On July 11th, 2012, Prof. DENG Yuru from Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore, visited SINANO and delivered a talk entitled "Nature’s nanostructured ‘cubic membranes’: formation, function and applications”. The presentation was chaired by Prof. JIN Jian, the deputy director of Nanobionics Division. Many researchers and graduated students attended the lecture.
Biomembranes play fundamental roles in all living systems to partition cells into subcellular compartments. However, these typically flat membranes may also fold up into 3-dimensional periodic nanostructures, termed cubic membranes, under certain physiological or pathological conditions. Three types of cubic membrane arrangements - gyroid (G), double diamond (D) and primitive (P) - have been identified in multiple cell types, yet their biological role is still obscure. Cubic surfaces describing cubic membranes are triply periodic minimal surfaces and of great technological potential in crystalline and liquid crystalline materials at various length scales. Prof. Deng’s talk covered: (1) the characterization of cubic membrane nanostructures by TEM, SEM and EM tomography in biological systems; (2) an update on experimental data describing the role of lipids, proteins and Ca2+ on cubic membrane formation in vivo; (3) discussion of potential function(s) in intracellular macromolecular transport and protection from autophagic degradation, and (4) practical applications as a diagnostic biomarker for various diseases, use of cubic membrane-derived lipids as gene delivery vehicles, and cubic membrane-based photonic crystals as versatile light-modulators.
| Prof. DENG Yuru @ Presentation|
| Attendants @ the Lecture|