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Semiconductor devices have become indispensable for generating electromagnetic radiation in everyday applications. Visible and infrared diode lasers are at the core of information technology, and at the other end of the spectrum, microwave and radio-frequency emitters enable wireless communications. But the terahertz region (1-10 THz; 1 THz = 10(12) Hz)(More)
Chloride and protons perform important closely related roles in many cellular responses. Here we developed a ratiometric biosensor, ClopHensor, based on a highly chloride-sensitive Aequorea victoria GFP variant that is suited for the combined real-time optical detection of pH changes and chloride fluxes in live cells. We detected high chloride concentration(More)
The neurotrophin receptor TrkA (also known as NTRK1) is known to be crucially involved in several physio-pathological processes. However, a clear description of the early steps of ligand-induced TrkA responses at the cell plasma membrane is missing. We have exploited single particle tracking and TIRF microscopy to study TrkA membrane lateral mobility and(More)
The transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) is a protein currently under scrutiny as a pharmacological target for pain management therapies. Recently, the role of TRPV1-microtubule interaction in transducing nociception stimuli to cells by cytoskeletal rearrangement was proposed. In this work, we investigate(More)
Spatial distribution and dynamics of plasma-membrane proteins are thought to be modulated by lipid composition and by the underlying cytoskeleton, which forms transient barriers to diffusion. So far this idea was probed by single-particle tracking of membrane components in which gold particles or antibodies were used to individually monitor the molecules of(More)
Interaction between differentiating neurons and the extracellular environment guides the establishment of cell polarity during nervous system development. Developing neurons read the physical properties of the local substrate in a contact-dependent manner and retrieve essential guidance cues. In previous works we demonstrated that PC12 cell interaction with(More)
During development and regeneration of the mammalian nervous system, directional signals guide differentiating neurons toward their targets. Soluble neurotrophic molecules encode for preferential direction over long distances while the local topography is read by cells in a process requiring the establishment of focal adhesions. The mutual interaction(More)
We employ simple geometrical rules to design a set of nanotopographies able to interfere with focal adhesion establishment during neuronal differentiation. Exploiting nanoimprint lithography techniques on cyclic-olefin-copolymer films, we demonstrate that by varying a single topographical parameter the orientation and maturation of focal adhesions can be(More)
The translational motion of molecules in cells deviates from what is observed in dilute solutions. Theoretical models provide explanations for this effect but with predictions that drastically depend on the nanoscale organization assumed for macromolecular crowding agents. A conclusive test of the nature of the translational motion in cells is missing owing(More)
A single-biomolecule optical toggle-switch is demonstrated based on a mutated green fluorescent protein (GFP). We have exploited molecular biology techniques to tailor GFP molecular structure and photophysical properties and give it optically-controlled bistability between two distinct states. We present optical control of the fluorescence dynamics with two(More)