Research

The research at the ZQB combines experiment and theoretical physics with chemistry and medicine towards the common goal of achieving new modes of observation of biomedical systems, the understanding of the role of quantum mechanics in such systems as well as the application of these insights and techniques in the medical sciences. More specifically, theory and experiment are developing quantum sensors on the basis of colour centers in diamond that may operate under ambient conditions even inside cells. These nanometric sensors in diamond are tuned to measure temperature, pH, forces, nerve pulses and brain signals, and are sufficiently sensitive to detect magnetic signals even from single nuclei in individual proteins to provide tools that help unravel their structure and dynamics. These new modes of observation push the boundaries of what can be explored experimentally and motivate theoretical studies into the possible role of quantum dynamics for ultrafast biological processes at the nanoscale, in particular the role of electron vibrational coupling. In these studies we go beyond the traditional view of structure – function relationships by adding dynamics as an essential intermediate. Theory and experiment are also developing new methods based on diamond quantum technologies to achieve, even at room temperature, nuclear hyperpolarization of both nanoscale diamonds and of solutions for applications in magnetic resonance tomography to shed new light on a broad range of physiological processes including metabolic cancer imaging and targeted drug delivery.

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This work is crucially supported by the development of new methods for the attachment of various biomolecules (proteins, antibodies, drugs, etc.) to nanodiamonds for implementing the required molecular information to achieve cell targeted imaging, initiate cellular responses, and for tuning nanodiamond in vivo parameters without impairing their biocompatibility. In parallel, we are pursuing a material science effort to develop novel diamond quantum materials with optimized properties for the wide variety of designated applications. The diamond quantum sensors and new modes of observation of biomedical systems developed in the ZQB will support medical research in the ZQB to observe structure and dynamics even of individual G-protein coupled receptors and their interaction with ligands directly in the cell membrane. These receptors are of fundamental importance to biomedicine as they regulate a broad range of physiological processes ranging from HIV infection to the development of tumors and are the target of nearly half of all pharmaceutical compounds.

 

Quantum Technologies for the Life Sciences

Molecular Virology

Spin Qubits for Quantum Biosensing and Metrology

Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry

Publications

Recent publication

Unraveling in vivo brain transport of protein-coated fluorescent nanodiamonds, Moscariello, P.; Raabe, M.; Liu, W.; Bernhardt, S.; Qi, H.; Kaiser, U.; Wu, Y.; Weil, T.; Luhmann, H. J.; Hedrich, J. , Small 2019, 15 (42) 1902992. doi.org/10.1002/smll.201902992

High-Contrast Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Efficient Delivery of an Albumi. Nanotheranostic in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Xenografts, Hafner, S.; Raabe, M.; Wu, Y.; Zuo, Z.; Rasche, V.; Syrovets, T.; Weil, T.; Simmet. T.,  Advanced Therapeutics 2019, 2 (11) 1900084. doi.org/10.1002/adtp.201900084.

Sequence Programming with Dynamic Boronic Acid/Catechol Binary Codes, Hebel, M.; Riegger, A.; Zegota, M.M.; Kizilsavas, G.; Gačanin, J.; Pieszka M.; Lückerath T.; Coelho, J.A.S.; Wagner, M.; Gois P.M.P.; Ng, D.Y.W. Ng, Weil, T., Journal of the American Chemical Society 2019 141 (36) 14026–14031.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.9b03107

Transferrin-Coated Nanodiamond-Drug Conjugates for Ultralow Milliwatt Photothermal Applications, Harvey, S.; Raabe, M.; Ermakova, A.; Wu, Y.; Zapata T.; Chen C.; Lu H; Jelezko, F.; Ng, D.Y.W.; Weil, T., Advanced Therapeutics 2019 2 (11) 1900067 doi.org/10.1002/adtp.201900067

Supramolecular Toxin Complexes for Targeted Pharmacological Modulation of Polymorphonuclear Leukocyte Functions, Heck, A. J.; Ostertag, T.; Schnell, L.; Fischer, S.; Agrawalla, B. K.; Winterwerber, P.; Wirsching, E.; Fouler, M.; Frick, M.; Kuan, S. L.; Weil, T.; Barth, H.,  Advanced Healthcare Materials 2019, 8 (17) 1900665. doi.org/10.1002/adhm.201900665

Synthesis of Precision Poly(1,3-adamantylene alkylene)s via Acyclic Diene Metathesis Polycondensation, Friebel, J.; Ender, C.P.; Metzger, M.; Michels, J.; Wagner, M.; Wagener, K.B.; Weil, T.,  Macromolecules 2019, 52 (12) 4483–4491. doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.9b00294

High-Contrast Imaging of Nanodiamonds in Cells by Energy Filtered and Correlative Light-Electron Microscopy: Toward a Quantitative Nanoparticle-Cell Analysis, Han, S.; Raabe, M.; Hodgson, L.; Mantell, J.; Verkade, P.; Lasser, T.; Landfester, K.; Weil, T.; Lieberwirth, I.,  Nano Letters 2019, 19 (3), 2178-2185. doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b00752

High-Contrast Imaging of Nanodiamonds in Cells by Energy Filtered and Correlative Light-Electron Microscopy: Towards a Quantitative Nanoparticle-Cell Analysis, Han S.; Raabe, M.; Hodgson, L.; Mantell, J.; Verkade, P.; Lasser, T.; Landfester, K.; Weil, T.; Lieberwirth, I.,  Microscopy and Microanalysis 2019, 25, S2, 1056-1057.

