Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy HCM is a hereditary disease in which the myocardium becomes hypertrophied, making it more difficult for the heart to pump blood. Myosin is a motor protein that facilitates muscle contraction by converting chemical energy from ATP hydrolysis into mechanical work and concomitantly moving along actin filaments. Optical tweezers have been used previously to analyze single myosin biophysical properties; however, myosin does not work as a single unit within the heart. Multiple myosin interacts to displace actin filaments and do not have the same properties as ensembles versus single molecules. We have engineered a more physiologically accurate optical trapping approach using a hierarchical cytoskeleton structure consisting of multiple myosin between two actin filaments that more closely models how myosin behaves within the heart. The model was verified using fluorescent microscopy, and we analyzed the biophysical properties of healthy myosin-actin complexes to lay the foundation for studying diseased models in the future.
Novel super-resolution optical microscopy methods for single-molecule Biophysics
Optical Properties Of Carbon Nanotubes zazoom.info
Being able to spatially resolve micrometric structures becomes a primary need when studying complex biological tissues. This analysis is required by a variety of applications, for example imaging neurons in a network. In this framework, laser physics, computer science and medicine merge. It is particularly important to obtain subcellular resolution over a volume as wide as possible so to have a picture of the phenomena on a systemic scale. Fluorescence microscopy allows acquiring volumetric imaging of cells and tissues over several millimetre volumes at high spatial resolution. The student will contribute to setup a new microscopy method, based on Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy LSFM , which is paired with the computational tool of compressive sensing for the reconstruction of the entire sample upon volumetric patterned excitation.
Optical microscopy and nanoscopy
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