Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, School of Biomedical Engineering
The main goal of my group is to unveil the design rules underlying the unique mechanical properties of protein assemblies within cells and tissues. We are interested in both bottom-up and top-down approaches. In the former, we aim to design peptides that can self-assemble into filamentous structures with predictable mechanical properties. In the latter we study the relationship between structure and mechanical properties for naturally occurring protein assemblies such as collagen fibrils.
Our research projects are multidisciplinary in nature so we welcome trainees at all career stages with a wide variety of backgrounds from chemistry, biochemistry, physics and engineering.
|Design of network forming alpha-helical peptides: As part of the cytoskeleton of eukaryotic cells, intermediate filament (IF) proteins form a unique filamentous network combining extensibility and toughness. Our goal is to design peptides of minimal length that can assemble into IF-like networks.|
|Nanomechanical testing of collagen fibrils: We are developing atomic force microscopy based approaches to study damage mechanisms in single collagen fibrils.|
|Negishi, A., Armstrong, C. L., Kreplak, L., Rheinstadter, M. C., Lim, L., Gillis, T. E. & Fudge, D. S. The production of fibers and films from solubilized hagfish slime thread proteins. Biomacromolecules. 13(11):3475-82. 2012|
|Fortier, P., Suei, S. & Kreplak, L. Nanoscale strain-hardening of keratin fibres. PLoS One. 7(7): e41814. 2012|
|Gullekson, C., Lucas, L., Hewitt, K. & Kreplak, L. Surface-sensitive Raman spectroscopy of Collagen I fibrils. Biophysical Journal. 100:1837-45. 2011|
|Staple, D. B., Loparic, M., Kreuzer, H. J. & Kreplak, L. Stretching, unfolding, and deforming protein filaments adsorbed at solid-liquid interfaces using the tip of an atomic force microscope. Phys Rev Lett 102: 128302. 2009|