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NIM nanosystems initiative munich

DNA origami surpasses important thresholds

As big as a virus capsid: dodecahedron constructed from DNA origami building blocks by self-assembly. Picture: H Dietz

The technique of DNA origami has not only broken out of the nanometer realm to build larger objects, but has also cut the production costs a thousand-fold. These innovations of NIM biophysicist Prof Hendrik Dietz open a whole new frontier for the technology.

Consolidator Grants

A. Högele (left) and L. Pollet (right). Picture: NIM

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced the award of the NIM scientists Prof Alexander Högele and Prof Lode Pollet with generously endowed ERC Consolidator Grants over a period of five years. Notably, both have previously received ERC Starting Grants from the ERC.

It´s a matter of gradients

Thermal energy forms pH gradient. Picture: C. Mast

Thermophoresis for the energy supply of early cells. NIM scientist Dr Christof Mast and his team suggest thermally driven formation of pH gradients and proton flux as source of chemical energy conversion in early stages of life.

17th Münchner Wissenschaftstage

Young scientists. Picture: I. Almstätter

“Shaping the future with Nano” was the topic of the Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM) and the Center for Nanoscience (CeNS) joint stand on the 17th Münchner Wissenschaftstage. General subject of this year´s event was – “Future plans – research, society, mankind”.

Pushing the limit

New quantum detector. Picture: F. Reinhard

Applying spin-based quantum sensors, a new detector protocol was developed by the NIM scientist Dr Friedemann Reinhard and his team. Compared to state-of-the-art detectors, considerably higher frequencies can be detected, potentially even single photons and phonons.

Viral or bacterial? New test for infections

Student team at the iGEM-competition in Cambridge (USA). Photo: iGEM-Team

Increasing antibiotic resistance is a global menace. In order to avoid unnecessary antibiotic medication, Munich students have developed a test system that can efficiently differentiate between bacterial and viral infections. At the international iGEM competition they were honored as 1st Runner Up in the category "overgraduate".

Location, location, location!

Cuvette with blue-luminescent carbon dots. Picture: S. Bhattacharyya

The optical and photocatalytic properties of so-called carbon dots can be precisely tuned by controlling the positions of nitrogen atoms introduced into their structure. The NIM scientists Prof Dr Jochen Feldmann and Dr Alexander Urban examine applications of those C-dots.

Ernst Wagner is member of the European Academy of Sciences

Wagner´s lecture. Picture: EurASc

With a lecture on the “Chemical evolution of carriers for use in nanomedicine” Prof Ernst Wagner presented insights into his research to the members of the European Academy of Sciences. We are proud to announce that he is one of the 2017 newly elected members of the society!

New flexibility

Pentacen semiconductor film. Picture: B. Nickel

Flexible graphene semiconductor films in photovoltaic devices and screens – the EU fosters the development with an 847.000 Euro grant. The NIM scientist Dr Bert Nickel collaborates with Prof Andrey Turchanin, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, on this EU Graphene Flagship.

Solar Fuels

SolTech participants. Picture: NIM

NIM scientists and worldwide experts vividly discussed about the future of solar energy and application possibilities at the 6th SolTech Conference in Munich.

Diffusion 2.0

Corrugated channel model. Picture: P. Hänggi

The theory about particle transport through ionic channels and nanopores needs to be rewritten. NIM scientist Prof Peter Hänggi and his team prove their breakthrough research with simulations and experiments on particle diffusion in channel models.

Shrinking the proton again

Laser spectroscopy. Picture: MPQ

High precision laser spectroscopy analysis of atomic hydrogen confirmed the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen. This was proven by the NIM Prof Theodor Hänsch and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) in Garching.

Fluctuating conditions favor cooperation

Picture: hiloi / fotolia.com

Cooperative interactions favor the survival of bacterial populations living on variable resources. This was shown by simulations of the NIM scientist Prof Erwin Frey and colleagues, for the first time considering both, environmental and demographic fluctuations.

Award for innovative tumor therapy

Winning team (H. Leonhardt: center). Picture: www.bio-m.org

The NIM scientist Prof Heinrich Leonhardt and colleagues from LMU Munich and from Berlin have won the "m4 award" of the Free State of Bavaria. The researchers received the prize for their project "Tubulis Therapeutics", next generation antibody conjugates for tumor cell-specific drug delivery.

Successful NIM NanoDay

Already shortly after the opening of the NIM NanoDay on 10 September 2017 the Lichthof of the LMU was bustling with visitors. The young NIM scientists enthusiastically presented their research, people were enjoying scientific talks and physics comedy and the offered lab visits were completely booked and a great success.

ERC Starting Grant for Alexander Urban

NIM member Alexander Urban has received a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). In his ERC project the physicist is going to explore and further develop so called halide-based perovskites for use in LEDs and lasers.

To operate, insert dimers

Complex consisting of cGAS dimers and cytosolic DNA. Picture: K-P Hopfner

The presence of DNA in mammalian cell cytoplasm triggers an immune response by binding to a dimeric enzyme, which inserts between DNA double helices to form the “rungs” of a ladder-like structure, as the NIM scientist Prof Leonhardt and his team have now shown.

Red, green, yellow, blue …

Foto: Foto Ruhrgebiet / fotolia.com

The color of the light emitted by an LED can be tuned by altering the size of their semiconductor crystals. LMU researchers have now found a clever and economical way of doing just that, which lends itself to industrial-scale production.

Controlled Release Society awards Ernst Wagner

NIM scientist Prof. Ernst Wagner has been honored by the Controlled Release Society with a membership in the "CRS College of Fellows". Wagner is coordinator of the NIM area "Biomedical Nanotechnologies" and specialized in the development and delivery of nucleic acid based therapeutics.

