Andra Dumitru of Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Date: March 8, 2017
Time: 8AM PST

Currently, there is a growing need for methods that can quantify and map the molecular interactions of biological samples, both with high-force sensitivity and high spatial resolution. Force-distance (FD) curve-based atomic force microscopy is a valuable tool to simultaneously contour the surface and map the biophysical properties of biological samples at the nanoscale.

In this webinar, we will report the use of advanced FD-based technology combined with chemically functionalized tips to probe the localization and interactions of chemical and biological sites on single native proteins and on living cells at high-resolution. We will present how an atomic force and confocal microscopy set-up allows the surface receptor landscape of cells to be imaged and the virus binding events within the first millisecond of contact with the cell to be mapped at high resolution (<50 nm). We will also highlight theoretical approaches to contour the free-energy landscape of early binding events between an engineered virus and cell surface receptors. Owing to its key capabilities (quantitative mapping, resolution of a few nanometers, and true correlation with topography), this novel biochemically sensitive imaging technique is a powerful complement to other advanced AFM modes for quantitative, high-resolution bioimaging.

Prof. Dr. David Alsteens is now a head of a NanoBioPhysics group at Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. David has acquired his MSc. and PhD at the same University in the field of nanobiothechnology with Prof. Yves Dufrene. After that David did a PostDoc at Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETH in Basel, Switzerland in the group of Daniel Mueller. David’s research focus at the moment on the NanoBioPhysics of the cell surface machinery. His team uses mainly use atomic force microscopy (AFM) to image at high-resolution single proteins, receptors, virus and cells. Furthermore, he uses force-distance curves based-AFM to probe molecular or cellular biophysical properties to quantify at the single-molecule level interactions that drive biological processes. David is the co-author of 55 publications and 7 books.

Dr. Andra Dumitru is a postdoctoral fellow in the group of David Alsteens at Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. Andra received her MSc. in Organic Chemistry from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. She completed her PhD in Ricardo Garcia’s lab at the Institute of Materials Sciences in Madrid, where her main focus was applying single-molecule and single-cell force spectroscopy methods to biomedical sciences. Now as a postdoctoral fellow, Andra is interested in exploring membrane receptors and cell nanomechanics at high-resolution using force-distance curves-based AFM.

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