The Marquardt group is interested in the structure -- function relationship of cellular membranes in biology. When investigating biomembranes and small membrane bound molecules, much of the existing biophysical data on various model systems are not without significant problems. For example, the use of bulky lipid fluorophores drastically alters the physical properties of the model membranes used. To overcome this issue, we employ neutron and X-ray scattering techniques where studies can be conducted without the use of perturbing probes. We are interested in developing new strategies and experimental platforms to investigate biological systems using probe free techniques. This strategy increases the understanding of the biological role of various biomolecules and biological assemblies and how it relates to health.
Our research lies at the intersection of chemistry, biology and physics. We draw on principles, strategies and techniques from these disciplines, making the lab an interdisciplinary environment. Currently, our research interests include:
- To formulate better biological membrane mimics than are currently available to physiologists. New membrane mimetics will serve as a platform for the formulation of better theory with a deeper and more fundamental description of biological membranes. This platform will afford the development and testing of novel drug and membrane active molecule development.
- The development of functionalised lipid vesicles targeted to deliver drug, and imaging agent payloads to the specific areas of the body.
- Developing and applying neutron scattering strategies to study membrane structures and processes.
- Nguyen, M.H.L., DiPasquale, M., Rickeard, B.W., Stanley, C.B., Kelley, E.G., Marquardt, D. (2019). Methanol Accelerates DMPC Flip-Flop and Transfer: A SANS Study on Lipid Dynamics. Biophysical Journal. 116, 755-759.
- Doktorova, M., Heberle, F.A., Eicher, B., Standaert, R., Katsaras, J., London, E., Pabst, G., Marquardt, D. (2018). Preparation of asymmetric phospholipid vesicles for use as cell membrane models. Nature Protocols. 13, 2086-2101.
- Marquardt, D., Heberle, F.A., Miti, T., Eicher, B., London, E., Katsaras, J., Pabst, G. (2017). 1H NMR Shows Slow Phospholipid Flip-Flop in Gel and Fluid Bilayers. Langmuir. 33, 3731-3741.