“What I cannot create, I do not understand” (Richard Feynman)
An ambitious goal in nanoscience is the vision of artificial assemblies with nanoscale architecture, which operate at the molecular level and perform specific functions at a cellular level or within a cellular system, in short: nanoagents. Over the last decade we have learnt how to manipulate single molecules and how to position and integrate nanoscale elements in nanosystems. The challenge remains to control and direct molecular processes within artificial nanoconstructs and to optimize nanoscale structures for most efficient operations.
The leading idea of the SFB is to design synthetic biomolecular constructs, nanoagents, which fulfil biomimetic or entirely novel functions. We will study the artificial combination of molecules, which are capable of carrying out cascaded processes in vitro and investigate how cells react to artificially arranged molecules on surfaces as well as to intracellular nanoagents. The SFB combines physical and chemical approaches for the assembly and positioning of biological molecules, develops nanotechnology methods to follow molecular processes at the nanoscale over time and comprises theoretical modelling from the molecular to the mesoscopic scale. Area A, “Spatio-temporal control in nanoscale reaction networks”, brings together projects that study spatial organisation on DNA nanoscaffolds or lipid membrane compartments and use a novel design of interfaces to investigate fundamental aspects of synthetic reaction networks or reconstituted networks in synthetic environments. The area B, “Nanosystems controlling cellular dynamics”, aims to provide proof of concept that artificial molecular constructs are able to perform controlled actions inside living cells or act as guidance cues to control cell migration.
left: SFB logo assembled by single fluorescent molecules using cut&paste technology (araea A), right: LMU logo represented by living cells on microstructured surface (area B)
The SFB1032 is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)