What is the relationship between structure and mechanics in biological molecules and biological materials?

Biomimetic biofilms and mineralized composites
Most living organisms use elements in their environment to fabricate composite materials. Due to their intricate and hierarchical structure, biocomposite materials present improved material properties when compared with their pure inorganic counterparts. We use microorganisms to fabricate biomimetic composite materials combining high stiffness and toughness. Collaborations: Anne Meyer (University of Rochester, USA), An-Wu Xu (USTC, China), S. Garcia (TU Delft), Filipe Natalio (Weizmann Institute, Israel).

Representative publication:

Spiesz EM*, Schmieden DT*, Grande AM, Liang K, Schwiedrzik J, Natalio F, Michler J, Garcia SJ, Aubin-Tam ME^, Meyer AS^
Bacterially-produced, nacre-inspired composite materials (Submitted)
*equally contributing authors; ^corresponding authors

Mechanical processes at the cell membrane
Investigating the response of individual biomolecules and cells in response to  external physical/chemical stimuli helps us to understand the molecular mechanisms driving biological processes. We design, develop and use biophysical assays to track dynamical cellular processes occurring at the cell membrane. Collaborations: Andreas Engel, Bertus Beaumont (Bionanoscience, TU Delft), Daniel Tam (Lab for Aero & Hydrodynamics, TU Delft).

Representative publications:

Marin V*, Kieffer R*, Padmos R, Aubin-Tam ME
Stable free-standing lipid bilayer membranes in Norland Optical Adhesive (NOA81) microchannels
Analytical Chemistry, 88, 7466-7470, 2016
*equally contributing authors

Lindhoud S, Carvalho V, Pronk JW, Aubin-Tam ME
SMA-SH: Modified styrene-maleic acid copolymer for functionalization of lipid nanodiscs
Biomacromolecules, 17, 1516-1522, 2016

... earlier publications:

Quaranta G, Aubin-Tam ME^, Tam D^
Hydrodynamics versus intracellular coupling in the synchronization of eukaryotic flagella
Physical Review Letters, 115, 238101, 2015
^corresponding authors
PRL Editors' Suggestion. Highlighted in Physics.

Cordova JC, Olivares AO, Shin Y, Stinson BM, Calmat S, Schmitz KR, Aubin-Tam ME, Baker TA, Lang MJ, Sauer RT
Stochastic but highly coordinated protein unfolding and translocation by the ClpXP proteolytic machine
Cell, 158, 647-658, 2014

Aubin-Tam ME
Conjugation of nanoparticles to proteins
Methods in Molecular Biology, 1025, 19-27, 2013

Aubin-Tam ME*, Olivares AO*, Sauer RT, Baker TA, Lang MJ
Single-molecule protein unfolding and translocation by an ATP-fueled proteolytic machine
Cell, 145, 257-267, 2011
*equally contributing authors

Aubin-Tam ME*, Appleyard DC*, Ferrari E, Garbin V, Fadiran OO, Kunkel J, Lang MJ
Adhesion through single peptide aptamers
Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 115, 3657-3664, 2011
*equally contributing authors

Aubin-Tam ME, Hwang W, Hamad-Schifferli K
Site-directed nanoparticle labeling of cytochrome c
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 106, 4095-4100, 2009

Aubin-Tam ME, Hamad-Schifferli K
Structure and function of nanoparticle-protein conjugates
Biomedical Materials, 034001, 2008

Aubin-Tam ME, Zhou H, Hamad-Schifferli K
Structure of cytochrome c at the interface with magnetic CoFe2O4 nanoparticles
Soft Matter, 4, 554-559, 2008

Aubin-Tam ME, Hamad-Schifferli K
Gold nanoparticle-cytochrome c complexes: the effect of nanoparticle ligand charge on protein structure
Langmuir, 21, 12080-12084, 2005

Aubin ME, Morales DG, Hamad-Schifferli K
Labeling ribonuclease S with a 3nm Au nanoparticle by two-step assembly
Nano Letters, 3, 519-522, 2005