PhD candidate: Victor LEBEC

Date and place of defence: May 14, 2014 - UPMC, Paris, France.

The control of the reactivity of solid surfaces in a biological environment is of crucial importance for applications in the rapidly growing fields of biosensors and biocompatible materials. In this context, the main goal of this project is to devise well-controlled nanostructured surfaces (using nano-objects with various sizes and ordering) and to monitor the resulting orientation, density and bioactivity of immobilised proteins. For that purpose, we propose to investigate the adsorption of molecules of biological interest on gold single crystals, nanoparticles and nanopatterned surfaces. Gold is indeed well suited for surface science studies and is commonly used in biosensing and electronic devices. The scientific questions that the candidate should address concern: (i) the exact nature of the metal-molecule interaction; (ii) the structure of the adsorbed proteins; (iii) the changes in the conformation and/or orientation of the macromolecules upon adsorption (conditioning their biological activity); (iv) the molecular recognition of a target by an immobilised protein. Multitechnique characterisation of the prepared surfaces will be carried out, both under model conditions (ultra high vacuum) and in the liquid phase. For that purpose, a large array of surface analysis methods is available in the laboratories of the academic partners (PM-IRRAS, QCM, AFM, XPS, ToF-SIMS). Finally, the most promising systems will be tested as biosensors in collaboration with the industrial partner.

Project Partners:

UPMC - LRS (Réactivité de surface, UMR7197)

UCL - PCPM (Unité de Physico-Chimie et Physique des Matériaux)

Biorad Laboratories Inc