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Austrian Academy of Sciences
Institute of Biophysics and Nanosystems Research

 Contact data
StreetSchmiedlstrasse 6 
ZIP, City, Region 8042 - Graz (Styria) 
Phone+43-316 4120 302 
Fax+43-316 4120 390 
EmailSend Email
 Contact person

Prof. Dr. Peter Laggner (Director)
 Employees (Total)
Total: 11-50  number of researches: 20

 Central aim of organisation
The mission of the IBN is to provide scientific insight into structure and interactions of matter at the level of nanosystems.

 Briefly describe your organisation
The Institute of Biophysics and Nanosystems Research (IBN) pursues basic and applied research programmes in bionanosciences and -technology, and in cutting-edge nanosystems methods for nanostructure analytics. It is organized in four research groups with thematic focussing on proteomics, lipidomics, complex materials of biomedical and pharmaceutical relevance, and nanosystems instrumentation. The IBN operates an international infrastructure user-facility, the Austrian SAXS beamline at the synchrotron radiation source ELETTRA, Trieste. Scientific staff covers expertise in physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering. IBN is actively involved in EC- and national research research programmes with a focus on knowledge sharing with industrial research and technology.

 Core Competency

Research & Development

 ICT sectors:
   - ICT Applications for Health      
   - Industrial Application     
   - GRID Computing     
   - Automation     
   - Robotics     
   - Design & Methods for Nanoelectronics     
   - Equipment & Materials for Nanoelectronics     

 ICT keywords
biophysics, nanosystems, SAXS (small-angle X-ray scattering), biological membranes, liposomal nanoparticles, apolipoprotein B-100, antimicrobial peptides, antiseptic peptides, antibiotics resistance
 RTD Experiences & Publications

 My organisation has been involved in projects funded by the following EU-programmes
  Coordinator  Partner 
EU Framework Programme (FP)
Other international co-operative research

 Austrian Research and Development Projects
  Coordinator  Partner 
Cooperative Projects

 RTD Experience
Working group R. PRASSL (Lipoproteins and Lipid Nanoparticles)
The WG Prassl was able to determine the domain structure of the 550 kD protein molecule of the low density lipoprotein (Apo B100 of the LDL) by a combination of neutron scattering and bioinformatics (Highlight 2006, ILL/Grenoble, http://www.ill.eu/fileadmin/users_files/Annual_Report/AR-06/page/data/17_2_1.pdf ). Hence, they developed an improved structural model of the LDL with a topographic image of the functional domains in the LDL-particle. These results disclose a new strategy of structural analysis: Since a complete analysis of the atomic structure of the LDL does not seem to be promising, henceforth the more promising approach of the analysis of parts of the Apo-B can be started in order to set up the analyzed parts afterwards, accordingly to the domain model.
Furthermore, different liposomal nanoparticle systems were established for the targeted application of the vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) directly in the lungs in order to develop an inhalation therapy as well as an imaging clinical diagnostics.

Working group K. LOHNER (Functional Lipidomics)
The WG Lohner is mainly engaged in the molecular action mode of defense peptides on cell membranes and the investigation of novel agents against antibiotics resistant germs, sepsis, and cancer. The interaction of antimicrobial and antitumor peptides with artificial membrane systems, e.g., model systems of S. aureus and cancer cells, have been biophysically characterized. In the frame of an EU-project coordinated by Lohner, highly active antimicrobial and antiseptic agents have been developed using the native peptide Lactoferricin as a matrix. A PCT-registration was submitted. Experiments performed on model systems consisting of the four most important lipid species by using the multifunctional human peptide LL-37, resulted in different effectivenesses characteristic for each lipid. This outcome clearly emphasizes the significant impact of the lipid composition of cell membranes.

