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Welcome to the Braun lab !dieter_2014

Can we create living systems in the lab? Our aim is to recreate the first steps of molecular evolution in microscale experiments. We study the nonequilibrium settings that could create from dead molecules an autonomous mechanism of Darwinian evolution.

One of our focus are asymmetrically heated open cracks in rocks. They can host molecular evolution by an unexpected combination of molecular, thermal and fluidic effects. The temperature difference induces laminar convection which thermocycles genetic molecules for replication. At the same time, polymerization and accumulation is mutually enhanced in a hyperexponential fashion. Furthermore, the thermal gradient selectively traps large over small molecular complexes from a feeding inflow.

We clarify the microscopic physics behind the motion of molecules in a temperature difference, study the nonequilibrium physics of pH gradients, have established methods to driven microfluidics by light and have all-optically studied reaction kinetics and thermophoresis in living cells.

Especially, we developed an all-optical method to measure the binding affinity of biomolecules in complex biological fluids such as serum. Former PhD students Stefan Duhr and Philipp Baaske founded the startup company NanoTemper Technologies (Deutscher Innovationspreis 2012, Step Award 2012) that sell instruments and technology to quantify biomolecule interaction and probe enzyme activity.

Selected recent publications and prizes

wurstUnderstanding the similarity in thermophoresis between single- and double-stranded DNA or RNA

Maren Reichl, Mario Herzog, Ferdinand Greiss, Manuel Wolff, and Dieter Braun
Physical Review E 91, 062709 (2015), doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.91.062709

replication_selectionHeat flux across an open pore enables the continuous replication and selection of oligonucleotides towards increasing length

Moritz Kreysing, Lorenz Keil, Simon Lanzmich and Dieter Braun
Nature Chemistry (2015) doi:10.1038/nchem.2155
News in ScienceMag, News and Views by Irene Chen, Science's Editors Choice, Chemistry World, Science Daily, Scinexx, Nature World News, Tech Times, Press release, Radio Eins, Der Spiegel, Deutschlandfunk.

thermal_sieveThermooptical molecule sieve on the microscale

Natan Osterman and Dieter Braun
Applied Physics Letters 073508 (2015), doi:10.1063/1.4907357

grunderpreis Stefan Duhr and Philipp Baaske

with their Team won the Gründerpreis in the category "Aufsteiger"
for the NanoTemper Technologies Startup. Congratulations!

cellthermoThermophoretic Manipulation of Molecules Inside Living Cells

Maren R. Reichl and Dieter Braun
JACS 136, 15955–15960 (2014) doi:10.1021/ja506169b
Article on Phys.org

simonsOur lab was able to win funding ($1.500.000 over five years) by the
Collaboration on the Origins of Life Investigator Award!

The competition was stiff: 2 out of 140 were funded.

bubbleThermophoresis in Nanoliter-Droplets Quantifies Aptamer Binding

Susanne Seidel, Niklas Markwardt, Simon Lanzmich, Dieter Braun
Angewandte Chemie 53, 7948–7951 (2014), doi: 10.1002/anie.201402514

pegDetection of Thermoresponsive Polymer Phase Transition in Dilute Low-Volume Format by Microscale Thermophoretic Depletion

Manuel Wolff, Dieter Braun and Michael A. Nash
Analytical Chemistry 86, 6797–6803 (2014), DOI: 10.1021/ac5008283

electro_thermophoresisWhy charged molecules move across a temperature gradient: the role of electric fields

Maren Reichl, Mario Herzog, Alexandra Götz and Dieter Braun
Physical Review Letters 112, 198101 (2014)
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.198101
Synopsis in PRL, Press release.

antimoneyStatistical Mechanics of a Time-Homogeneous System of Money and Antimoney.

Matthias Schmitt, Andreas Schacker and Dieter Braun
New Journal of Physics 16, 033024 (2014) doi:10.1088/1367-2630/16/3/033024
Beitrag im Deutschlandfunk, Article on Phys.org, Telepolis

cgmpDry polymerization of 3',5'-cyclic GMP to long strands of RNA

Matthias Morasch, Christof Mast, Johannes Langer, Pierre Schilcher and Dieter Braun, ChemBioChem 15, 879–883 (2014), doi: 10.1002/cbic.201300773



lebendiges_NGGÜbersichtsartikel: Lebendiges Nichtgleichgewicht

Christof Mast, Friederike M. Möller und Dieter Braun
Physik Journal 10, 29 (2013) [PDF]
RadioWissen broadcast on the Origin of Life [22Min.]

proteinase3A monoclonal antibody (MCPR3-7) interfering with the activity of proteinase 3 by an allosteric mechanism.

