This project, at the interface of physics, engineering and biology, aims to combine ultrasensitive fluorescence-imaging detection with optical/magnetic force sensing, for investigating the mechanisms of receptor-mediated virus entry into cells.
Viral infections remain a serious threat to human health. For example, HIV-1 infects approximately two million people a year and kills a similar number. Viruses hijack fundamental cellular processes to replicate and cause infection. They exploit specific cell-surface receptors to penetrate the cell-membrane barrier of new host cells by mechanisms that are not well understood. These will be investigated applying novel biophysical approaches and using HIV-1 as an experimental model.
“The cell biology of receptor-mediated virus entry”, J. Grove and M. Marsh, J. Cell Biol. 195, 1071 (2011).