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Cellular Mechanics

Quick links: current research

1. The Natural Killer cell synapse and signalling


Examples of work in this area include: dynamics, mechanics and regulation of biopolymer networks, fiber-membrane interactions, cell movement, membrane dynamics, immunological synapse, sickle hemoglobin fibres, molecular motors.

We were recently joined by Till Bretschneider who works on principles of self-organisation involved in the motion of animal cells (chemical signal organisation of the collective motion of cells in developmental processes, quantifying the actin cytoskeleton response to chemical and mechanical stimuli, underlying mechanisms for pattern formation of the actin cytoskeleton, development of imaging software for the automated analysis of large cell populations).

1.The Natural Killer cell synapse and signalling

  • Develop tools for analysis of membrane patternation from 2-colour 3D scanning confocal images

  • Develop and fit models for receptor relocation and exclusion dynamics to image data

  • Generate chimeric HLA-cw6 length mutants and determine dependence of patternation on the length of the MHC-KIR bond

  • Test the hypothesis that extracellular domain size is the major factor in patternation

  • Determine NK cell function dependence on patternation


WSB Staff: Burroughs.

Collaborators: van der Merwe (Oxford),Davis (Imperial), Gould (Imperial). Funding: BBSRC 900k, Burroughs PI.

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