Nanodiamond: Emerging material to solve biomedical challenges, Weil, T.,  Abstr. Pap. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 257, 22.

Breaking the quantum adiabatic speed limit by jumping along geodesics, – K. Xu, T. Xie, F. Shi, Z.-Y. Wang, X. Xu, P. Wang, Y. Wang, and M. B. Plenio, Science Advances, 5, eaax3800 (2019)

Efficient Simulation of Finite-Temperature Open Quantum Systems, D. Tamascelli, A. Smirne, J. Lim, S. F. Huelga, and M. B. Plenio, Physical Review Letters, 123, 090402 (2019)

 

Dissipation-Assisted Matrix Product Factorization, A. D. Somoza, O. Marty, J. Lim, S. F. Huelga, and M. B. Plenio, Physical Review Letters, 123, 100502 (2019)

 

Natural inhibitor of human cytomegalovirus in human seminal plasma. Lippold S, Braun B, Krüger F, Harms M, Müller JA, Groß R, Münch J, von Einem J.  J Virol. 2019 Jan 9. pii: JVI.01855-18. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01855-18. IF: 4.4.

Nucleic Acids as a Nature-Inspired Scaffold for Macromolecular Prodrugs of Nucleoside Analogues. Krüger F, Kumar V, Monge P, Conzelmann C, Smith N, Gothelf KV, Tolstrup M, Münch J*, Zelikin AN*.  Advanced Science. DOI: 10.1002/advs.201802095. * co-corresponding. IF: 12.4

PPI-Detect: A support vector machine model for sequence-based prediction of protein-protein interactions. Romero-Molina S, Ruiz-Blanco YB, Harms M, Münch J, Sanchez-Garcia E.  J Comput Chem. 2019 Feb 15. IF: 3.7

Guanylate-Binding Proteins 2 and 5 Exert Broad Antiviral Activity by Inhibiting Furin-Mediated Processing of Viral Envelope Proteins. Braun E, Hotter D, Koepke L, Zech F, Groß R, Sparrer KMJ, Müller JA, Pfaller CK, Heusinger E, Wombacher R, Sutter K, Dittmer U, Winkler M, Simmons G, Jakobsen MR, Conzelmann KK, Pöhlmann S, Münch J, Fackler OT, Kirchhoff F, Sauter D.  Cell Rep. 2019 May 14;27(7):2092-2104.e10. IF 7.8

 

Control of TLR7-mediated type I IFN signaling in pDCs through CXCR4 engagement – a new target for Lupus treatment. Smith N, Rodero MP, Bekaddour N, Bondet V, Ruiz-Blanco YB, Harms M, Mayer B, Badder-Meunier B, Quartier P, Bodemer C, Baudouin V, Dieudonné Y, Kirchhoff F, Sanchez Garcia E, Charbit B, Leboulanger N, Jahrsdörfer B, Richard Y, Korganow AS, Münch J, Nisole S, Duffy D, Herbeuval JP. Sci Adv. 2019 Jul 10;5(7):eaav9019. IF 11.5

 

Storage-Dependent Generation of Potent Anti-ZIKV Activity in Human Breast Milk. Conzelmann C, Zou M, Groß R, Harms M, Röcker A, Riedel CU, Münch J*, Müller JA*. Viruses. 2019 Jun 28;11(7). * co-corresponding authors.  IF 3.8.

Repeated Semen Exposure Decreases Cervicovaginal SIVmac251 infection in Rhesus Macaques. Abdulhaqq SA, Martinez M, Kang G, Rodriguez IV, Nichols SM, Beaumont D, Joseph J, Azzoni L, Yin X, Wise M, Weiner D, Liu Q, Foulkes A, Münch J, Kirchhoff F, Coutifaris C, Tomaras GD, Sariol C, Marx PA, Li Q, Kraiselburd EN, Montaner LJ. Nat Commun. 2019 Aug 21;10(1):3753. IF 11.8

MEK Inhibition Targets Cancer Stem Cells and Impedes Migration of Pancreatic Cancer Cells In Vitro and In Vivo. Walter K, Tiwary K, Trajkovic-Arsic M, Hidalgo-Sastre A, Dierichs L, Liffers ST, Gu J, Gout J, Schulte LA, Münch J, Seufferlein T, Sainz B Jr, Siveke JT, Rodriguez-Aznar E, Hermann PC.  Stem Cells Int. 2019 Jun 2;2019:8475389. IF 3.9

