Alessando Podestà – Associate Professor
Via Celoria 16 – 20133 MILANO (MI) Italy
We are planning to use Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to obtain information on the conformation of the membrane channels in the different condition, such as for instance in their native state, as well under the action of the different stimuli for the gating of the channel. To this purpose, we will exploit the high-resolution imaging capabilities in physiological conditions of AFM to study pore-containing natural and reconstituted phospholipid patches. We will develop suitable sample preparation protocols according to the specificity of the proteins involved. We will also tackle the challenging task of preparing the samples in a way that is suitable for the concurrent application of an external stimulus for the channel gating and the AFM investigation. In particular, we will consider special experimental setups allowing the application to the sample of controlled magnetic fields (using calibrated small magnets), IR fields (using infrared point sources), or ultrasound (by direct ultrasonic excitation of the sample-supporting substrate).