The Nanoscale World

Postdoctoral position Nantes France

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Posted: Thu, Jan 7 2010 5:12 PM
We are seeking highly qualified and motivated applicants with a Ph.D. at 
the time of employment. The post-doctoral position is funded by the
French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) for one year,
possibly for two years if renewal is allowed, and is available
immediately. Please if you are interested in this position reply to
Cedric Gaillard at cedric.gaillard at . The candidate should
have a Ph.D. in chemistry or materials science or biology and mainly a
strong background in scanning probe techniques and surface chemistry of
AFM tips.
Description: AFM / Fluorescence correlative microscopy for the imaging
of proteins at the interface of stabilized emulsions. Newly CEPIA
research division funded post-doctoral position is available to
investigate the building-up mechanisms of arrangement of proteins
involved in the stabilisation of emulsions. The direct localisation of
individual macromolecules remains an important challenge to elucidate
their fine organisation at the nanometric scale and to connect it to the
properties of the macroscopic systems formed by the assembly of the
macromolecules. The complementarity of fluorescence detection and atomic
force microscopy holds great promise for investigation of any systems
where the arrangement of biopolymers determines the macroscopic
properties. In this project, combined AFM and fluorescence microscopy
experiments will be performed to get the detection of two families of
proteins localized at the interface of emulsions. For that, a simple
interface will be considered as a model in which a bovine protein and a
vegetal protein are used for the stabilization of a water/oil emulsion.
Then, two parallel strategies of chemical modifications will been
developed. Firstly, AFM tips will be functionalized with antibodies to
allow specific AFM detection of the corresponding proteins at the
interface. Secondly, aqueous-soluble semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum
dots) with specific size and fluorescence emission will be covalently
bound to the proteins.
Our strategy that will be developed by the candidate is then based, in a
third step, on the simulataneous detection by fluorescence of individual
proteins, previously coupled with home- made quantum dots, and on AFM
imaging using AFM cantilevers chemically-modified with pure and specific
Nanomechanical properties of the individual proteins and of the
corresponding antibodies will also be separatively probed by force
spectroscopy to get information about the forces and kinetics involved
in the breaking of ligand – receptor bonds.
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