Nanofluidics in physics and biology
Location: CECAM-FR-RA, ENS de Lyon
Nanofluidics in physics and biology : Bridging theory and experiments on nanopore translocation of confined biopolymers and ions
In this workshop, we propose to bring together researchers from a diverse discipline of physics, chemistry, molecular biology, and engineering to discuss topics central to the behavior of ions and biomolecules driven through nanopores or confined in nanochannels.
These research avenues that have witnessed spectacular growth in the last 5 years, as reflected in the order of magnitude increase in number of publications, largely due to the advancement of single-molecule and single pore techniques that have provided unprecedented quantitative insight into the ubiquity of various forms of pore translocation or channel-like confinement in biological contexts, such as, during RNA transcription, mRNA translation and degradation of ubiquinated proteins by the proteasome. The wealth of available experimental data has, in turn, spurred much activity on the theoretical and modeling side aimed at understanding the general physical mechanisms that underpin the observed phenomenology, as well as understanding their biological implications. For these reasons we will seek a good balance between theorists involved in modelling and simulations of the aforementioned systems, and experimentalists.
The two pivotal topics of the workshop, pore translocation of biomolecules and small molecules and ion confinement, were selected for their general relevance and broader implications.
For the former, we recall that by capturing and pulling DNAs and proteins through nanopores it is now possible to sequence a single human genome without amplification. It is believed that nano-pore and nano-channel based technologies will make transcendental impact in human health and disease, such as cancer, with accurate, albeit cheaper and faster routine desktop analyses of human genome. For instance, the emerging field of protein sequencing by nanopore open the possibility to profile gene expression at single molecule level; or the use of nanopores as sensors of small-molecule analytes with application in the medical laboratory. In addition, recent developments have made it possible to simulate complex and dynamic pores such as the nuclear pore complex at the atomic level and over timescales of milliseconds that are compatible with its biological function. Thanks to an extensive exchange with experimentalists, these results will make it possible to explain the importance of this biological pore in gene expression, in particular through its exceptional selectivity and plasticity.
For the second, instead, we note the ongoing debate in the community of ionic transport in biological and artificial nanochannels about the origin of the extraordinary hydraulic conductivity of hydrophobic structures. Recent developments in single pore experiments and quantum theories of ion friction may provide clues for bridging experimental and simulation length scales. The possibility to use hydrophobic nanochannels to produce localized memories called memristor is also a new perspective. The ability to used them for biomimetic iontronic applications with low energy consumption show the necessity to develop robust simulations of this highly confined systems.
Fabien Montel (CNRS / ENS de Lyon) - Organiser
Matteo Ceccarelli (University of Cagliari) - Organiser
Cristian Micheletti (SISSA) - Organiser
Matteo Dal Peraro (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) ) - Organiser
Aleksandra Radenovic (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne ‐) - Organiser
Aniket Bhattacharya (University of Central Florida) - Organiser