David Murdock

David graduated with a BS in Bioengineering from Rice in 2002. He worked as a research associate in the Anvari Lab for 2 years until July, 2004. He is currently a medical student at Baylor College of Medicine. His webpage while at Rice is provided below:

Our group uses membrane tethers in order to study the mechanical properties of outer hair cells (OHCs).  By analyzing the forces applied and the subsequent change in tether length it is possible to derive some membrane characteristics.  Optical tweezers are used to hold in place a polystyrene bead affixed to an OHC while the cell is moved away by a piezoelectric stage.  As the cell translates a tether is formed whose force can be calculated using instantaneous photodetector data.  I am involved in the development of a program capable of combining the tether formation process with the photodetector data in order to maintain a constant tether force.  This force-clamp program permits experiments to be conducted under static rather than dynamic tether conditions.  I am also involved in the study of the electromechanical properties of outer hair cells.  Experiments are conducted to analyze the effects of membrane potential on tether force.  This is achieved by combining the force-clamp program with the patch-clamp process.  The later technique permits the controlling of the voltage potential across a cell membrane.  The static tether force and membrane potential experiments provide data that allow for a better understanding of OHC electromotility.
Research Interests: Optical Tweezers, laser therapy and diagnostics, biomedical optics, computer programming
David R Murdock