Acoustic Packets on a Flatland: A new basis for biological signaling?

posted Jun 18, 2014, 5:59 AM by Matthias Schneider   [ updated Jun 20, 2014, 12:09 PM ]

This study provides first evidence that packets of sound can propagate without dispersion (solitary waves) in 2D single molecule thin films of phospholipids. The resulting systematic reorientation and condensation of the molecules was observed optically via energy transfer. The study predicts that single bio-molecules, the “inhabitants” of the flatland, can literally “talk” via the continuous 2D interface.
While the 2D acoustic phenomenon exhibit striking similarities (solitary, biphasic with a threshold) to communication in nerves, if it can indeed form a new basis for biological signaling remains to be seen. The work has been published today in the Journal of Royal Society Interface. Also featured in 

 An optically measured solitary wave (top) that suggests a propagating local transition in a hydrated lipid interface (bottom). Note the stunning similarity to the biphasic shape of Hodgkin and Huxley's action potential

Learning from Nature:

posted Jan 18, 2013, 5:07 AM by Matthias Schneider   [ updated Jan 18, 2013, 5:11 AM ]

The dynamic, reversible clot. High shear induces aggregates that are only stable
under flow. Once hydrodynamic stress is released they fall apart and are ready to be used somewhere else again. 
Nature Comm. (4) 1333 (2013).
Image by Hsieh Chen (MIT).

Physics of Signaling

posted Jun 19, 2012, 6:06 AM by Matthias Schneider   [ updated Jan 23, 2013, 4:18 AM ]

Propagation of 2D Pressure Pulses in Lipid Monolayers and Its Possible Implications for Biology

The existence and propagation of acoustic pressure pulses on lipid monolayers at the air-water interface are directly observed by simple mechanical detection. The pulses are excited by small amounts of solvents added to the monolayer. Controlling the state of the lipid interface, we show that the pulses propagate at velocities c following the lateral compressibility κ. This is manifested by a pronounced minimum in c (∼0.3  m/s) within the transition regime. The role of interface density pulses in biology is discussed, in particular, in the context of communicating localized alterations in protein function (signaling) and nerve pulse propagation.

Physical Review Letter's: Editor's Suggestion
J. Griesbauer, S. Bössinger, A. Wixforth, and M. F. Schneider
Published 9 May 2012 (5 pages)

The Flatland-Factory: nanoscale acoustic waves, transport and separate membrane anchored proteins in 2Dimension.

posted Sep 29, 2010, 7:27 AM by Matthias Schneider   [ updated Apr 26, 2011, 4:16 AM ]

Reference: J. Neuman, M. Hennig, A. Wixforth, J. Rädler, M.F. SchneiderTransport, Separation, and Accumulation of Proteins on Supported Lipid BilayersNanoletters 10 (8), pp 2903–2908 (2010)

1-4 of 4