The Molecular Plasmonics group
at Eindhoven University of Technology has an open position in the field of nanoplasmonic sensing. We welcome applications for a PhD position (4 years) or a postdoc position (3 years). The project aims to develop a new generation of single-molecule plasmon sensors based on plasmon-enhanced fluorescence, and to apply these new sensors to quantify protein-protein interactions that are multivalent.
About the project
In recent years the group has developed single-molecule sensors based on plasmon-enhanced fluorescence, see here for a recent review
. Herein the fluorescence intensity of a labelled biomolecule is enhanced by several orders of magnitude once it binds to a plasmonic nanoparticle. This provides unique abilities to perform single-molecule biosensing at very high concentrations and with superior signal-to-noise ratio. In this project you will develop the first single-molecule sensor for multivalent proteins. You will learn about the design of the sensor, you will perform single-molecule optical microscopy and analyze/interpret the microscopy data. You will then apply the sensor to study the dynamic binding and unbinding of proteins that are involved in neurological disorders. Finally, you will reveal how these interaction dynamics are affected by the presence of drug molecules.
The project will be supervised by Peter Zijlstra (Molecular Plasmonics group) and co-supervised by Luc Brunsveld (Chemical Biology group) at TU/e. You will closely collaborate with a PhD student in the group of Brunsveld that is employed on the same project and will synthesize, functionalize, and characterize the proteins.About the group
The Molecular Plasmonics group is at the department of Applied Physics and consists of ~12-15 researchers that work on plasmonic and nanophotonic sensors. The group is part of a bigger research cluster (40-50 researchers) focusing on molecular sensing. The team is multidisciplinary and hosts physicists, chemists, and biomedical engineers that collaborate in a close-knit team. The lab hosts a range of state-of-the-art single-molecule microscopes in optical laboratories, as well as wet-chemical labs where sensors are functionalized and integrated with fluidics. The group is part of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems, where we share equipment and you will collaborate with chemists, biologists, and microscopists outside the group.