BioInterfaces and Cell Mechanics Laboratory

Undergraduate research positions available!

The BioInterfaces and Cellular Mechanics Laboratory is investigating fundamental mechanisms by which mechanical signals conveyed through biomacromolecules across cell membranes impact cell and tissue function, disease, and developmental biology. Problems addressed span time and length scales from atoms to the clinic.

The cell and molecular biophysics group investigates how stretchy proteins transduce mechanical and biochemical signals across cell membranes to alter intracellular signaling or cell adhesion. Biophysical approaches include atomistic simulations, single molecule force measurements, fluorescent protein biosensors, and protein engineering.
The mechano-biology group investigates mechano-transduction in cells and tissues. This multi-scale, multi-disciplinary effort bridges protein biophysics, cell mechanics, and tissue engineering, to establish how force-activated signaling mechanisms instruct cell behavior. Collaborations with clinicians and tissue engineers are determining how mechanical forces and genetic variations contribute to cardiovascular disease and tissue differentiation.
The biointerfaces group studies how molecular and surface forces control biomolecular adhesion and function at interfaces. Projects address biomaterial surface design, drug delivery coatings, sensor surface coatings, antifouling coatings, smart materials, and biomolecular recognition. Recent work focuses on the effects of nanoscale confinement on biological recognition. We are also investigating the role of surface hydration on biomacromolecule function at interfaces

Undergraduate research projects

  • Study nano particle interactions with model biological membranes (with Murphy)
  • Develop MatLab programs to analyze cell images used to quantify mechanical interactions between cells and biomaterials
  • Protein adsorption on different materials. This project uses surface analytical methods and surface chemistry to study protein adsorption and function on different materials
  • Protein engineering. Design and express protein constructs used to investigate how different biochemical cues affect cell function in engineered biomaterials (with Kong)

Contact Dr. Jun Wu: junw@illinois.edu


Group News

Congratulations to our stars!

Sam Barrick received a 2014 Drickamer graduate fellowship.

Zanab Rahil was awarded a 2yr Cancer Nanotechnology CNST fellowship.

Arkaprava Dan received a 2014 Ullyot graduate fellowship.

Jun Wu received the 2015 Shen postdoctoral fellowship.

Meredith Kisting received an American Heart Association summer undergraduate research fellowship for 2014.

Arkaprava Dan received a 2014 Widiger Summer Research Fellowship. Congratulations Arka!


LECKBAND GROUP ALUMNI NEWS


Page last modified on October 02, 2014, at 10:13 PM