BIOCONTROL is an EU sponsored Marie Curie Research and Training Network aiming at controlling biological functions at, or on, bio-interfaces. It is based on the recent recognition of the importance...
BIOCONTROL is an EU sponsored Marie Curie Research and Training Network aiming at controlling biological functions at, or on, bio-interfaces. It is based on the recent recognition of the importance of structure and properties of bio-interfaces, e.g. biological membranes, for a multitude of life processes. We now know that the evolution of atherosclerosis, cancer, immunity and viral infections, neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer, Prion diseases, etc.) and aging depend on perturbations of such interfaces. However, we need to improve our knowledge of the underlying molecular mechanisms in order to design efficient drugs and to meet the challenges in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. This requires a deeper understanding of processes and interactions at bio-interfaces in terms of biology, biochemistry, biophysics and structure. The two major scientific objectives of BIOCONTROL are to: 1) Provide fundamental knowledge of the forces and molecular mechanisms that regulate the interactions and biological processes taking place in and around biological membranes. 2) Construct bio-mimetic surfaces and self-assembled structures that enable external control of biological and biotechnological processes, such as cell adhesion and cell cycle regulation.
Real progress can only be achieved by breaking traditional academic borders. This requires new researchers trained in cross-disciplinary and collaborative work. Therefore the major educational objective of BIOCONTROL is the training of a new category of 'life science' experts through an unprecedented interdisciplinary training programme comprising (bio)physicists, biologists, (bio)chemists, surface chemists and computational biologists.
One of our contributions deals with direct measurements of interactions between lipid layers of relevance for biological membranes and aims at finding correlations between short-range interactions, hydration state of lipid layers and adsorption properties of peptides to lipid layers.