Institute for the Physics of Living Systems


IPLS Seminar - Prof. Viola Vogel (ETH Zurich)

03 March 2017, 12:00 pm

Viola Vogel

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UCL MRC Building, Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, Seminar Room (2nd Floor)

Title: Mechanobiology: how our immune cells fight bacterial infections

Abstract: How do our immune cells fight bacterial infections, particularly in cases where bacteria hold on tightly to tissue fibers or implant surfaces? What do we really know about the hunting behavior of our immune cells, and once caught, about the nanomechanics of gobbling up bacteria? The fight of bacteria with immune cells has many mechanical aspects that have found little attention until recently.  Even though many strategies have been applied by mankind to fight bacterial infections, primarily designed to either kill bacteria via antibiotics, little attention has furthermore been given to asking how these pharmaceutical strategies might compromise the efficiency of our own immune cells. Unexpectedly, novel insights into nanomechanical aspects also revealed some adverse and unanticipated side effects how common antibacterial drugs impair the ability of our immune cells to fight infections.