Bioassay for Endothelial Damage Mediators Retrieved by Hemoadsorption Biosensors and Bioelectronics. Denzinger M,  Ständker L. Ehlers K, Schneider JM, Schulz T, Hein T, Wiese S, Roecker A, Gross R, Münch J, Bracht H, Barth E, Weiss M , Georgieff M, Schneider M.  Sci. Reports, accepted

Initialization and Readout of Nuclear Spins via a Negatively Charged Silicon-Vacancy Center in Diamond – M. H. Metsch, K. Senkalla, B. Tratzmiller, J. Scheuer, M. Kern, J. Achard, A. Tallaire, M. B. Plenio, P. Siyushev, and F. Jelezko, Physical Review Letters, 122, 190503 (2019)

HIV-1 Vpu is a potent transcriptional suppressor of NF-κB-elicited antiviral immune responses - Langer S, Hammer C, Hopfensperger K, Klein L, Hotter D, De Jesus P.D, Herbert K.M, Pache L, Smith N, van der Merwe J.A, Chanda S.K, Fellay J, Kirchhoff F, Sauter D. (2019). . eLife: e41930.

Laser Emission from Self-Assembled Colloidal Crystals of Conjugated Polymer Particles in a Metal-Halide Perovskite Matrix - A. Mikosch, S. Ciftci, G. Tainter, R. Shivanna, B. Haehnle, F. Deschler and A. J. C. Kuehne, Chemistry of Materials, 31, 2590 (2019)
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b00307
 

N4BP1 restricts HIV-1 and its inactivation by MALT1 promotes viral reactivation - Yamasoba D, Sato K, Imamura T, Koepke L, Joas S, Reith E, Hotter D, Misawa N, Akaki K, Uehata T, Mino T, Yamashita A, Standley DM, Kirchhoff F, Sauter D, Koyanagi Y and Takeuchi, O. (2019). Nature Microb. 4: 1532-1544.

Guanylate-binding proteins 2 and 5 exert broad antiviral activity by inhibiting furin-mediated processing of viral envelope proteins - Braun E, Hotter D, Koepke L, Zech F, Groß R, Müller J, Wombacher R, Sutter K, Dittmer U, Winkler M, Simmons G, Pöhlmann S, Münch J, Fackler OT, Kirchhoff F and Sauter D. (2019). Cell Reports 27(7):2092-2104).

Blueprint for Nanoscale NMR - I. Schwartz, J. Rosskopf, S. Schmitt, B. Tratzmiller, Q. Chen, L.P. McGuinness, F. Jelezko, and M.B. Plenio, Sci. Rep., 9, 6938 (2019)
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-43404-2

 

Randomization of Pulse Phases for Unambiguous and Robust Quantum Sensing – Z.-Y. Wang, J. E. Lang, S. Schmitt, J. Lang, J. Casanova, L. McGuinness, T. S. Monteiro, F. Jelezko, and M. B. Plenio, Physical Review Letters, 122, 200403 (2019)
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.200403

IFI16 sequesters Sp1 to restrict HIV-1 transcription but is evaded by subtype C strains - Hotter D, Bosso M, Jønsson KL, Krapp C, Stürzel CM, Das A, Littwitz-Salomon E, Berkhout B, Russ A, Wittmann S, Gramberg T, Zheng Y, Martins LJ, Planelles V, Jakobsen MR, Hahn BH, Dittmer U, Sauter D, Kirchhoff F. (2019). Cell Host & Microbe 25(6):858-872.

Control of TLR7-mediated type I IFN signaling in pDCs through CXCR4 engagement-A new target for lupus treatment - Smith N, Rodero MP, Bekaddour N, Bondet V, Ruiz-Blanco Y.B, Harms M, Mayer B, Badder-Meunier B, Quartier P, Bodemer C, Baudouin V, Dieudonné Y, Kirchhoff F, Sanchez Garcia E, Charbit B, Leboulanger N, Jahrsdörfer B, Richard Y, Korganow AS, Münch J, Nisole S, Duffy D, Herbeuval JP. (2019). Science Adv. 5: eaav9019.

Structural basis for tetherin antagonism as a barrier to zoonotic lentiviral transmission - Buffalo CZ, Stuerzel C, Heusinger E, Kmiec D, Kirchhoff F, Hurley J, Ren X. (2019). Cell Host & Microbe 26, 1-10.

Semen Preconditioning Decreases Cervico-Vaginal SIVmac251 infection in Rhesus Macaques - Abdulhaqq SA, Martinez M, Kang G, Rodriguez IV, Nichols LM, Beaumont D, Joseph J, Azzoni L, Yin X, Wise M, Weiner D, Liu Q, Foulkes A, Münch J, Kirchhoff F, Coutifaris C, Tomaras G, Sariol C, Marx PA, Li Q, Kraiselburd EN, and Montaner LJ.  Nature Com. 10:3753.

Potential roles of Nef and Vpu in HIV-1 latency - Kmiec D, Srinivasachar S, Kirchhoff F. (2019). Future Virology 14, doi.org/10.2217/fvl-2018-0214.

Key Viral Adaptations Preceding the AIDS Pandemic - Sauter D, Kirchhoff F. (2019). Cell Host Microbe 25, 27-38.