Department of Biophysics


The Biophysics Department conducts interdisciplinary research at the interface of biomolecular function, physical chemistry and radiochemistry. The activities contribute to the Helmholtz Research Programmes Nuclear Safety and Cancer Research in the Helmholtz-Association. We are member of the Cluster of Excellence "Physics of Life" (PoL) in Dresden. 

We are particularly interested in:

  • structural and dynamic aspects of biomembranes
  • conformational transitions in membrane proteins
  • interactions between (radio)metals and biomolecules
  • effects of metals and radionuclides on the metabolism of microorganisms (Televised MDR report)


The Biophysics department participates in the Dresden International Graduate School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering (DIGS-BB) supported by the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments.

Practicals on Molecular Spectroscopy and Calorimetry are offered. The following lectures are held at the technische Universität Dresden and are elgible for the Master Specialization "Soft Condensed Matter and Biological Physics":

  • Biological Thermodynamics (English, summer semester)
  • Biophysical Methods (German, winter semester)

Seminar lectures  for the International BIOTEC-Master Programme,

  • Vibrational Spectroscopy (English)
  • Absorption and Fluorescence Spectroscopy (English)

Experimental Methods

  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
  • Circular dichroism
  • Static and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy
  • Calorimetry
  • Mass-Spectroscopy

Spectroscopic data are evaluated in combination with Density Functional Theory to understand photochemoical and photophysical properties of organic complexes of actinides

Latest Publication

Large-Scale Formation of DNA Origami Lattices on Silicon

Tapio, K.; Kielar, C.; Parikka, J. M.; Keller, A.; Järvinen, H.; Fahmy, K.; Jussi Toppari, J.

In recent years, hierarchical nanostructures have found applications in fields like diagnostics, medicine, nano-optics, and nanoelectronics, especially in challenging applications like the creation of metasurfaces with unique optical properties. One of the promising materials to fabricate such nanostructures has been DNA due to its robust self-assembly properties and plethora of different functionalization schemes. Here, we demonstrate the assembly of a two-dimensional fishnet-type lattice on a silicon substrate using cross-shaped DNA origami as the building block, i.e., tile. The effects of different environmental and structural factors are investigated under liquid atomic force microscopy (AFM) to optimize the lattice assembly. Furthermore, the arm-to-arm binding affinity of the tiles is analyzed, revealing preferential orientations. From the liquid AFM results, we develop a methodology to produce closely-spaced DNA origami lattices on silicon substrate, which allows further nanofabrication process steps, such as metallization. This formed polycrystalline lattice has high surface coverage and is extendable to the wafer scale with an average domain size of about a micrometer. Further studies are needed to increase the domain size toward a single-crystalline large-scale lattice.


Foto: Gruppenbild der Abteilung "Biophysik" ©Copyright: Prof. Dr. Karim Fahmy

Group image of the "Biophysics" department


NameBld./Office+49 351 260Email
Prof. Dr. Karim Fahmy801/P3012952


NameBld./Office+49 351 260Email
Dr. Jana Oertel801/P3012911
Jenny Philipp801/P3033247
Prof. Dr. Satoru Tsushima801/P3022978

Other employees

NameBld./Office+49 351 260Email
Dr. Charlotte Kielar801/P3033247