Lisa C. Hinkofer, Susanne A. I. Seidel, Brice Korkmaz, Francisco Silva, Amber M. Hummel, Dieter Braun, Dieter E. Jenne, Ulrich Specks
Journal of Biological Chemistry doi:10.1074/jbc.M113.495770 (2013)

polymerization_trapEscalation of Polymerization in a Thermal Gradient

Christof B. Mast, Severin Schink, Ulrich Gerland and Dieter Braun
PNAS 110, 8030-8035 (2013), doi:10.1073/pnas.1303222110 [PDF]
Beitrag im Deutschlandfunk

step_award Stefan Duhr and Philipp Baaske

with their Team managed to win the 100.000 Euro STEP Award for the NanoTemper Technologies Startup. Congratulations!

labelfreeLabel-Free Microscale Thermophoresis Discriminates Sites and Affinity of Protein–Ligand Binding [PDF]

Susanne Seidel, Christoph J. Wienken, Sandra Geissler, Moran Jerabek-Willemsen, Stefan Duhr, Alwin Reiter, Dirk Trauner, Dieter Braun, Philipp Baaske, Angewandte Chemie 51, 10656–10659 (2012), DOI: 10.1002/anie.201204268 (2012)

ahaThermal, Autonomous Replicator Made from Transfer RNA

Hubert Krammer, Friederike M. Möller, and Dieter Braun
PRL 108, 238104 (2012). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.238104
Links: APS Synopsis

innovation Stefan Duhr and Philipp Baaske

with their Team managed to win the Deutsche Innovationspreis for the NanoTemper Technologies Startup. Congratulations!

lippok Direct Detection of Antibody Concentration and Affinity in Human Serum Using Microscale Thermophoresis

Svenja Lippok, Susanne A. I. Seidel, Stefan Duhr, Kerstin Uhland, Hans-Peter Holthoff, Dieter Jenne and Dieter Braun
Analytical Chemistry 84, 3523–3530 (2012). DOI:10.1021/ac202923j

rnareactorEmergence of Information Transmission in a Prebiotic RNA Reactor

Benedikt Obermayer, Hubert Krammer, Dieter Braun, and Ulrich Gerland
PRL 107, 018101 (2011). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.018101
Links: APS Viewpoint, PhysOrg

gpcrPeptide surfactants for cell-free production of functional G-protein-coupled receptors

Xiaoqiang Wang, Karolina Corina, Philipp Baaske, Christoph J. Wienken, Moran Jerabek-Willemsen, Stefan Duhr, Dieter Braun, and Shuguang Zhang
PNAS 108, 9049-9054 (2011)

mstnatcomProtein-binding assays in biological liquids using microscale thermophoresis [PDF]

Christoph J. Wienken, Philipp Baaske, Ulrich Rothbauer, Dieter Braun and Stefan Duhr
Nature Communications 1, 100 (2010)
Links: Bionity, Research Highlight Nature Methods

replication_trapThermal Trap for DNA Replication [PDF]

Christof B. Mast and Dieter Braun
Physical Review Letters 104, 188102 (2010)
Press: Physics Today, FAZ, Nano 3Sat, Movie:Focus Online, Der Standard, Sueddeutsche, New Scientist, SciNexx

binding_aptamerOptical Thermophoresis for Quantifying the Buffer Dependence of Aptamer Binding [PDF]

Philipp Baaske, Christoph J. Wienken, Philipp Reineck, Stefan Duhr, Dieter Braun, Angewandte Chemie 49, 2238-2241 (2010)
Press: Deutschlandfunk (Radio)

imaging_kineticsHybridization Kinetics is Different Inside Cells [PDF]

Ingmar Schoen, Hubert Krammer and Dieter Braun
PNAS 106, 21649–21654 (2009)

molecular_conveyorAn Optical Conveyor for Molecules [PDF]

Franz M. Weinert and Dieter Braun
Nano Letters 9, 4264-4267 (2009)

optical_pumpingOptically driven fluid flow
along arbitrary microscale patterns
using thermoviscous expansion

Franz M. Weinert and Dieter Braun
Journal of Applied Physics 104, 104701 (2008)

Hydrothermal_AccumulationFrom the cover:
Extreme Accumulation of Nucleotides in Simulated Hydrothermal Pore Systems

Philipp Baaske, Franz M. Weinert, Stefan Duhr, Kono H. Lemke, Michael J. Russell, Dieter Braun
PNAS 104, 9346–9351 (2007)

[Commentary by Eugene V. Koonin, PNAS 104, 9105-9106 (2007)]

ThermophoresisFrom the cover:
Why molecules move along a temperature gradient

Stefan Duhr and Dieter Braun
PNAS 103, 19678–19682 (2006)

[Commentary by Dean Astumian, PNAS 104, 3-4 (2007)]

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