Master Thesis in Biophysical Chemistry

If you are interested in a Master position in biophysical chemistry within the AK Spatz, please contact Heike Boehm (boehm@is.mpg.de) or Ada Cavalcanti-Adam (ada.cavalcanti-adam@urz.uni-heidelberg.de) with details about your motivation and interests.

Current open positions:

  1. A master thesis on Combining Traction Force Microscopy and Molecular Tension Sensors (AG Cavalcanti-Adam)
  2. Project supervisor:

    Tina Wiegand & Dr. Dr. E. Ada Cavalcanti-Adam

    Location:

    Institute of Physical Chemistry, Department of Biophysical Chemistry, University Heidelberg

    Summary:

    In this study you will be the first one who combines 2 state-of-the-art methods in biomechanics:

    Traction force microscopyandMolecular Tension Sensors

    MasterThesis_Proposal_TFM_MTS_image

    Data from Tina WiegandLiu, Y., Yehl, K., Narui, Y., & Salaita, K. (2013). JACS, 135(14), 53203.

    This setup is (i) a technical development towards a multiscale approach in force measurements in single cells, (ii) a tool to address biological questions concerning cell mechanotransduction by resolving force directionality at the cell-matrix interface.

    You will produce hydrogels having a gold-nanopatterned surface and immobilize DNA-based molecular tension sensors at specific binding sites. After seeding cells on the surfaces, bead displacement and unfolding of force sensors is evaluated by state-of-the-art fluorescence microscopy. Computational analysis of simulations and the obtained data will be in collaboration with Prof. Ulrich Schwarz at Bioquant.

    If you are interested in working in an interdisciplinary environment starting as soon as possible, please send us your application today!

    Related Reference:

    Wang, J. H.-C., & Lin, J.-S. (2007). Cell traction force and measurement methods. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, 6(6), 36171.

    Jurchenko, C., & Salaita, K. (2015). Lighting up the Force: Investigating Mechanisms of Mechanotransduction Using Fluorescent Tension Probes. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 35:15(August), 25702582.

    Application:

    Please include a short letter of motivation related to the above-mentioned posting in your application and send it to wiegand@is.mpg.de until March 30th.

  3. A master thesis on Mechano-Rupture (AG Cavalcanti-Adam)
  4. Project supervisor:

    Tina Wiegand & Dr. Dr. E. Ada Cavalcanti-Adam

    Location:

    Institute of Physical Chemistry, Department of Biophysical Chemistry, University Heidelberg

    Summary:

    In this study you will determine the effect of localized rupture of adhesive bonds between cells and their substrate on their biomechanical behavior. Therefore, you will make use of the hottest technique in biomechanics:

    Molecular Tension Fluorescence Microscopy combined with photocleavable adhesion sites.

    MasterThesis_Proposal_MechanoRupture_image

    Liu, Y., Yehl, K., Narui, Y., & Salaita, K. (2013). JACS, 135(14), 53203.Data from Tina Wiegand

    After establishing a robust experimental setup, cells will be seeded on an array of DNA-based molecular tension sensors in order to monitor in real time what is happening when single adhesion sites are ruptured by light. Computational simulations can be included in collaboration with Prof. Ulrich Schwarz at Bioquant.

    If you are interested in working in an interdisciplinary environment starting as soon as possible, please send us your application today!

    Related Reference:

    Jurchenko, C., & Salaita, K. (2015). Lighting up the Force: Investigating Mechanisms of Mechanotransduction Using Fluorescent Tension Probes. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 35:15(August), 25702582.

    Zhang, Y., Ge, C., Zhu, C., & Salaita, K. (2014). DNA-based digital tension probes reveal integrin forces during early cell adhesion. Nature Communications, 5, 5167.

    Application:

    Please include a short letter of motivation related to the above-mentioned posting in your application and send it to wiegand@is.mpg.de until March 30th.

Biophysical Chemistry, University of Heidelberg 2016