Göttinger Graduiertenschule für Neurowissenschaften, Biophysik und Molekulare Biowissenschaften

Rehfeldt, Florian, Dr.*

  • 2000 Diploma in Physics, Technische Universität München, Germany
  • 2004 PhD in Physics, Technische Universität München, Germany
  • 2005 Postdoc, Biophysics Institute E22, Technische Universität München, Germany
  • 2006-2008 Feodor-Lynen fellow of the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation, Physics Department and Chemical Engineering Department, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • 2008-2009 Senior post-doctoral researcher, 3rd Institute of Physics - Biophysics, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany
  • since 2010 research group leader, 3rd Institute of Physics - Biophysics, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany

Major Research Interests

In the last decade it became evident that mechanical stimuli are as important for biological cells as biochemical ones. We are interested in elucidating how cells physically interact with their environment and integrate mechanical cues into their biochemical signalling pathways eventually affecting such complex processes as stem cell differentiation.
One of the key players we are investigating is the acto-myosin cytoskeleton that generates contractile forces and connects the cell via integrins to the extra cellular matrix. Using state-of-the-art microscopy techniques (super resolution, life-cell imaging, x-ray microscopy) we analyze structure and dynamics of acto-myosin stress fibers in response to mechanical and biochemical cues and how the cytoskeleton further imapcts the morphology of the nucleus.
We are also designing and characterizing extracellular matrix models to mimick distinct in vivo niches. Here, we employ polymer chemistry and polymer physics techniques to tailor the hydrogel networks to our needs and characterize the visco-elastic behavior by bulk rheology, atomic force microscopy and micro-rheology using optical tweezers.

Homepage Department/Research Group

Selected Recent Publications

  • Swift, J., I. L. Ivanovska, A. Buxboim, T. Harada, P. C. D. P. Dingal, J. Pinter, J. D. Pajerowski, K. R. Spinler, J.-W. Shin, M. Tewari, F. Rehfeldt, D. W. Speicher and D. E. Discher (2013) Nuclear Lamin-A Scales with Tissue Stiffness and Enhances Matrix-Directed Differentiation. Science (341) 6149

  • Rehfeldt, F., A. E. X. Brown, M. Raab, S. Cai, A. L. Zajac, A. Zemel, and D. E. Discher (2012) Hyaluronic acid matrices show matrix stiffness in 2D and 3D dictates cytoskeletal order and myosin-II phosphorylation within stem cells. Integrative Biology 4, 422-430

  • Zemel, A., F. Rehfeldt, A. E. X. Brown, D. E. Discher, and S. A. Safran (2010) Optimal matrix rigidity for stress-fibre polarization in stem cells. Nat. Phys. 6, 468-473

  • Zemel, A., F. Rehfeldt, A. E. X. Brown, D. E. Discher, and S. A. Safran (2010) Cell shape, spreading symmetry, and the polarization of stress-fibers in cells. J. Phys.-Condes. Matter 22

  • Rehfeldt, F., A. J. Engler, A. Eckhardt, F. Ahmed, and D. E. Diseher (2007) Cell responses to the mechanochemical microenvironment - Implications for regenerative medicine and drug delivery. Adv. Drug Del. Rev. 59, 1329-1339