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Dr. rer. nat. Giovanni Giunta

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Theory of Complex Bio-Systems

Offered Bachelor’s or Master’s Theses Topics

Simulating the collective motion of encapsulated enzymes in external substrate gradients
Recent experiments revealed that the diffusion coefficients of enzymes can depend on the concentration of their corresponding substrates: the enzyme diffuses faster in the presence of more substrate. The aim of this thesis is to understand the consequences of this effect on the collective motion of enzymes. Imagine a vesicle immersed in a substrate gradient and loaded with thousands of units of a specific enzyme. What would happen to this vesicle? Would the non-uniform motion of the enzymes inside affect the shape of the vesicle? And what kind of deformations could be produced? Would it be possible to cause the movement of the vesicle along a preferred direction? To tackle these questions, you will be involved in the implementation of Brownian dynamics simulations combining a mesh description of the vesicle, the diffusion-dependent movement of enzymes and the interactions between the enzymes and the vesicle. With this work you can contribute to some of the latest developments in enzyme dynamics and active matter. Moreover, your results can be utilized to design and analyze experiments. Prerequisites: Interest in biophysical systems and in simulations of dynamical systems.
suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Biophysics
Supervisor: Ulrich Gerland
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