Saarland University - Prof. Dr. Ingolf Bernhardt

Main Research Topics

1. Mechanisms of the permeability of red blood cell membrane for monovalent cations.

Most important was the fiding of an unknown ion transporter (K+ (Na+) / H+ antiporter) in the human red blood cell membrane. Methods: Tracerkinetic flux measurements, patch clamp, online measurement of intracellular pH with pH sensitive fluorescent dyes, single cell fluorescence microscopy, cell volume determination, flame photometry, ESR, biochemical and physiological modification of cells, mathematical modelling.

2. Interaction of red blood cells with nano-particles and nano-structured surfaces.

Methods: Online measurement of intracellular Ca2+ content and pH with fluorescent dyes, single cell fluorescence microscopy, two-photon confocal fluorescence microscopy, digital holographic microscopy (in collaboration with Prof. G. von Bally, Muenster).

3. Role of red blood cells in thrombus formation (in collaboration with Prof. L. Kaestner and Prof. Ch. Wagner, Physics Department of the Saarland University).

Most important was to show that human red blood cells play an active role in thrombus formation (in contrast to the assumption in medicine that the play a passive role only) Methods: Online measurement of single cell intracellular Ca2+content with Ca2+sensitive fluorescent dyes, single cell fluorescence microscopy, FACS, optical tweezers, single cell force spectroscopy.