Ricerca CERCA

28- biomedica

Reverse Engineering the Electromagnetic Circuitry of the Cell


Reference persons JACEK ADAM TUSZYNSKI

Research Groups 28- biomedica


Description The objective of this project is to understand how electrical and electromagnetic stimuli affect the cell viewed as a bioelectric system. It is well known that cell membranes are “leaky” capacitors due to charge separation and ion currents flowing through ion channels. However, little is still known about the electrodynamic properties of the cytoskeleton. The cytoskeleton is a network of protein fibres in eukaryotic cells with microtubules (MTs) playing key roles in mitosis, motility, transport, structural integrity and signalling. Changes in MT organization are implicated in various pathologies, e.g. cancer and neurodegenerative disorders (NDDs). Recent experiments on the conductive and capacitive properteis of microtubules and actin filaments have provided us with reasonably accurate estimates of their electrical conduction parameters. Creating complex networks based on these structures will be a first step toward the analysis of the cytoskeleton as a dynamic RLC-circuit. We propose to investigate the key factors that affect the responses of the main elements of the cytoskeleton to electric and electromagnetic (EM) fields. Changes in the pH values, ion concentrations and structural organization of the filaments will be investigated in this respect. To characterize and quantify these processes, computational simulations of tubulin, the building block of MTs, as well as actin and actin filaments (AFs) will be performed. Major implications for human pathology and disease treatments will include mechanisms of cancer initiation and progression and causes of NDDs. Mechanisms of action of novel electric field-based therapies will be elucidated. Nanotechnological applications of this work are anticipated in the area of biosensors, bioelectronics and biological computing using MTs, AFs and their interconnections as EM-controllable signal processing units in complex circuits

Required skills understanding of electric circuits with R, C and L elements and their IV characteristics, familiarity with matlab or mathematica

Deadline 02/03/2024      PROPONI LA TUA CANDIDATURA

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