Working group H. AMENITSCH (synchrotron radiation; Outstation at ELETTRA)
The WG Amenitsch is in charge of the Austrian SAXS-Beamline at Elettra which is integrated as an User-Facility in the international synchrotron research. In the frame of the EU-project SAXIER (http://www.saxier.org/), methodological developments in the fields of microfluidics and gas phase analysis were performed. Essential achievements in single particle structural analysis were achieved by the combination of laser-tweezers and synchrotron X-ray diffraction (ESRF-Highlights June 2007: http://www.esrf.eu/files/Newsletter/NL45.pdf). Thus, promising approaches regarding the interaction of single liposomal clusters were carried out. Furthermore, the investigations on the nanoscopic structural changes of the collagen in human arteries were finished, done by biaxial stretching experiments combined with simultaneous X-ray measurements.

Working group P. LAGGNER (Physical Chemistry)
The WG Laggner focuses its work on the development and the implementation of new methods and concepts in the field of nanosystems research. Thus, this group provides the basis for the other working groups at the IBN with emphasis on the structural and the dynamic properties of lyotropic liquid crystalline phases and their phase transitions. Moreover, the systematic investigation of multicomponent systems lipid mixtures and additives under variable temperature-concentration conditions provides essential knowledge on the local domain formation (clusters, rafts) and also on nanostructured carriers (cubosomes, hexosomes).
A second focus is the development of a lab X-ray technique: In this context, a prototype for a high-duty device with a 50-watt X-ray source was built in cooperation with equipment industry. This device bridged the gap between the conventional laboratory equipment and the high brilliant synchrotrons.

