About the Project
This PhD will utilise and develop world leading high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) techniques to probe mechanically sensitive proteins at previously inaccessible time and length scales. HS-AFM allows simultaneous sub-nanometre video rate imaging whilst varying forces and environmental conditions. We have recently developed HS-AFM to increase the already pioneering 100ms time resolution (only available to a handful of groups worldwide) to 10 microseconds. This 10,000-fold leap in acquisition rate is achieved by no longer scanning the surface with a tip, but by holding it at a single point of interest and studying the dynamics of molecules underneath. This study will use HS-AFM to monitor conformational dynamics of single membrane protein channels in real-time at the nanoscale and in response to different forces. As a newly developed technique this study has a wide scope to develop new algorithms and analysis methods. Experiments will focus on understanding the structural dynamics to develop physical models of how different molecules sense and respond to force.
This opportunity is open to all applicants, with a small number of awards for Non-UK applicants limited by UKRI to 1. All candidates will be placed into the EPSRC Bragg Centre Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.
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