Institut für Röntgenphysik - Salditt Gruppe
Research group “Structure of biomolecular assemblies and x-ray physics
Our group “Structure of biomolecular assemblies and x-ray physics” studies soft matter and biomolecular assemblies, from the molecular level to biological cells and tissues. We seek to describe the non-crystalline self-assembly of biomolecular systems in quantitative physical terms, and we want to understand how functional properties of biomolecular assemblies depend on their nanoscale structure and dynamics. To access the required length and time scales, we adapt and develop x-ray based methods for structure analysis in non-crystalline, hydrated states, and in the native functional environments. Since diffraction methods are mostly restricted to large ensembles and relatively well-ordered and homogeneous structures, we currently extend x-ray diffraction to x-ray (diffractive) imaging in many of our studies. For example, we use nano-focused x-ray beams to study biomolecular assemblies in cells and holographic phase contrast x-ray tomography to study cells in biological tissues. In our experiments, we want to get a maximum of information from a minimum of photons. This entails significant efforts in optics, including optimized focusing, wave-front control, coherence, phase retrieval, reconstruction algorithms, information theory and image processing. Some of this work is useful for biomedical imaging in a broader sense.
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