ESR1: Martina Elisena Recchia

Host: Cardiff University, School of Biosciences, United Kingdom

Understanding and controlling lipid membranes at the nanoscale through label-free coherent nonlinear optics at membrane-nanoparticle interfaces

Supervisor: Prof. Paola Borri

MUSIQ Research

To demonstrate the visualisation of lipid nanodomains in membrane bilayers with unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution and chemical specificity, using a unique combination of surface-enhanced CARS and four-wave mixing imaging with single metallic nanoparticles available at Cardiff. Both synthetic lipid membrane bilayers (with ternary mixtures of cholesterol, saturated, and unsaturated lipids) and cellular membranes will be investigated in this project. We will use optical trapping to guide NPs in close proximity of suspended lipid bilayers. Furthermore, photo-thermal heating at the NP will enable localised control of lipid phase transitions.

Scientific Backgroud

She achieved the Bachelor’s degree in 2017 and Master’s degree in 2019, both in Engineering Physics at Politecnico di Milano. The Bachelor’s thesis aimed at understanding and analyzing the behavior of electronic components subjected to sub-optimal working conditions, to understand their possible limits. During the Master degree, the main courses followed were related to Photonics and Nano Optics and in accordance with these, her Master’s thesis was focused on the development and optimization of a microscope scanning system based, performing multiplex CARS and SRS measurements on biological samples.

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