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Metal-organic frameworks: record-breakers in porosity

The search for endless emptiness - von Prof. Dr Stefan Kaskel

In recent years, metal-organic frameworks have been setting one record after another in relation to specific surface area, with over 7,000m2/g now being achievable. Their modular construction and the large number of functionalities that can be built into the lattice make them both interesting and highly promising for a wide variety of applications.

Cell experiments with optical tweezers are revolutionising biomedicine

Tweezing without touching - von Robert Meissner, Christina Alpmann, Álvaro Barroso, Prof. Dr. Cornelia Denz

Ultramodern imaging techniques such as the Nobel Prize-winning STED micro­scopy enable the investigation of organisms, cells, bacteria and even viruses, DNA or individual molecules at very high spatial and temporal resolution. Active intervention in these tiniest of biological structures has been largely limited to indirect methods, however. While new developments such as microtweezers and micromechanical clamps are promising, these devices generally...

Developments in analytical techniques in the academic field

New century... old challenges - von Ass. Prof. Dr. José C. Rodrigues

In 1897, J.J. Thomson presented the world’s first particle accelerator, along with what would become, years later, the initial mass detector. Following develop­ments in the 1940s, the equipment developed at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge in 1912 was destined to, revolutionise analytical chemistry. For his discovery of ‘negatively charged corpuscles’, which we now call the ­electron, Thomson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in...

Technische Universitaet (TU) Darmstadt furthers its connections by opening a new liaison office in Shanghai

Bridge to China - von Isabelle Harbrecht

International exchange and cooperation are becoming more and more important in the higher education sector; universities are competing globally for the brightest minds. China, one of Germany’s most important economic and political partners and a country that traditionally values education, has set the development of its vast human resources as a strategic goal. During the 12th Five-Year-Plan, government reached its goal of spending 4% of the annual...

Development of the next generation of synthetic extracellular matrices for 3D cell culture

Dessert for organ regeneration - von Prof. Dr V. Prasad Shastri, Aurélien Forget

Imagine that you are dining at a Japanese restaurant and at the end of the meal, the waiter serves you this beautifully ­laid out and decorated dessert. Besides being brightly colored and simply delicious, some of these desserts might remind you of what is called “pudding” in western cuisine. Believe it or not, these Far Eastern sweet deserts are made of agarose, a polysaccharide extracted from red algae, which has been used as a cooking ingredient...

Raman spectroscopy for biologists and clinicians

Photons on duty for health - von Dr Karin Schütze

Spectroscopy the bugbear for medical students and technicians: Asked by biologists or clinicians what exactly we are doing at CellTool® we originally answered, that we are developing a unique spectroscopic microscope system that enables easy cell analysis based on Raman spectroscopy. The two “non-words” in the world of biomedical scientists namely spectroscopy and Raman immediately caused to raise hackles and one could see how interest vanished....

The earliest plasma marker for myocardial infarction

Fabulous FABP - von Prof Dr Reinhard Renneberg, Prof. Dr Jan F.C. Glatz

The application of Fatty Acid-Binding Protein (FABP) as a plasma marker for the diagnosis of acute myo­cardial infarction was first suggested in 1988. Currently, FABP is proven to have added value for the diagnosis­ of patients presenting with chest pain suggestive of myocardial infarction, especially in the early hours after onset of symptoms. The routine application of FABP for this purpose not only will improve patient outcome but also markedly...