Mechanism of Mechanosensing in PIEZO1

Droplet Hydrogel Bilayers constitute the only method capable of simultaneous single channel current and fluorescence measurements. They have been used to characterise the functionality of alpha-haemolysin for use in nucleobase recognition in DNA sequencing and they have been arranged in multiple arrays to parallelise high throughput channel measurements. We recently established this platform in Australia to apply force and measure the mechanosensitive response MscL in custom bilayers. 

We are now using this platform to investigate the force-sensitive ion channel PIEZO1, in which single point mutations cause blood disorders such as xerocytosis and which is generally linked to cancer progression and post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

Our next goal is to combine fluorescence with electrophysiology using double-labelled PIEZO1 constructs for localisation and single molecule FRET.

This project would suit an Honours or PhD student that was keen to get involved with electrophysiology, single molecule fluorescence, microscope design and protein modelling.

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