Quantifying diffusion and dynamics of lipids within membranes in a leaflet-dependent manner

The goal of this project is to study lipid bilayers with fluorescence spectroscopy that can distinguish between the two leaflets of a bilayer. In particular, we want to understand lipid diffusion in a leaflet-specific manner, lipid exchange dynamics between leaflets, and membrane fusion. The core method that will be used is our recently developed Metal-Induced Energy Transfer (MIET) microscopy, which exploits the extremely sensitive dependence of metal-induced fluorescence quenching on the distance between a metal surface and the quenched emitter.