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The research of the Kröger group focuses on diatoms, which are a large group of eukaryotic microalgae. We apply biochemical, molecular genetic, and cell biological methods to investigate two remarkable biological phenomena exhibited by diatoms: silica biomineralization and underwater adhesion.
Silica Biomineralization of diatoms is a fascinating example for cellular morphogenesis, and a paradigm for the synthesis of hierarchically nano- to micropatterned inorganic materials in nanotechnology. We aim to elucidate the composition and molecular mechanism of the underlying biomolecular machinery that enables diatom silica morphogenesis. This will reveal fundamental principles for biological mineral formation and cellular morphogenesis. For further information please follow this link: www.nanomee.de
Using synthetic (bio)chemistry and synthetic biology we aim to utilize the mineral forming capabilities of proteins and entire diatom cells, respectively, to develop functional organic-inorganic hybrid materials with novel structures and properties (Bionanotechnology).
Bioadhesion of diatoms is interesting for a wide range of applications, because many diatoms are capable of adhering to any surface (artificial or natural) under water. We aim to identify and characterize the biomolecules that enable diatom underwater adhesion, and study their mechanism of action. This will enable the development of molecular mimics using synthetic (bio)chemistry, and will allow to test their adhesive properties of such biomimetic molecules under a variety of technologically and medically relevant conditions.