Homan Body Odours: Exploring Chemical Signatures
Cooperation of the Faculties of Science, Medicine, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Engineering
Coordinator: Dr. Helene Loos
Participants: Dr. Eva Kiesswetter, PD Dr. Stefan Wirtz, Prof. Roland Lang, Prof. Björn Eskofier, Prof. Nicolas Rohleder
Chemical signals play a major role in physiological processes and are potent modulators of behaviour. The possible implication of chemosensory information in human social interaction, however, has long been neglected. Despite this, evidence is accumulating that an individual’s chemical signature bears not only information about genetically determined traits, but also about transient states such as the individual’s emotional or health status. The emerging field of human chemocommunication hence offers the intriguing possibility to make use of body odour signatures as an unobtrusive measure of internal states. The goal of this project is to develop tools for a new chemocommunication platform that is about to be established in a collaborative project of this consortium, including data scientists, psychologists, medical scientists, and chemists.
Chemistry in Life Cells
(Cooperation of the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy and the Department of Medicine, Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Andriy Mokhir)
An interdisciplinary team covering fields of organic chemistry (Mokhir, Schatz, Tsogoeva, Jux), pharmacetical chemistry (Heinrich), physical chemistry (Guldi), theoretical chemistry (Beierlein, Clark) and medicine (Prante) is working since 01.01.2017 on the development of chemical bond-forming reactions (C-O, C-S, C-Se, C-C), which are compatible with live cells. These reactions should lead to formation of either drugs or easily detectable (e.g. fluorescent, radioactive) compounds. The results, which can be obtained in this project, can potentially lead to new treatment methods for diseases like cancer and chronic inflammation as well as to novel diagnostic tools.
Singlet fission in novel organic materials - an approach towards highly-efficient solar cells
(Cooperation of the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy and the Department of Physics, Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Thomas Fauster)
Participants: Profs. Guldi, Tykwinski
One strategy to improve solar-cell efficiency is to generate two excited electrons from just one photon through singlet fission, which is the conversion of a singlet into two triplet excitons. In a concerted effort between synthetic and physical chemistry, surface and molecular physics and theoretical calculations the fundamental physical processes of singlet fission shall be clarified. This understanding will lead to a knowledge-based design and realization of molecules exploiting singlet fission in highly-efficient next-generation solar cells using environmentally-friendly and inexpensive materials.
(Cooperation of the Faculties of Medicine and Sciences, Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Monika Pischetsrieder)
Participants: Prfs. Pischetsrieder, Friedland (Leuner), Gmeiner, Büttner
Neurotrition describes the interaction between nutrition and the way the brain functions (neurofunction). Nutritional components and diet can modulate brain functionality and brain activity, while the brain’s activity patterns influence the quality and the quantity of nutritional intake. What is unclear in these two cases is how this happens. The neurotrition project, therefore aims to bring together the FAU’s expertise from the fields of science, medicine and medical technology, to systematically study neurotrition on various functional levels. On the one hand, the project hopes to find out how brain functionality is influenced by nutritional substances, and on the other, how neurophysiological processes influence the amount and the type of food consumed.
Medicinal Chemistry: Redox-Active Small Inorganic Molecules as Biological Mediators and Therapeutic Drugs
(Cooperation of the Faculties of Medicine and Sciences, Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Ivana Ivanovic-Burmazovic)
Participants: Prfs. Ivanovíc-Burmazovíc, Burzlaff, Fink
The research team of the EFI project ‘Medicinal Redox Inorganic Chemistry’ examines redox-active metal complexes and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), both capable of inactivating or modifying ROS/RNS. Here, the research focus is two-fold: the metal complexes and hydrogen sulfide will be studied (a) as pharmacological tools for analysing the function of ROS/RNS in (patho)physiological processes and (b) as agents for the regulation of the intracellular redox status and immune responses, as well as for the treatment of disease states related to immunodeficiency, inflammation/infection and neuropathology.
TOPbiomat: Bioactive materials, cell and tissue printing: New therapeutic approaches for organ level tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
(Cooperation of the Faculties of Engineering, Medicine and Sciences, Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Aldo R. Boccaccini)
Participants: Prof. Clark
The overall aim of this project is the fundamental research and development of cell-based tissue structures and, based on this, the complete regeneration of damaged organs, for example, the regeneration of bones with integrated vessels. It is intended to reproduce the micro-anatomical structure of bones and blood vessels based on the combination of new manufacturing processes for three-dimensional scaffolds in conjunction with bioactive materials, specific growth factors and patients’ own cells. It is hoped that these processes will pave the way for new intelligent therapies via the application of customised biomaterials and the production of complete organs or parts of organs in the laboratory or directly in the operating theatre on or in patients. This combination would eliminate the need for the complicated and protracted cultivation of tissues.
Next generation solar power
(Cooperation of the Faculties of Engineering and Sciences, Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Dirk Guldi)
Participants: Prof. Guldi
The ever-increasing demand for energy has lead to a significant increase in the research and development of alternative, non-fossil fuels. The research project “Next generation solar power” has set itself the objective of developing a groundbreaking platform in a bid to produce chemical fuels using solar power. In doing so, the new centre will focus on future generations of photovoltaics, nanotubular metal oxide architecture (NMOA) for solar water thermolysis and artificial leaves (AL). Finally, it is hoped that fuel and electricity will be produced as efficiently and as sustainably as possible and that energy costs will be comparable to those of current energy generation from fossil fuels.
The research project “Next generation solar power”, which already receives funding from external sources, was granted the status of an ideational Emerging Field Project due to its outstanding academic quality.