Modelling receptor trafficking on membrane of neurons in the brain
Tamara Kloek

Supervisors: Fred Vermolen and Remy Kusters from TU Eindhoven

Site of the project: TU Delft

start of the project: March 2015

In June 2015 the Interim Thesis has appeared and a presentation has been given.

The Master project has been finished in December 2015 by the completion of the Masters Thesis and a final presentation has been given.

For working address etc. we refer to our alumnipage.

Summary of the master project:
Diffusive processes on curved surfaces are very relevant for cellular processes and are increasingly used to characterize the behavior of proteins in cell membranes. More specifically, neurotransmitter receptors are present in the cell membranes of neurons (nerve cells) and are important for the signal transduction at synapses, which are the specializations through which neurons communicate. The morphology of the cell membrane at these synapses is non-trivial and this shape strongly affects the receptor diffusion [1].

The typical shape of a single synapse and its impact on the diffusive process has been studied [1,2]. An open question however is how this shape affects the cross-talk between multiple synapses connected to the same dendrite. In other words, how does the release of receptors in one synapse influence the concentration in neighboring synapses. To study this we set up a diffusion model that integrates the morphology of multiple synapses.

[1] Kusters, R., Kapitein, L. C., Hoogenraad, C. C., & Storm, C. (2013). Shape-induced asymmetric diffusion in dendritic spines allows efficient synaptic AMPA receptor trapping. *Biophysical journal*, *105*(12), 2743-2750.

[2] Kusters, R., & Storm, C. (2014). Impact of morphology on diffusive dynamics on curved surfaces. *Physical Review E*, *89*(3), 032723.

Contact information: Kees Vuik

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