Institute of Functional Interfaces

Microbiology / Molecular Biology




  Head of the Department of Microbiology / Molecularbiology

  Prof. Dr. Thomas Schwartz









The Department of Microbiology/Molecular Biology is concerned with bacterial biofilms and bacterial populations on abiotic and biotic materials/surfaces. One focus is a targeted generation of innovative micro-structured and biologized surfaces for the manipulation of biofilms. Natural bacterial communities (microbiomes) are also investigated using high-resolution population analyses and transcriptome analyses. Here, the evolution and spread of antibiotic resistance genes and facultative pathogenic bacteria in the anthropogenically influenced environment are specifically investigated using molecular biological methods. The influence of anthropogenic agents and pharmaceuticals on the microbiome and thus on the host organism is another scientific focus of the department. This results in assessment concepts for bacterial risk potentials in medicine, technology and the environment, which should lead to appropriate regulation.




Molecular biological and microbiological equipment


  • Biofilm reactors


  • LumiImager


  • RealTime/TaqMan PCR Systems


  • Capillary electrophoresis for sequencing and mutation detection


  • Population analysis based on ribosomal DNA/RNA using PCR-DGGE, SSCP and T-RFLP


  • ApoTom with epifluorescence microscopy for in situ hybridization


  • Southern, Northern hybridizations and Western blot detection




HyReKa Compendium of Methods for Laboratory Analysis

HyReKa synthesis and final report


Main research topics

  • Development of biofilms on natural and artificial surfaces
  • Manipulation of biofilms (material, process engineering, etc.)
  • Behaviour of pathogenic bacteria and detection of pathogenicity factors
  • Stress-regulated gene expression and microbial risk assessment