Articles in peer-reviewed journals 2007

Caracciolo, G., C. Marchini, D. Pozzi, R. Caminiti, H. Amenitsch, M. Montani, and A. Amici. 2007. Structural stabil-ity against disintegration by anionic lipids rationalizes the efficiency of cationic liposome/DNA complexes. Lang-muir 23 (8), 4498-4508.
Caracciolo, G., D. Pozzi, H. Amenitsch, and R. Caminiti. 2007. Interaction of lipoplexes with anionic lipids resulting in DNA release is a two-stage process. Langmuir 23 (17), 8713-8717.
Caracciolo, G., D. Pozzi, R. Caminiti, and H. Amenitsch. 2007. Two-dimensional lipid mixing entropy regulates the formation of multicomponent lipoplexes. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 110, 20829-35.
Caracciolo, G., D. Pozzi, R. Caminiti, G. Mancini, P. Luciani, and H. Amenitsch. 2007. Observation of a rectangular DNA superlattice in the liquid-crystalline phase of cationic lipid/DNA complexes. Journal of the American Chemical Society 129 (33), 10092-10093.
Caracciolo, G., D. Pozzi, R. Caminiti, C. Marchini, M. Montani, A. Amici, and H. Amenitsch. 2007. On the correla-tion between phase evolution of lipoplexes/anionic lipid mixtures and DNA release. Applied Physics Letters 91 (14), 143903.
Caracciolo, G., D. Pozzi, R. Caminiti, C. Marchini, M. Montani, A. Amici, and H. Amenitsch. 2007. Transfection efficiency boost by designer multicomponent lipoplexes. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes 1768 (9), 2280-2292.
Castro, Y., B. Julian, C. Re, B. Viana, H. Amenitsch, D. Grosso, and C. Sanchez. 2007. Synthesis, characterization and optical properties of Eu2O 3 mesoporous thin films. Nanotechnology 18, 5
Cojoc, D., E. Ferrari, V. Garbin, E. Di Fabrizio, H. Amenitsch, M. Rappolt, B. Sartori, P. Laggner, M. Burghammer, and C. Riekel. 2007. Scanning x-ray microdiffraction of optically manipulated liposomes. Applied Physics Letters 91 (23), 234107-13.
Croce, G., D. Viterbo, M. Milanesio, and H. Amenitsch. 2007. A mesoporous pattern created by nature in spicules from Thetya aurantium sponge. Biophysical Journal 92 (1), 288-292.
Erdemir, D., S. Chattopadhyay, L. Guo, J. Ilavsky, H. Amenitsch, C. U. Segre, and A. S. Myerson. 2007. Relation-ship between self-association of glycine molecules in supersaturated solutions and solid state outcome. Physical Review Letters 99 (11), 115702.
Farrell, R. A., K. Cherkaoui, N. Petkov, H. Amenitsch, J. D. Holmes, P. K. Hurley, and M. A. Morris. 2007. Physical and electrical properties of low dielectric constant self-assembled mesoporous silica thin films. Microelectronics Reliability 47 (4-5 SPEC. ISS.), 759-763.
Filek, M., M. Zembala, A. Dudek, P. Laggner, and M. Kriechbaum. 2007. Electric and structural studies of hor-mone interaction with chloroplast envelope membranes isolated from vegetative and generative rape. Journal of Plant Physiology 164 (7), 861-867.
Gupta, P., A. Gupta, G. Principi, A. Maddalena, S. Bernstorff, and H. Amenitsch. 2007. Effect of annealing current density on the microstructure of nanocrystalline FeCuNbSiB alloy. J. Appl. Phys 101, 053907.
Hanrahan, J. P., M. P. Copley, T. R. Spalding, J. D. Holmes, D. C. Steytler, H. Amenitsch, M. Steinhart, and M. A. Morris. 2007. In situ studies of order-disorder phenomena in the synthesis of mesoporous silica. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 353 (52-54), 4823-4829.
Innocenzi, P., L. Malfatti, T. Kidchob, S. Costacurta, P. Falcaro, M. Piccinini, A. Marcelli, P. Morini, D. Sali, and H. Amenitsch. 2007. Time-resolved simultaneous detection of structural and chemical changes during self-assembly of mesostructured films. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 111 (14), 5345-5350.
Japelj, B., M. Zorko, A. Majerle, P. Ek, S. Sanchez-Gomez, G. M. De Tejada, I. Moriyon, S. E. Blondelle, K. Bran-denburg, J. Andrae, K. Lohner, and R. Jerala. 2007. The acyl group as the central element of the structural or-ganization of antimicrobial lipopeptide. Journal of the American Chemical Society 129 (5), 1022-1023.
Kralj S, G. Cordoyiannis, A. Zidansek, G. Lahajnar, H. Amenitsch, S. Zumer, and Z. Kutnjak. 2007. Presmectic wetting and supercritical-like phase behavior of octylcyanobiphenyl liquid crystal confined to controlled-pore glass matrices. J Chem Phys.127, S. art. 154905.
Kuemmel, M., J. Allouche, L. Nicole, C. Re, C. Laberty, H. Amenitsch, C. Sanchez, and D. Grosso. 2007. A chemi-cal solution deposition route to nanopatterned inorganic material surfaces. Chemistry of Materials 19 (15), 3717-3725.
