Long-Range Electrodynamical Interactions Among Biomolecules and Prospective Applications
Project acronym: MOLINT
Topics: molecular biology, cancer, biochemical reactions, electromagnetism in macromolecules
Disciplinary fields: biophysics, molecular biology
Summary: From the physics point of view, one of the most striking and challenging problem arising from molecular biology stems from the observation that biochemical reactions – which commonly involve a huge number of actors – are coordinated simultaneously to be achieved in due time, thus granting the reality of well organized dynamic systems. This interdisciplinary research program, at the interface between physics and biology, aims at determining how electromagnetic forces normally generated in biological macromolecules (due to the vibrations of their dipole moments) may sustain molecular dynamics in living organisms. This project will develop as follows on two levels. At the molecular level, through the research of a conclusive proof for the relevance of electrodynamic attractive forces at long distance between partners of biological reactions by means of FCS/FCCS analysis of macromolecular model systems in vitro. This could have a revolutionary impact on our understanding of the functioning of the molecular machinery at work in living matter, and would open new avenues of fundamental research in biophysics, both theoretical and experimental. At the cellular and multicellular levels, we will reproduce documented empirical results concerning the growth arrest of cancer cells following the application of external electromagnetic fields. These cellular models will be the object of high-throught-put genomic analyses (transcriptome, epigenome), to better define the genetic targets associated with the observed cellular phenotype(s). If electrodynamic intermolecular interactions will be proved relevant, then a conceptual physical framework will become available to theoretically cope with the challenging empirical observation that externally applied electromagnetic fields can notably stop the mitotic spindle of cancer cells.
Project Interlocutor: Marco PETTINI, Centre de PhysiqueThéorique (UMR 7332)
Project duration : 03/01/2018 – 02/28/2021
Call for application: Interdisciplinarité 2016