We have recently developed new chemical engineering procedures to introduce biological ligands onto nanometer-thick carbon films.
This new technology is leading into three new directions:
- Developing new supported bilayer membranes, which allow the unidirectional insertion of integral membrane proteins and the easy control of lipid composition around the target proteins.
- Studying the structural details of the intracellular RNA-sensing mechanism by the RIG-I/MAVS pathway in innate immunity. This work is in collaboration with the laboratory of James Chen, Ph.D.
- Understanding how the human telomerase holoenzyme maintains telomeres at a suitable length.
Our new technology makes it possible to study biological complexes that are only available in nanogram amounts, and will make it possible to reconstitute complicated biological processes at nanometer scales and to prepare them for both structural and functional studies.