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Nanopatterned Force Sensors Reveal Immune Cell Activation Thresholds

PhD defense, Thursday 22 February 2024, Ali Shahrokhtash

Ali Shahrokhtash

Our cells interact with each other and their environment at the nanoscale, and understanding these cellular interactions at the nanoscale is crucial for disease treatment and drug development. During his PhD studies, Ali Shahrokhtash developed novel methods that allow scientists to decorate microscope slide surfaces rapidly and precisely at the nanoscale with cellular signaling molecules and ultra-sensitive DNA force sensors. The method allows the measurement of forces exerted by immune cells – about one billionth the weight of a paperclip. Central to this PhD project are B lymphocytes, key players in the immune system responsible for developing antibodies that fight off pathogens. Interaction of these immune cells with nanopatterned surfaces shows differential activation levels of the immune system. This novel technique illuminates the intricate responses of B lymphocytes at the nanoscale and opens new avenues in the quest for more effective vaccines and treatments.

The PhD study was completed at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Faculty of Natural Sciences, Aarhus University.

This summary was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Thursday, 22 February 2024 at 13:15
Place: Building 1593, room 012, INANO Auditorium. Aarhus University, Gustav Wieds Vej 14, 8000 Aarhus C
Title of PhD thesis: Nanopatterned Biointerfaces: Probing B Cell Activation and Mechanobiology at the Nanoscale
Contact information: Ali Shahrokhtash, e-mail: ali@inano.au.dk, tel.: +45 60225000

Members of the assessment committee:
Professor Andreas Dahlin, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Senior Lecturer Dr. Katelyn Spillane, Department of Physics, King’s College London, U.K.

Senior Researcher Morten Foss (chair), INANO, Aarhus University, Denmark

Main supervisor:
Professor Duncan Sutherland, INANO, Aarhus University, Denmark

Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defense is public.

The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Natural Sciences/GSNS, Jens Baggesens Vej 53, building 5221, 8200 Aarhus N.

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