Physical Modelling of Cell/Tissue Contacts

Physical Role of Biopolymers
Polymers play an important role in cell-tissue contacts, for example in the extra-cellular matrix (ECM) or the glycocalix. We try to model this scenario in simpler systems. For instance, polymer-supported membranes can recreate aspects of membrane-polymer interaction, while membrane stacks of polysaccharide-carrying lipids are useful for studying sugar-sugar interactions.
Using polymer-supported membranes allows us to incorporate large transmembrane proteins such as cell-adhesion receptors in non-denaturing conditions on solid supports.
Cell adhesion models can be made from artificial lipid vesicles adhering to solid-supported membranes. These adhesion regions can be visualized and investigated with interference microscopy techniques.