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Granek, Rony

Faculty (Adjunct , Biotechnology Engineering )
Granek, Rony
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I am a theoretical physicist and my research lies at the interface between soft matter physics and biophysics. I am interested both in basic and fundamental understanding of systems and in practical conclusions that can help experimentalists from different fields measure properties of soft matter materials, in particular biomaterials, or design materials for biomedical purposes.

Works during my career include:
(i) The prediction of the dynamic structure factor and the transverse mean square displacement of membranes and surfactant adsorbed interfaces, which has been widely used in different systems, from many types of micro-emulsions and membrane bilayer phases in equilibrium, to live bacteria. The theory allows to measure the membrane bending modulus and as such to measure the effect of changing the membrane composition (e.g., adding cholesterol).
(ii) Dynamics of semi-flexible polymers. My unique contribution to the field has been on longitudinal and transverse monomer mean square displacement, the effect of tension, the long time reptation motion of semi-flexible polymers in semi-dilute solutions, and the relaxation from a highly tensed state.
(iii) Active transport of small and large particles (cargos) on microtubule networks, intracellular and in vitro (collaboration with Michael Elbaum, Weizmann Institute of Science).
(iv) Vibrational dynamics of proteins in equilibrium, and the link to their fractal structure (collaboration with Yossi Klafter, Tel-Aviv University).
(v) Unfolding/denaturation of proteins and DNA, focusing on the combination of thermally-induced and force-induced denaturation.
(vi) My main current field of research concerns the motion of multi-motor driven nano-particles, from basic understanding to application for drug delivery by nano-carriers. We have focused on the optimization of the particle surface decoration for obtaining long effective "run lengths" and "processivity times" of the cargo, which is expected to enhance drug delivery to the nucleus. We are now focusing on the strong dynamic coupling between the motors and its effect the motion characteristics of the nano-particle. Collaboration is underway with the experimental group of Anne Bernheim (Dept. of Chemical Engineering).

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