Chatting coordinates heterogeneity

Bacterial populations can, under certain conditions, react in a coordinated manner to chemical messages produced by a minority of their members, as a new theoretical study carried out by NIM biophysicists from LMU Munich shows.

Supramolecular materials with a time switch

Materials that assemble themselves and then simply disappear at the end of their lifetime are quite common in nature. NIM scientists and colleagues have now successfully developed supramolecular materials that disintegrate at a predetermined time – a feature that could be used in numerous applications.

Saving energy with a tiny spot of silver

In the future, computers are expected to run on light particles instead of electrons. To that end, researchers are testing the use of gold nanoparticle chains as light conductors. LMU scientists now demonstrate how a tiny spot of silver could save enormous amounts of energy in light computation.

Semiconductors as decal stickers

Put an end to error-prone evaporation deposition, drop casting or printing: Scientists from LMU Munich and FSU Jena have developed organic semiconductor nanosheets which they can easily remove from a perfect growth substrate and place onto other preferred substrates.

Funding for research network “SolTech” extended

The research network „Solar Technologies Go Hybrid“ (SolTech) will be funded with a total amount of 17 million Euros for an additional five years by the Free State of Bavaria. Among the members are numerous research groups of the NIM Area “Nanosystems for Energy Conversion” who highly benefit from the intensive exchange within the network.

ERC Grant for Thomas Carell

NIM member Prof. Thomas Carell has won an ERC Advanced Grant. In his new ERC project, “The Chemical Basis of RNA Epigenetics”, Carell will explore how and why organisms chemically modify the nucleoside subunits of the nucleic acids DNA and RNA.

The quickest route to the tip

Photo: pixabay.com

According to a theoretical model developed by LMU physicists, in cell protrusions, cargo-transporting motor proteins often get in each other’s way. The upshot is that freely diffusing proteins reach the leading edge faster.

Unlocking the secrets of the Achilles’ heel

Transition from tendon to bone connected by collagen fibers

Walking, running, jumping – every movement of the foot stretches the Achilles’ tendon and the loads can approach ten times the body weight. But the connection between the heel bone and Achilles’ tendon withstands this challenge. Scientists at TU Munich including NIM member Prof. Andreas Bausch has now discovered why.

A new spin on electronics

Our computer technology is based on the transport of electric charge in semiconductors. This technology’s potential will be soon reaching its limits since the components deployed cannot be miniaturized further. NIM scientists and colleagues demonstrate an alternative: using an electron’s spin to transmit information.

Hairpins help each other out

The evolution of cells and organisms is thought to have been preceded by a phase in which informational molecules like DNA could be replicated selectively. New work shows that hairpin structures make particularly effective DNA replicators.

Shaken, but not stirred

A team of researchers led by NIM physics professor Immanuel Bloch has experimentally realized an exotic quantum system which is robust to mixing by periodic forces.

What holds the heart together

Our hearts beat a life long. With every beat our heart muscle contracts and expands. How this can work throughout an entire life remains largely a mystery. NIM scientists from TU Munich and a team from Vienna have now measured the forces acting between the building blocks titin and α-actinin which stabilize the muscle.

Lighting up ultrathin films

Based on a study of the optical properties of novel ultrathin semiconductors, NIM researchers have developed a method for rapid and efficient characterization of these materials.

Learning from nature

A novel carbon nitride-based polymer is capable of storing electrons energized by sunlight for hours and releasing them on demand. The system might provide the basis for the storage of solar energy in the future.

Ernst Haage Prize for Aliaksandr Bandarenka

NIM member Prof. Aliaksandr Bandarenka (TU Munich) was awarded the Ernst Haage Prize 2016. The prize is given jointly by the Ernst Haage foundation and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion and endowed with 7.500 EUR. It honors young scientists for outstanding achievements in this research field.

Shaping up to make the cut

Before RNA copies of genes can program the synthesis of proteins, the non-coding regions are removed by the spliceosome. Munich researchers report that distinct conformations of a member of this molecular complex play a vital role in the process.

Genes on the rack

Physicists at LMU have developed a novel nanotool that provides a facile means of characterizing the mechanical properties of biomolecules. They constructed a molecular clamp out of artificial DNA strands that can be programmed to exert a defined force on a test molecule.

Tiny measuring device for humidity and solvent vapors

NIM scientists developed a measuring device which is only a few nanometers in size but fulfills two functions: it detects very low humidity levels and identifies vapors of organic solvents. The central part of the device is a stack of nanolayers.

Measuring forces in the DNA molecule

DNA normally has the structure of a double helix. Among other things, it is stabilized by stacking forces between base pairs. Scientists at the TUM have succeeded at measuring these forces for the very first time on the level of single base pairs. This new knowledge could help to construct precise molecular machines out of DNA.

Random walk into captivity

The cell’s internal skeleton undergoes constant restructuring. LMU physicists now show that its constituent proteins can be efficiently transported to their sites of action by diffusion – provided they can be arrested when they get there.

DNA dominos on a chip

Normally, individual molecules of genetic material repel each other. However, when space is limited DNA molecules must be packed together more tightly. This case arises in sperm, cell nuclei and the protein shells of viruses. An international team of physicists has now succeeded in artificially recreating this "DNA condensation" on a biochip.

Monday, 11 December, 2017

Integrated optomechanics and linear optics quantum circuits

Prof Dr Menno Poot, Physics Department, Technische Universität München, Germany


Friday, 08 December, 2017

Sculpting light by arranging optical components with DNA nanostructures

MRS Bulletin 42(12), 936-942. 2017



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