Research for the Environment


Working Group Aptamers and Applications

Biosensors - Development and Application

Our goal is the development, validation, and application of biosensors. Biosensors provide the possibility to perform measurements - in a simple, time- and cost-effective way - in the fields of environmental and food analysis, biotechnology, pharmaceutics, and clinical diagnostics. Depending on the measuring device combined with the sensor, single determinations, screening, or on-line monitoring are possible. Biosensor devices can also be employed in environmental monitoring or for biotechnology control.

A BIOSENSOR is a measuring device consisting of a biological recognition element (biological receptor) and a transducer in direct spacial contact. The signal which is provided after the selective formation of analyte-receptor conjugates or a chemical reaction of analyte and receptor is then transferred to the electrical domain in order to give selective quantative or semi-quantitative analytical information.

Aptamers - New Molecular Recognition Elements

Functional principle of the molecular recognition by use of aptamers

APTAMERS are nucleic acid compounds that can be used as innovative receptors in biosensors. Aptamers are short, single stranded oligonucleotides (ssDNA or ssRNA) which are able to bind non-nucleic acid targets with high specifiy, sensitivity, and selectivity due to their complex three-dimensional secondary structure (comparable with antigen-antibody interactions).
For this purpose, we modified the usual SELEX procedure (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment) and established FluMag-SELEX.
We are now able to develop DNA-aptamers for a wide variety of applications. Recent work deals with pollutants or targets relevant in medicine.
Besides being applied as new moleculare recognition elements in biosensors, aptamers can be used in test kits or for affinity enrichment methods.

Co-operation Offers

  • Application-oriented development of biosensors in co-operation with companies
  • Development of aptamers for their use in biosensors, test kits, and affinity enrichment methods
  • Application of biosensors in (bio)process optimization
  • Validation of biosensor systems
  • Technical advice concerning application and development of biosensors for analytical purposes


Phone: (+49) 341-235-1764
FAX: (+49) 341-235-451764


Start of the joint Israelian-German Watertechnology project "AptaWater" with the aim to develop aptamer-based electrochemical biosensors for the detection of pathogens in water (founded by BMBF).

Short term scientific mission "Aptamer based electrochemical biosensors": Christine Reinemann visited Prof. Anthony Turner's Biosensors and Bioelectronics Centre at Linköping University (Ethanolamine aptamer biosensor).

Start of the EU COST Action TD 1003 "Bio-inspired nanotechnologies: from concepts to applications" with 100 partners, duration 4 years. B. Strehlitz is the Vice Chair of the management committee.

Start of the BMBF financed project "NANOPHARM". In our work package we will develop new aptamers for the detection and binding of pharmaceuticals in waters.

Lucie Moeller will be honored with the Linde Award for her doctoral thesis at TU Dresden.

01.04.2009: The BMBF-project AptaSens starts within the program BIONA. Our cooperation partners: Research Centre Dresden-Rossendorf, University Rostock, proaqua GmbH Mainz. New nano-structured surfaces based on bacterial envelope proteins and aptamers will be developed for application in biosensors for water pollutant detection.

We start working for the IWAS-Project (International Water Research Alliance Saxony), founded by BMBF. Our work package includes the development of an aptamer-based multi-sensor-system for the detection of pathogenes.

Start of the new third-party funded project: "Aptamer-based analytical method for the detection of indoor moulds and their allergenes", in cooperation with Depts. Proteomic and Expo/Epi, funded by the Saxony Minitry of Environment and Agriculture.

The project "Quali-Juice" is awarded as one of the 100 groundbreaking products of the 21st century (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research - BMBF). It is included in the book "100 Produkte der Zukunft" (Ed.: T,W. Hänsch, Econ Verlag, ISBN 978-3-430-20035-6).

"FluMag-SELEX as an advantageous method for DNA aptamer selection" is one of the "Top 10 most viewed articles" published in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (2005).