Lab visit to Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry
The lab visit under CREATE project took place at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, in the group of Prof. Petra Schwille. During the two-week stay Łukasz Piątkowski worked together with Dr. Henri Franquelim, a senior Postdoc specialized in studies of mechanical properties of lipid bilayers. The purpose of the visit was to get acquainted with the methods for preparing various kinds of lipid bilayers and experimental techniques used to study their properties. First, it was explored various protocols for the preparation of solid-supported lipid bilayers of different compositions (including fluorescent labels). A number of samples were prepared in different conditions, which resulted in different structural properties, namely different sizes and distribution of ordered and disordered domains. Next has visualized these membranes using fluorescence microscopy in combination with atomic force microscopy. A coupled experimental setup allowed to obtain fluorescence and topography images at the same time from the same area of the sample. The dynamic properties of these samples were then explored using fluorescence recovery after the photobleaching approach and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. The obtained results were not extremely novel, however, these experiments allowed Łukasz to get familiar with a number of new techniques and various tricks for dealing with biomimetic cell membranes. Researchers discussed a number of new, interesting experiments and decided to continue collaboration in that matter.
Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Germany