Project Title

Molecular Biophysics of Biomembranes and Bionanoconstructs

PI

Amadeu Sum

Email

asum@mines.edu

Department

CBE

Project summary

The research in my group is focused at studying biological membranes. Biological membranes, modeled as phospholipid bilayers, play an essential role in protecting the cell and regulating biological activity between the extracellular and intracellular domain. The biophysics of cell membranes is of great importance in understanding biological phenomena, ranging from drug interaction to cancer treatment to bio-stabilization. Conventional laboratory experiments are not always capable of probing molecular interactions and distinguishing among the many processes occurring at the molecular level. My groups is applying and developing advanced molecular modeling methods to study phospholipids bilayers to understand their structure, dynamics, interactions with different solute molecules, and physical-chemical environments. One of the projects studies the interactions and aggregation of fatty acids in phospholipids bilayers to understand their role in cell cytotoxicity. In another project, we are developing the molecular framework for tethering biomembranes on to nanoparticles to construct novel functional nanoparticles. In yet another project, we are investigating the accumulation of gases (e.g., xenon) in biomembranes to understand the anaesthetic effects induced by the gases.

Commercial software

None

Open Source software

Gromacs (MD code)