Mecke, Almut


University Tuebingen, 1997

University of Michigan, 2004

About this team member

Almut graduated with a Diplom degree in physics from the University Tuebingen in Germany in 1997. Although she initially intended to obtain a Ph.D. in theoretical high energy physics from the University of Michigan, she switched fields in the summer of 2000 and joined the Banaszak Holl / Orr research group. During her Ph.D. research she studied the properties of branched polymers, called dendrimers, using both experimental and computational methods. She investigated how dendrimers interact with surfaces, in particular lipid membranes which serve as a model for cell membranes. Using an atomic force microscope she was able to observe the interaction of dendrimers with such membranes. The results showed how various properties of dendrimer molecules influence their ability to enter cells through the cell membrane. This information can help to design “smart” molecules that can be used to fight disease, for example by transporting drugs into specific cells. Almut graduated in 2004, and in April of 2005 was awarded the annual Terwilliger Prize for the best Ph.D. thesis in the University of Michigan Department of Physics. After graduation Almut continued her work with the Banaszak Holl / Orr group as a postdoc for six months and then as a postdoc at the University of Basel in Switzerland.   She currently works for Roche Pharmaceuticals.


  • Nanoparticle Interaction with Biological Membranes:  Does Nanotechnology Present a Janus Face? Accounts of Chemical Research 2007 40 335-342
  • Nanoparticle-Membrane Interaction: Mechanism for Enhanced Permeability 2007
  • Physical Interactions of Nanoparticles with Biological Membranes:The Observation of Nanoscale Hole Formation. Chemical Health and Safety 2006 13 16-20.
  • Membrane thinning due to antimicrobial peptide binding — An AFM study of MSI-78 in DMPC bilayers. Biophysical Journal 2005 89 4043-4045.
  • Lipid Bilayer Disruption by Polyamidoamine Dendrimers: The Role of Generation and Capping Group. Langmuir 2005 21 10348-10354.
  • Atomic Force Microscopy Study of Early Morphological Changes During Apoptosis. Langmuir 2005 21 9280-9286.
  • Synthetic and natural polycationic polymers interact selectively with fluid phase domains of DMPC lipid bilayers. Langmuir 2005 21 8588-8590.
  • Direct Observation of Lipid Bilayer Disruption by Poly(amidoamine) Dendrimers. Chemistry and Physics of Lipids 2004 132 3-14.
  • The Interaction of Polyamidoamine (PAMAM) Dendrimers with Supported Lipid Bilayers and Cells: Hole Formation and the Relation to Transport. Bioconjugate Chemistry 2004 15 774-782.
  • Deformability of Poly(amidoamine) Dendrimers. European Physical Journal E -- Soft Matter 2004 14 7-16.
  • DNA-directed Synthesis of Generation 7 and 5 PAMAM Dendrimer Nanoclusters. Nanoletters 2004 4 391-397.
  • Tapping Mode Atomic Force Microscopy Investigation of Poly(amidoamine) Core-Shell Tecto(Dendrimers) using Carbon-Nanoprobes. Langmuir 2002 18 3127-3133.