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Welcome to the Hugel Group

Welcome to the Hugel Group

Single molecule methods are essential for a thorough understanding of complex biological processes. They allow real time observation of molecular machines at work and their specific manipulation. Results of such experiments yield new insights into problems from fundamental physics at the nano-scale to the development of new drugs.

Methodologically we focus on single molecule multicolour FRET, multi-parameter fluorescence detection (MFD) and single molecule force spectroscopy based on AFM.

The multidisciplinarity of our research requires close collaborations with colleagues in biology, biochemistry, medicine, biotechnology and physics.The results of the following projects are particularly relevant for:

  • Stimuli responsive biomaterials (livMatS)
  • TriboElectricNanoGenerator (livMatS)
  • Signalling in biological systems (CIBSS)
  • Dynamic organization of protein machineries (SFB 1381)
  • Mulit-protein interaction kinetics by single-molecule FRET (ERC)
  • Single polymer adhesion and friction at interfaces (DFG research grant)
  • Biolubrication (DFG research grant)
  • Multi-scale analysis of cartilage properties in osteoarthritis
  • Fundamental physics at the nanoscale and at low Reynolds numbers


Baden TV SÜD interviews PhD student about her research

 In this short television interview Julia Schimpf talks about her research on protein machineries.


New addition to the smFRET setup family!


Thumbnail Video

Live-cell smFRET HILO microscopy setup

Most complex molecules in living cells mediate their involvement in biological processes by performing series of conformational changes. Understanding these conformational changes requires their measurement within living cells. Here, we combine Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) and a live-cell smFRET HILO microscopy setup to observe conformational changes of the heat shock protein Hsp90 within the cell. This is a crucial step towards an understanding of the complex dynamic processes in living cells and will ultimately guide us to manipulate cellular processes in a defined and specific way.



Institute of Physical Chemistry II
University of Freiburg
Albertstr. 21
79104 Freiburg
Phone: +49 761 203-6191

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