“Catching in the Act: Active, Dynamic, and Programmable Behaviours of Far From Equilibrium membrane Biointerfaces”

Seminar | August 30 | 12-1 p.m. | 290 Hearst Memorial Mining Building

 Atul N. Parikh, University of California, Davis

 Bioengineering (BioE)

The physical properties of membrane interfaces, quasi-two dimensional, bilayer lipid membranes, which together with membrane proteins delimit cellular boundaries, are now largely well-understood at thermodynamic equilibrium. But generic descriptions of far from equilibrium membranes – which allow living cells to sense, respond, and adapt to environmental perturbations while displaying extra-ordinary stability – are conspicuously lacking. Here, non-equilibrium activities of membrane proteins, underlying cytoskeleton, and osmotic activities of water bathing the membrane, all couple with membrane’s physical, chemical, and mechanical degrees of freedom producing long-lived out-of-equilibrium structures with emergent morphologies and cooperative behaviours. Drawing from recent experiments in our labs employing simple models for the cellular chassis (i.e., topologically closed vesicular compartments), this talk highlights how compartmental walls reconfigure, across molecular and mesoscales, when taken out of equilibrium through real-time incorporation of exogenous molecules, activities of membrane receptors, and the osmotic activity of water.