Martina Havenith

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Cold atmospheric-pressure plasmas are currently in use in medicine as surgical tools and are being evaluated for new applications, including wound treatment and cosmetic care. The disinfecting properties of plasmas are of particular interest, given the threat of antibiotic resistance to modern medicine. Plasma effluents comprise (V)UV photons and various(More)
The formic acid dimer (HCOOH)2 (FAD), an eight-membered ring with double hydrogen bonds, has been a model complex for physical chemists. The acidic protons of the complex interchange between the oxygens of different units in a concerted tunneling motion. This proton tunneling can be described by a symmetric double-well potential. The double well results in(More)
Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) and antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) enable the survival of organisms living in subfreezing habitats and serve as preservatives. Although their function is known, the underlying molecular mechanism was not understood. Mutagenesis experiments questioned the previous assumption of hydrogen bonding as the dominant mechanism. We use(More)
Solvent dynamics can play a major role in enzyme activity, but obtaining an accurate, quantitative picture of solvent activity during catalysis is quite challenging. Here, we combine terahertz spectroscopy and X-ray absorption analyses to measure changes in the coupled water-protein motions during peptide hydrolysis by a zinc-dependent human(More)
The interior of the cell is a densely crowded environment in which protein stability is affected differently than in dilute solution. Macromolecular crowding is commonly understood in terms of an entropic volume exclusion effect based on hardcore repulsions among the macromolecules. We studied the thermal unfolding of ubiquitin in the presence of different(More)
Solvation of molecules in water is at the heart of a myriad of molecular phenomena and of crucial importance to understanding such diverse issues as chemical reactivity or biomolecular function. Complementing well-established approaches, it has been shown that laser spectroscopy in the THz frequency domain offers new insights into hydration from small(More)
We have measured the complex dielectric function of the protic ionic liquid ethylammonium nitrate in the frequency range between 0.15 and 1.8 THz with a terahertz time domain spectrometer. The experiments reveal a terahertz mode which can be described as a damped harmonic oscillator with a central frequency of 1.3 THz. The terahertz mode is assigned to an(More)
The focus in protein folding has been very much on the protein backbone and sidechains. However, hydration waters make comparable contributions to the structure and energy of proteins. The coupling between fast hydration dynamics and protein dynamics is considered to play an important role in protein folding. Fundamental questions of protein hydration(More)
Confocal Raman microspectroscopy was used to investigate human sperm cells. Raman mapping with a 532 nm excitation laser allowed to unambiguously characterize the nucleus, the neck, and, in particular, the mitochondria-rich middle piece of a human sperm cell. The effect of ultraviolet radiation on different organelles of the sperm was quantified by(More)