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Surface immobilization of glycosaminoglycans:

A biosensor to study the Herpes Simplex Virus





Viruses are intracellular parasites that need to hijack a cell to replicate and spread. Understanding themechanisms by which a virus penetrates or exits its host is essential to the development of high performance antiviral drugs. Being present in 60-90% of the population, the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)is one of the most widespread viral pathogens. Initial recruitment of the virus to the host membrane was shown to be mediated by recognition of sulfated sugar chains found on the cell surface (glycosaminoglycans). The overall aim of this project is to understand how the physico-chemical properties of the cell coat (outer sugar layer) influence recognition of the cell by the virus.


Figure: (left) schematic representation of the sensing platform. Glycosaminoglycan chains are immobilized “end-on”onto a sensor surface. Surface-based techniques are used to characterize the glycosaminoglycan adlayer and virus binding to it.


Tasks & techniques


In this master project, we will develop and test a new strategy to immobilize specifically the glycosaminoglycanschains via their aldehyde reducing end groupsonto a sensor surface.Glycosaminglycanadlayers will be characterized by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation and surface plasmon resonance, two biosensingtechniques that enablethe study of binding events (mass deposition) at the sensor surface in real time. The same techniques will be used to test the interaction of HSV virus particleswith these artificial cell-surface models.


Project environment: The proposed project will be carried out at the division of Biological Physics (dep. of Applied Physics), in collaboration with the department of Infectious Diseases (Sahlgrenska University Hospital).


Qualifications: The applicant should preferably study chemistry, biochemistry or biotechnology. Other backgrounds will also be considered.


Starting Date:To be discussed


Project Supervisor:Marta Bally, bally@chalmers.se;


Sabina Burazerovic, sabina.burazerovic@chalmers.se

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