Talk by Christoph Allolio

The next seminar “Modelling of materials – theory, model reduction and efficient numerical methods” will take place next Wednesday (May 19, 2021) from 9:00 till 10:00. The talk will be given by Christoph Allolio. Please see the details below.

Speaker: Christoph Allolio

Title: Multiscale Approach to Biomembrane Remodelling by Adsorbates

Abstract: In this talk I give an introduction to the modelling of biomembranes and our current progress in the application of the Helfrich theory of curvature elasticity to important biological processes. I introduce the techniques we developed to extract specific, local continuum properties from molecular simulations. I show the local modification of membrane elastic properties inside nanodiscs of various compositions, demonstrating the possibilities of our method. In the following, I describe the modification of membrane curvature elastic properties by cationic adsorbates and their consequences to membrane structure: The change of the membrane elastic properties can have wide-ranging effects, including changes in topology. For example fusion is triggered by the formation of calcium clusters on the membrane surface. Another example is our recent collaboration with experimental groups with the goal of designing endosomal escape agents – we show how the efficiency of these agents is related to their modification of the membrane interface and draw consequences for the design of new agents. Furthermore, I introduce first results on our modeling of mitochondrial membranes and mitochondrial morphology under stress. For this purpose, we developed a new solver, whose technical aspects I will introduce. Finally, I will talk about ongoing projects to extract further parameters from membranes and a possible setup for measuring the polarity of biointerfaces in vivo.