CeNS Center for NanoScience LMU Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
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Marcus Otten


Curriculum Vitae 

Since 2012

IDK Student Representative

Since 2010

PhD student in the group of Prof. Hermann Gaub, LMU Munich

2009 – 2010

Diploma Thesis in the group of Dr. Doris Heinrich, LMU Munich

Topic of Diploma Thesis: 
"Cytoskeleton-dependent Subdiffusion in Intracellular Transport"

2007 - 2008

Studies of Physics and research project on cell mechanics in the group of Prof. David. A WeitzHarvard University, Cambridge, USA

2004 – 2007

Studies of Physics at the LMU Munich


Baccalauréat Général at the Lycée International, Paris, France



Since 2010

Scholarship of the IDK-NBT (Elite Network of Bavaria)

2007 - 2008

Fulbright scholarship

Research Project

The production of bioethanol from biomass, e.g. corn, is currently in conflict with our nutritional needs. The conversion of lignocellulose to fermentable sugars is limiting the use of of other biomass, such as wood and waste, in the production of biofuels. Although, nature has produced a stunning machinery for this process: A range of bacteria present cellulosomes on their membranes. These protein complexes consist of multiple enzymes arranged on a scaffold and are able of fast decomposition of lignocellulose in all kinds of biomass, including wood and waste.

By adapting the single-molecule cut-and-paste technique, I aim to assemble these protein complexes one-by-one with nanometer precision, forming synthetic cellulosomes. The cantilever tip of an atomic force micropscope can be used to pick up and transfer single molecules with high precision. Therefore, a microfluidic chip is developed for parallel in vitro expression of a high number of proteins within small distances. This chip can serve as the depot area, where single proteins, such as cellulases, are picked up for deposition on the target scaffold. The cut-and-paste technique is based on a binding force hierarchy, which enables specific uptake and deposition of these proteins. Assembly of synthetic cellulases will help investigate and compare enhanced enzymatic activities of cellulosomes for the production of biofuels.