Laggner, P., and H. Mio. 2007. SWAX - a dual-detector camera for simultaneous small- and wide-angle X-ray diffraction in polymer and liquid crystal research. Nuclear Inst. and Methods in Physics Research A, 86-90.
Laggner, P., J. P. Slotte. 2007. Life - As a matter of fat - The emerging science of lipidomics. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology 109 (12), 1237-1240.
Lewis, R. N. A. H., D. Zweytick, G. Pabst, K. Lohner, and R. N. Mcelhaney. 2007. Calorimetric, X-ray diffraction, and spectroscopic studies of the thermotropic phase behavior and organization of tetramyristoyl cardiolipin mem-branes. Biophysical Journal 92 (9), 3166-3177.
Maier, G. A., G. M. Wallner, R. W. Lang, J. Keckes, H. Amenitsch, and P. Fratzl. 2007. Fracture of poly(vinylidene fluoride): A combined synchrotron and laboratory in-situ X-ray scattering study. Journal of Applied Crystallogra-phy 40 (SUPPL. 1), s564-s567.
Malfatti, L., T. Kidchob, P. Falcaro, S. Costacurta, M. Piccinini, M. C. Guidi, A. Marcelli, A. Corrias, M. F. Casula, H. Amenitsch, and P. Innocenzi. 2007. Highly ordered self-assembled mesostructured membranes: Porous structure and pore surface coverage. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 103 (1-3), 113-122.
Mannock, D. A., M. D. Collins, M. Kriechbaum, P. E. Harper, S. Gruner, and R. N. Mcelhaney. 2007. The thermo-tropic phase behaviour and phase structure of a homologous series of racemic -d-galactosyl dialkylglycerols studied by differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction. Chemistry and Physics of Lipids 148 (1), 26-50.
Pabst, G., S. Danner, S. Karmakar, G. Deutsch, and V. A. Raghunathan. 2007. On the propensity of phosphatidyl-glycerols to form interdigitated phases. Biophysical Journal 93 (2), 513-525.
Pabst, G., S. Danner, R. Podgornik, and J. Katsaras. 2007. Entropy-driven softening of fluid lipid bilayers by alamethicin. Langmuir 23 (23), 11705-11711.
Pabst, G., A. Hodzic, J. Trancar, S. Danner, M. Rappolt, and P. Laggner. 2007. Rigidification of neutral lipid bilay-ers in the presence of salts. Biophysical Journal 93 (8), 2688-2696.
Prenner, E., G. Honsek, D. Nig, D. Bius, and K. Lohner. 2007. Imaging of the domain organization in sphingomye-lin and phosphatidylcholine monolayers. Chemistry and Physics of Lipids 145 (2), 106-118.
Reisinger, H., E. Sevcsik, K. Vorauer-Uhl, K. Lohner, H. Katinger, and R. Kunert. 2007. Serum-free transfection of CHO-cells with tailor-made unilamellar vesicles. Cytotechnology 54 (3), 157-168.
Rice, R. L., D. C. Arnold, M. T. Shaw, D. Iacopina, A. J. Quinn, H. Amenitsch, J. D. Holmes, and M. A. Morris. 2007. Ordered mesoporous silicate structures as potential templates for nanowire growth. Advanced Functional Materials 17, (1), 133-141.
Sevcsik, E., G. Pabst, A. Jilek, and K. Lohner. 2007. How lipids influence the mode of action of membrane-active peptides. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes 1768 (10), 2586-2595.
Sinturel, C., M. Vayer, R. Erre, and H. Amenitsch. 2007. Nanostructured polymers obtained from polyethylene-block-poly(ethylene oxide) block copolymer in unsaturated polyester. Macromolecules 40 (7), 2532-2538.
Stark, B., F. Andreae, W. Mosgoeller, and R. Prassl. 2007. Liposomal drug delivery system for pulmonary applica-tion of vasoactive intestinal peptide. Journal of Aerosol Medicine 20 (3), 392.
Stark, B., P. Debbage, F. Andreae, W. Mosgoeller, and R. Prassl. 2007. Association of vasoactive intestinal peptide with polymer-grafted liposomes: Structural aspects for pulmonary delivery. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes 1768, (3), 705-714.
Til, J., M. Ilavsky, Pospisil, D. Hlavata, Y. Ostanevich, G. Degovics, M. Kriechbaum, and P. Laggner. 2007. SAXS, SANS and photoelasticity of poly(N,N-diethylacrylamide) networks: 1. Structure changes after temperature jumps. Polymer 2007, 4846-4851.
Tusar, N. N., A. Ristic, S. Cecowski, A. Iztok, K. Lazar, H. Amenitsch, and V. Kaucic. 2007. Local environment of isolated iron in mesoporous silicate catalyst FeTUD-1. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 104 (1-3), 289-295.
Viswanatha, R., H. Amenitsch, and D. D. Sarma. 2007. Growth kinetics of ZnO nanocrystals: A few surprises. Journal of the American Chemical Society 129 (14), 4470-4475.
Viswanatha, R., S. Sapra, H. Amenitsch, B. Sartori, and D. D. Sarma. 2007. Growth of semiconducting nanocrys-tals of CdS and ZnS. Journal of nanoscience and nanotechnology 7 (6), 1726-1729.
Yaghmur, A., P. Laggner, S. Zhang, and M. Rappolt. 2007. Tuning curvature and stability of monoolein bilayers by short surfactant-like designer peptides. PLoS ONE 2, e479.

 Inserted / Updated
2004-11-10 / 2008-11-14