Biomolecules and nanostructures
The Optical Sciences group studies the interaction of light and matter at the nanoscale.
We do this by exploring ways to shape light and its environment. It's what we call
active and passive control. Our current focus is on the interaction of light with
biomolecules and nanostructures. We are part of Twente
University's Department of Science and Technology and member of the
Adhesisomes; dynamic multimolecular structures that mediate cell communication and adhesion in the immune system
The aim of this project is to unravel the dynamics of adhesisomes at cell surfaces employing SNOM based technology. We expect to get a clear insight in the organisation and dynamics of these structures; diffusion and orientation of individual and clustered components, adhesisome assembly, recruitment of signalling molecules, adhesisome half life, and disassembly. Fluorescent labelling of one or more components of the adhesisome employing expression vectors containing GFP cDNA's is essential to our approach. Using SNOM we will be able to combine high resolution wit low background, essential to reduce the cytoplasmic autofluorescence. Although this approach could be used to study any ligand/receptor system important in the immune system, we here want to focus on the integrin LFA-1 and its ligands ICAM-1, -2 and -3, because we have a long-standing interest in these molecules and a large number of tools are available.