PD Dr. Theobald Lohmueller
Lehrstuhl für Photonik und Optoelektronik
Nano-Institut München und Fakultät für Physik
Bioplasmonics & Nanochemistry
I am interested in the physical chemistry of plasmonic nanomaterials and their application to living systems. My research efforts encompass the synthesis and characterization of nanostructured materials with a particular emphasis on self-assembly based nanofabrication techniques and synthetic phospholipid membranes. This combination allows to mimic biological interfaces with defined chemical composition and physical properties to imbue nonliving matter with the functionality of dynamic living systems.One of the major aims is to integrate nanooptics and plasmonic devices with supported membranes to study and manipulate the biophysical and chemical properties of single membrane receptors and molecules by Raman- and fluorescence spectroscopy. This approach can be translated to many different cell and tissue types with applications in biomedicine as well as biosensor development and drug targeting.
Optothermal Manipulation of Plasmonic Nanoparticles
Noble metal particles feature intriguing optical properties that can be utilized to manipulate them by means of light. Gold nanoparticles, for example, are subject to optical forces when they are irradiated with a focused laser beam which renders it possible to print, manipulate, and optically trap them in two- and three dimensions. Light absorbed by gold nanoparticles is at the same time very efficiently converted into heat and single particles can thus be used as a fine tool to apply heat to only a nanoscopic area.
I want to investigate the potential that arises from simultaneous particle guiding and heating to develop new methods to synthesize nanomaterials, control chemical reaction, and to study biological processes on the nanoscale.
Flow Monitoring with Optical Tweezers
The propulsion strategies of biological swimmers are an exciting area of research. Flagellated bacterial cells, for example, demonstrate that the conversion of rotational motion to translational motion is an effective strategy for movement in the low Reynold’s number regime. We study how optically trapped microparticles can be used as an ultrasensitive, microphone-type detector to quantitatively measure the movement and faint vibrations that are generated by individual living cells. This approach highlights a new detection principle for single cell observations that doesn’t require staining, fluorescence labeling, or any further interference with the analyzed cells which renders it possible to gain insight on the vital response of microorganisms to their environment well beyond the limit of standard microscopy.
CeNS, SFB 1032, NIM, BaCaTec