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The University of Southampton
Institute for Life Sciences

Exploiting nanotechnology to probe mechanical properties of single molecules and single cells Event

15:00 - 16:00
28 November 2016
Building 07, Room 3019, Highfield Campus, university of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please email Adam Corres at .

Event details

A Bioengineering Seminar Series presentation by Dr Massimo Vassalli of the Institute of Biophysics, National Research Council, Genova, Italy


Abstract: Mechanical properties of living systems have historically been studied in the context of biomechanics, trying to model and understand the mechanisms by which muscles and bones generate and sustain the motion and structure of the body. Thanks to the adoption of advanced nanotechnology tools, this perspective has recently been translated down to the level of single molecules and single cells, giving rise to the emerging field of Mechanobiology. Mechanical properties of cells and proteins not only characterize the structural stability of a biological system, but they are also tightly connected to their biological function and physiological state. Some examples will be presented in which nanotechnology tools were applied to test the mechanics of molecules and cells; and to get insights into a biological question.

Speaker information

Dr Massimo Vassalli,Institute of Biophysics, National Research Council, Genova, Italy,Biography: Massimo Vassalli obtained a MSc degree in Physics in 1999 at the University of Florence (Italy) and he completed the PhD in non-linear dynamics and complex systems in 2004. In the same year, he was hired as researcher at the Biophotonics Laboratory of the National Institute of Optics (Florence, Italy). During the year 2007-2008 he was appointed Professor of Physics at the Engineering Faculty of the University of Florence. Since 2009 Massimo Vassalli has been an independent researcher at the Institute of Biophysics of the National Research Council (Genova, Italy) where he co-leads the NanoBioScience group, devoted to the application of advanced biophysical tools to the study of single molecules and single cells, conformation and physiology. Massimo Vassalli is the author of about 60 papers in national and international journals and has presented activity to several national and international conferences. List of 3 selected publications: - L. Soattin, M. Fiore, P. Gavazzo, F. Viti, P. Facci, R. Raiteri, F. Difato, M. Pusch, M. Vassalli; The biophysics of piezo1 and piezo2 mechanosensitive channels; In press, DOI 10.1016/j.bpc.2015.06.013 - H. Tsushima, M. Emanuele, A. Polenghi, A. Esposito, M. Vassalli, A. Barberis, F. Difato, E. Chieregatti; HDAC6 and RhoA are novel players in Abeta-driven disruption of neuronal polarity; Nature Communications (2015) 6:7781 - M. Vassalli, F. Sbrana, A. Laurita, M. Papi, N. Bloise, L. Visai, B. Bochicchio; Biological and Structural Characterization of a Naturally Inspired Material Engineered from Elastin as a Candidate for Tissue Engineering Applications; Langmuir (2013) 29:15898–15906

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