Prof. (apl.) Dr. Reiner Dahint – Biosensors and Biomaterials Research Group
The activities of the Biosensor and Biomaterials Research Group are focused on a detailed understanding of the interaction of biomolecules with artificial surfaces, which is important for many medical, biochemical and biotechnological applications. Inter alia, we investigate new methods for the specific detection of dissolved molecules, the mechanisms of joint lubrication, and the impact of physicochemical surface parameters on protein adsorption and function. In this context, not only homogeneous but also chemically micro- and nanostructured surfaces are of major interest. By the use of acoustic wave-based and optical sensors, adsorption and binding processes are monitored in situ without the necessity of labeling the molecules. One of our major goals is the label-free in situ analysis of biospecific interactions in high-density peptide arrays.
The derivatized surfaces are analyzed by surface analytical techniques such as infrared spectroscopy (FT-IRRAS, ATR-IR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). In addition, neutron and X-ray reflectometry is used to characterize solid/liquid interfaces as well as organic films and biological adsorbates. The investigations are directed towards a precise control of adsorption and binding processes via specific variation of surface properties.
Latest research focuses on the development of optically responsive nano-composite layers for the label-free in situ detection of binding events in high-density peptide arrays, the contribution of lipids and polysaccharides to joint lubrication, the control of protein conformation on synthetic surfaces, and the set-up of a new neutron reflectometer with integrated ATR-IR spectroscopy at the Helmholtz Center Berlin (HZB). The latter instrument has been optimized for the in situ characterization of biofunctional interfaces and is accessible to a large community of users.