Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Membrane Biology (Nano-bio Interface)

Main content start

Membrane Biology (Nano-bio interface)

We delve into the physical properties of cell membranes, including curvature and tension, and their role in regulating crucial intracellular processes at the plasma membrane. Our engineering endeavors focus on nanoscale structures that interface with the cell membrane, affording us unprecedented control over membrane topography. Additionally, we engineer light-activatable and shape-sculpturing proteins to induce membrane curvature through illumination. The ability to control protein activities by light offers unprecedented precision in temporal and spatial dimensions. Through these pioneering efforts, we have uncovered the pivotal roles of membrane curvature and curvature-sensing proteins in integrin adhesion, mechanotransduction, ER-PM contact, endocytosis, and actin dynamics. 

nanobio cell closeup

Selected Publications

  • Zhang W, Lu CH, Nakamoto ML, Tsai CT, Roy AR, Lee CE, Yang Y, Jahed Z, Li X, Cui B*, Curved adhesions mediate cell attachment to soft matrix fibres in three dimensions.  Nature Cell Biology, (2023). [Link] (bioRxiv, [Link])
  • Lu CH‡, Tsai CT‡, Jones IV T, Chim V, Klausen LH, Zhang W, Li X, Jahed Z*, Cui B*, A NanoCurvS platform for quantitative and multiplex analysis of curvature-sensing proteins. Biomaterials Science, 11, 5205-5217 (2023). [Link
  • Lu CH, Pedram K, Tsai CT, Jones TE, Li X, Nakamoto M, Bertozzi CR, Cui B*. Membrane curvature regulates the spatial distribution of bulky glycoproteins. Nature Communications, 13, 3093 (2022). [Link]
  • Nakamoto M,  Forró C, Zhang W, Tsai CT, Cui B*. Expansion Microscopy for Imaging the Cell–Material Interface. ACS Nano, 16, 5, 7559–7571 (2022). [Link]
  • Roy AR, Zhang W, Jahed Z, Tsai CT, Cui B, Moerner WE*. Exploring cell surface-nanopillar interactions with 3D super-resolution microscopy. ACS Nano, 16, 1, 192-210 (2022). [Link]
  • Li X‡, Klausen LH‡, Zhang W, Zeinab J, Tsai CT, Li TL, Cui B*. Nanoscale Surface topography reduces focal adhesions and cell stiffness by enhancing integrin endocytosis. Nano Letters, 21, 8518-8526 (2021). [Link]
  • Zhang, W‡, Yang, Y‡, Cui, B*. New perspectives on the roles of nanoscale surface topography in modulating intracellular signaling. Current opinion in solid state & materials science, 25, 100873 (2021). [Link]
  • Li, L., Guo, Q., Lou, H., Liang, J., Yang, Y., Xing, X., Li, H., Han, J., Shen, S., Li, H., Ye, H., Di Wu, H., Cui, B., Wang, S*. Nanobar Array Assay Revealed Complementary Roles of BIN1 Splice Isoforms in Cardiac T-Tubule Morphogenesis. Nano Letters, 20, 6387-6395 (2020). [Link]
  • De Martino S, Zhang W, Klausen L, Lou HY, Li X, Alfonso FA, Cavalli S, Netti PA, Santoro F, Cui B*. Dynamic Manipulation of Cell Membrane Curvature by Light-Driven Reshaping of Azopolymer. Nano Letters, 20, 577-584 (2020). [Link]
  • Lou HY‡, Zhao W‡, Li X, Duan L, Powers A, Akamatsu M, Santoro F, McGuire AF, Cui Y, Drubin DG, Cui B*. Membrane curvature underlies actin reorganization in response to nanoscale surface topography. PNAS, 116, 23143-23151 (2019). [Link]
  • Li X, Matino L, Zhang W, Klausen L, McGuire AF, Lubrano C, Zhao W, Santoro F, Cui B*, A nanostructure platform for live-cell manipulation of membrane curvature. Nature Protocols, 14, 1772-1802 (2019). [Link]
  • Lou HY‡, Zhao W‡, Zeng Y, Cui B*, The Role of Membrane Curvature in Nanoscale Topography-Induced Intracellular Signaling. Accounts of Chemical Research, 51, 1046-1053 (2018). [Link]
  • Dipalo M‡, McGuire AF‡, Lou HY, Caprettini V, Melle G, Bruno G, Lubrano C, Matino L, Li X, De Angelis F*, Cui B*, Santoro F*. Cells Adhering to 3D Vertical Nanostructures: Cell Membrane Reshaping without Stable Internalization. ACS Nano, 18, 6100-6105 (2018). [Link]
  • Santoro F, Zhao W, Joubert LM, Duan L, Schnitker J, van de Burgt Y, Lou HY, Liu B, Salleo A, Cui L, Cui Y, Cui B*, Revealing The Cell-Material Interface With Nanometer Resolution By Focused Ion Beam/Scanning Electron Microscopy. ACS Nano, 11, 8320-8328 (2017). [Link]
  • Zhao W, Hanson L, Lou HY, Akamatsu M, Chowdary PD, Santoro F, Marks JR, Grassart A, Drubin DG*, Cui Y*, Cui B*. Nanoscale manipulation of membrane curvature for probing endocytosis in live cells. Nature Nanotechnology, 12, 750-756 (2017). [Link]
  • Hanson L, Zhao W, Lou HY, Lin ZL, Lee SW, Chowdary PD, Cui Y*, Cui B*. Vertical nanopillars for in situ probing of nuclear mechanics in adherent cells. Nature Nanotechnology, 10, 554-562 (2015). [Link]
  • Hanson L, Lin ZL, Xie C, Cui Y*, Cui B*. Characterization of the Cell–Nanopillar Interface by Transmission Electron Microscopy. Nano Letters, 12, 5815-5820 (2012). [Link]
mango apricot peach