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Information on the research project

Integration of (bio-)synthetic molecules in technical hybrid systems
Grafische Darstellung von MIE

What does MIE focus on?

It is aimed for the development of biotechnological - technical hybrid systems which are based on the principles of nature and exploit these systematically. Areas of application are e.g. chemical, mechanical, electronic surroundings. These new technologies of the future will only remind of natural occuring biological systems approach-wise.


Who is involved in MIE?

The biotechnological research network "Molecular Interaction Engineering" (MIE) aims to bundle and focus the competences within the Helmholtz community  in the fields of biotechnology, structure biology, material sciences, process engineering and computational simulations. It is our goal to develop innovative, flexible and at the same time economic biotechnological production systems.

Working groups of the Forschungszentrum Jülich , the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht  and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology are involved.


What does Molecular Interaction Engineering mean?

The outstanding abilities of biological systems are based on the specific interaction of molecular components. The following examples serve for the illustration:

  • Proteins bind to DNA or to other proteins by means of specific molecular boundary surfaces and thus regulate formation and preservation of complex orgamisms

  • Enzymes convert certain molecules due to molecular fit

  • Sensors react to defined signals from the surroundings

The transfer of these molecular interaction mechanisms in future technologies requires a close cooperation between biological basis disciplines and engineering sciences. A technology which is paraphrased very well with the heading "Molecular Interaction Engineering".


How is MIE realized?

The key for future developments is the specific engineering of the interaction of complex biomolecules in hybrid systems with regard to new functions under technical environmental conditions. Here, the traditional, ongoing evolution of biological molecules reaches its borders for all sorts of industrial applications. By combining methods of biotechnology, structure biology, material sciences, process engineering and computational simulation, these limits shall be overcome and custom-made variously usable bio molecules and bio hybrid systems are produced.