Johann Mertens obtained his BSc (1999) and MSc (2000) in Physics from the University of Bordeaux (FR). He then joined the group of Prof. Eric Finot at the University of Burgundy (FR) where he obtained his PhD in 2003. Then he worked as a research engineer at the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) as a project leader of the nanosensors program. He joined the group of Prof. Javier Tamayo at the Madrid Microelectronics institute as I3P postdoctoral fellow in 2005, and as a Ramón y Cajal researcher in March 2009. In 2015 he joined IMDEA as researcher in the group Mechanical Properties of Biostructures.
The group has varied interests in the mechanical properties of macromolecular assembly of proteins.
- We have implemented Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) measurements in physiological conditions to study both structural and mechanical properties of individual viral particles. We have recently showed that ribonucleoprotein complexes establish strong interactions with the inner surface of the viral shell in IBDV mature virions (Scientific Reports 2015). We are also developing news tools for the combined study of the nano-mechanical properties of biomolecules using atomic force microscopy and spectroscopy.
- We use microcantilevers as tools in biomedical applications of biosensor technology or molecular biophysics. In relation with our previous work in the field, we are developing a line related to protein and DNA biosensors as well as the study of mechanical properties 2D-systems (Nature Nanotechnology 2008, Nanotechnology 2012).