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Research

NanoBioTechnology is an emerging and highly promising field that combines nanosciences with biotechnology. The exploration of nanoscale structures and material properties on the molecular level is part of the research of nanoscientists. The goal is to achieve control of molecular interactions and functionalities in such a way that novel applications become feasible in fields such as nanoelectronics, nanophotonics and nanomedicine.

Selected Research Highlights

Grünes Licht für die Nanoelektronik

Ingo Stein

Im Forschungsgebiet Nanophotonik wird das Verhalten von Licht im Nanometerbereich untersucht und manipuliert. So könnte Licht in Zukunft beispielsweise in optischen Schaltkreisen die Rolle von elektrischen Strömen übernehmen.

A model system for group behavior of biofilaments

Christoph Weber

For the casual observer it is fascinating to watch the ordered and seemingly choreographed motion of hundreds or even thousands of fish, birds or insects. However, the formation and the manifold motion patterns of such flocks raise numerous questions fundamental to the understanding of complex systems. more...

Rocking movement in the anti-stress protein Hsp90

Christoph Ratzke

Proteins are the motors of the cell: They transport, among other things, nutrients, move our muscles, convert substances chemically or fold other proteins. The so-called heat shock protein Hsp90 is eminently important for our cells since it plays a decisive role in many basic processes – in humans as well as in bacteria or yeasts. more...

Mit höchster Konzentration ins Ziel

Anna Sauer

Nanopartikel sind so klein, dass sie über die Membran, die die natürliche Barriere einer Zelle bildet, in deren Innenraum eindringen können. Diese Fähigkeit könnte in Zukunft gerade für die Behandlung von Krebszellen große Chancen bieten. In ersten Versuchen wurde bereits gezeigt, dass die mit Wirkstoffen beladenen Partikel diese gezielt in die befallenen Zellen transportieren. mehr...

A Thermal Trap for DNA Replication

Christof Mast

Life first appeared on Earth more than three billion years ago. Around that time the first complex chemical compounds formed, presumably in the oceans, of which subsequently the first monads consisted. However, for this to happen, the molecules probably dissolved in seawater at low concentration had to find each other. more...

The many guises of a chaperone

Martin Sikor

Without a class of proteins known as chaperones, life on Earth would not be possible. Chaperones enable newly synthesized proteins to adopt the precise three-dimensional conformation that is necessary for their biological function. Little is known about the changes in molecular structure of chaperones as they help substrate proteins to fold. more...

When molecules leave tire tracks

Carsten Rohr

Some classes of molecules are capable of arranging themselves in specific patterns on surfaces. This ability to self-organize is crucial for many technological applications, which are dependend on the assembly of ordered structures on surfaces. However, it has so far been virtually impossible to predict or control the result of such processes. More...

Nanoscopic Ruler

Tom Sobey and Christian Steinhauer

The improvement of optical microscopy towards ever higher resolution has been subject to extensive research over the past years. The diffraction limit of light prohibits resolving details smaller than half its wavelength, resulting in a fundamental resolution limit of 250-300 nm. It is the goal, however, to reach a resolution that enables imaging of much smaller structures by optical microscopy. More...

Chasing tiny vehicles - Microscope shows how nanoferries invade cells

Anna Sauer

Nanoparticles are just billionths of a millimeter in size. Exhibiting novel and often surprising properties, they are finding their way into an endless stream of equally innovative products. In medical therapies, for example, tiny nanovehicles could one day ferry drugs or even genes into cells. So far, the only way of testing these approaches has been to wait for the desired effect to show More...

God does not throw dice – but do bacteria?

Madeleine Leisner and Jan-Timm Kuhr

Many properties of any living being are encoded in its genetic material. This includes the species of an organism, but also many aspects of its appearance: For instance the color of the human eye is encoded in the DNA. Even for identical twins having the very same genetic material, there exist physical differences which are manifested for example in liver spots or fingerprints. More...

A nano-positioning system for macromolecular structural analysis

Ioanna Andrecka and Adam Muschielok

Very often, the positions of flexible domains within macromolecules as well as within macromolecular complexes cannot be determined by standard structural biology methods. To overcome this problem, we developed a method that uses probabilistic data analysis to combine single-molecule measurements with X-ray crystallography data. more...

Species diversity by pattern formation

Tobias Reichenbach

Our earth exhibits an enormous diversity of animal and plant species. This richness is essential for the viability of ecological systems. It comes with a complex network of interactions that occur between the different species, such as predator-prey relationships or symbiotic dependences. Conceptual explanations of species diversity therefore quickly run into fundamental problems. More...

Molecular Force Sensor Controls Growth of Muscles

Elias Puchner

Olympians in Peking probably didn’t think about the molecular function and regulation of their muscles during competitions. They must have been much more interested in the question if their training and the growth of their muscles had been ideal. But how does the muscle measure the mechanical stress during training and “notices” when to perform better?  More...

On the Way to Molecular Resolution with the Help of Blinking Molecules

Christian Steinhauer

To make smallest structures within a cell visible and thus being able to observe them in detail is a crucial aspect of biological research. For this task, fluorescence microscopy is a powerful tool; however, the image resolution is limited because of the diffraction of light: If you want to display a tiny point-like source of light such as for example a light-emitting molecule of about one nanometer More...