Towards an Efficient Design of Biosensors: an Investigation into the Interplay Between Biological Membranes and Graphene.
The project focuses on the study of the interactions in between graphene (and its derivatives, such as graphene nanoribbons, nanographene and doped graphene) and lipid bilayer membranes in the canonical three phases (liquid disordered, liquid ordered and the solid gel). By using quantum mechanics / molecular mechanics methods (QM/MM), we aim to describe the interaction between the graphene-lipid membrane interface (MM) while changing graphene shape, doping and size with the different membranes, and at an ab-initio level to study the change in electronic properties (e.g. charge transfer) of graphene induced by the interaction with the different membranes. Collaboration with experimental groups will strengthen the theoretical investigations and findings. This project will pave the way towards the possible use of this hybrid system as biosensor with highly selective response.