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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2016/17 Dr. Stefan Schiller

Dr. Stefan Schiller

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Bionic chemistry
Junior Fellow
October 2015 - September 2017


Stefan M. Schiller studied chemistry at the Justus Liebig University Gießen, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. He received his diploma in organic chemistry in 1998 from the Johannes Gutenberg University. After working on a research project in the main laboratory of the BASF AG, he joined the MPI for Polymer Science where he completed his Ph.D. on biomimetic supramolecular membrane architectures. During this time he performed research at the IBM Research Center Almaden, San Jose, Stanford University, the Biotechnology Engineering Department, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel and the Manuel Lujan Los Alamos Neutron Scattering Center, Los Alamos. From 2004-2008 he has been a postdoctoral fellow working with Prof. Peter G. Schultz at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California in the field of chemical biology and synthetic biology. In 2008, he joined the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg, as junior research fellow in the School for Soft Matter Research until 2013. In 2014 he got awarded the BMBF-research price “2014” focusing on the modular expansion of cell functions.


FRIAS Research Project

Bio-based nano-mechano responsive films: A new step towards soft-mechano-chemistry

The development of chemo-mechano-responsive systems, systems that respond chemically to a mechanical stimulus, is an emerging field in chemistry. Most of the systems developed so far are based on affecting internal chemical bonds when molecules are put under a mechanical stress. Nature transforms a mechanical force into a chemical signal by using force induced conformational changes of proteins. The goal of the project is to develop chemo-mechano-responsive systems relying on this simple idea: developing systems which respond chemically to stretching by modifying their conformation. This approach can be called Soft-Mechano-Chemistry. For this purpose we will design avidin monomer mutants. The mutations will allow to covalently anchor these proteins onto an elastomeric substrate and to weaken the avidin interaction with biotin upon stretching. This should allow enhancing the modulation of the avidin/biotin binding strength. This project should result in the first system where the ligand/receptor interaction can be modulated by force-induced conformational changes. It should also constitute a new type of biointeraction platform for biosensing and tissue engineering which can be modulated mechanically.


Selected Publications

  • Huber, M. C., Schreiber, A., von Olshausen, P., Varga, B. R., Kretz, O., Joch, B., Barnert, S., Schubert, R., Eimer, S., Kele, P., *Schiller, S. M. “Designer amphiphilic proteins as building blocks for the intracellular formation of organelle-like compartments” Nature Materials 2015, 14(1), 125-132
  • Schreiber, A., Huber, M. C., Cölfen, H., *Schiller, S. M. “Protein Adaptor with Genetically Encoded Interaction-Sites Guiding the Hierarchical Assembly of Plasmonically Active Nanoarchitectures” ,  DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7705 Nature Communications, 2015, 6, article number 6705
  • Longo, J., Yao, C., Rios, C., Boulmedais, F., Hemmerlé, J., Lavalle, P., *Schiller, S. M., *Schaaf, P., Jierry, L. “Reversible biomechano-responsive surface based on Green Fluorescent Protein genetically modified with unnatural amino acids” Chemical Communications 2015, 51, 232-235
  • Huber, M., Schreiber, A., Benz, K., *Schiller, S. M. Introducing a combinatorial DNA-toolbox platform constituting defined protein-based biohybrid materials” Biomaterials 2014, 35, 31, 8767-79
  • Schreiber, A., Yuan, Y., Huber, M. C., Thomann, R., Ziegler, A., Cölfen, H., Dengjel, J., Krüger, M., *Schiller, S. M. “From Bioconjugation to Selfassembly in Nanobiotechnology: Quantum Dots Trapped and Stabilised by Toroid Protein Yoctowells” Advanced Engineering Materials 2012, 14, 6, B344-B350