Luke Clifton, ISIS, STFC
Host: Martyn Winn, Biology and Life Sciences, SCD
Thursday 06 February 2020 at 14:00-15:00
Analysis of the Complex Structure and Interactions of Accurate Membrane Models
Neutron Reflectometry (NR) is a powerful tool for examining structures at buried interfaces. In recent years this technique has seen a growing application in the analysis of model biological membrane systems. In these studies, NR is often employed to unravel the relative distribution of components within the membranes and how this distribution changes due to an interaction or change in conditions.
The unique capability of this technique comes from three beneficial facets of neutron beams. These are the high penetration of neutrons into matter, the non-damaging nature of thermal and cold neutrons and, most importantly, the differential scattering of neutrons to the two most abundant isotopes of hydrogen, protium and deuterium.
In this talk a brief introduction to neutrons and the reflectometry technique will be given, including sample preparation and data analysis. This will then be followed with examples of structural studies on accurate membrane mimetics using NR. Examples will include examining the mechanism of activity of membrane targeting antibiotics and the role of cations in stabilising the anionic Gram negative bacterial outer membrane.