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Interfacial chemistry of lipid monolayers as model systems for cell membrane properties

Surface interactions are ubiquitous in all aspects of life: the air-lung interface enables breathing; the cell surface governs whether drugs can interact with and penetrate bacterial membranes; the aerosol/particle surface governs cloud formation and the chemistry of reactions of pollutants; the surface of a material defines its functionality. Current work is aimed at two main themes: biophysical structure-function relationships and the design of functional thin film coatings.

We have two main areas of research: 

Biophysical structure-function relationships

We study of how non-covalent, molecular interactions (lipid-lipid, lipid-protein) govern the interfacial structure, organization and fluidity/elasticity of biological membranes and how these properties control membrane function. These inter-relationships are governed by a complex set of physicochemical properties.


Design of functional thin film coatings

Using the self-assembly and functional properties of surfactant and lipids, we seek to create functional soft matter surface coatings. 


We employ a  surface and biophysical characterization techniques (e.g. Langmuir films, atomic force microscopy, optical microscopy, ellipsometry, spectroscopy, rheology, grazing incidence x-ray diffraction, x-ray reflectivity) to address areas of key importance to health, the environment and the materials of everyday life.

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