Molecular Movements in Biomembranes

Today JPhysD completes its latest special issue: a collection of original articles and reviews capturing the state of the art of research on molecular movements in biomembranes. Guest Editors Eugene Petrov and Gerhard Schütz have created a collection of the latest experimental and theoretical work dealing with both model membrane systems and live cell membranes.

Some 20 years ago, when the first single molecule measurements on biomembranes and biosystems in general were reported, it would have been bold to predict the success story to come. But with improving microscopy technology and better fluorophores, experiments have left the highly specialized environments of physical chemists and are now routine in biologically oriented labs. As a consequence, a wealth of novel findings has been reported and even reached the level of textbook knowledge.

High-speed tracking of lipid diffusion using a GNP as label. Taken from Susann Spindler et al 2016 J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 49 274002, © Institute of Physics, All Rights Reserved.

High-speed tracking of lipid diffusion using a GNP as label. Taken from Susann Spindler et al 2016 J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 49 274002, © Institute of Physics, All Rights Reserved.

Given the broad range of single molecule applications, we decided to focus here on molecular movements in biomembranes. We are happy that many renowned researchers accepted our invitation and contributed to this special issue. The choice of the topics was bottom-up: we had no guidelines, instead we wanted to see what our colleagues regarded as interesting enough to be included in this issue. It was thus interesting to observe convergences of the chosen topics to several main directions.

We believe that this special issue provides a timely overview over the current concepts and questions about the movements of membrane constituents. We wish you an exciting and entertaining read.

Most recently, we have published a Topical Review on the techniques of single-particle tracking (SPT) and Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) in combination with the super-resolution imaging method STED (STED-FCS). As the authors from the University of Oxford and the University of Southern Denmark explain, “these methods are presently unique in their ability to directly sample lateral membrane motion down to spatial and temporal scales that are adequate for the assessment of the plasma membrane nano-organization.”

The full Editorial for the issue is available now on IOPscience.


CC-BY logoThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Image taken from Susann Spindler et al 2016 J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 49 274002, © Institute of Physics, All Rights Reserved.



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