Siegel der Universität Heidelberg                                                                                                   


PhD Thesis in Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry


Lateral Diffusion and Correlation of Membrane Proteins by the Combination of Single Molecule Microscopy and Surface Scattering


Physical Chemistry of Biosystems, Univ. Heidelberg (Prof. M. Tanaka)


Within the graduate course GRK 1114 “Optical Techniques for Measurement of Interfacial Transport Phenomena”, we develop new experimental and theoretical tools to quantitatively determine (i) the frictional drags exerted to membrane proteins (e.g. various surface glycoproteins from trypanosoma) and (ii) the influence of external fields, e.g. hydrodynamic shear fields (micro-fluidics) or tangential electric fields (membrane electrophoresis) on their lateral correlation/diffusion.


The lateral diffusion of proteins in the length scales of some tens of nm up to some tens of µm can be tracked by the two color single molecule tracking microscopy developed in our lab, while the lateral correlation of proteins can be determined by the grazing-incidence small angle x-ray/neutron scattering with a micro-focused beam. X-ray/neutron scattering experiments will be conducted at large facilities such as European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Grenoble) and Institute Laue-Langevin (Grenoble).


If you have interests, please contact:

Prof. Motomu Tanaka (

M.Sc. Wasim Abuillan (



M. Tanaka and E. Sackmann, Nature, 437, 656 (2005)

O. Purrucker, A. Förtig, R. Jordan, E. Sackmann, M. Tanaka, Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 078102 (2007)

R. Oliveira, E. Schneck, B. Quinn, O. Konovalov, K. Brandenburg, T. Gutsmann, T. Gill, C. Hanna, D. Pink, M. Tanaka, Phys. Rev. E, 81, 041901 (2010).