Dr. Frank Biedermann

  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
    Institute of Nanotechnology
    Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1
    76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany

Analyte Detection with High Affinity Chemosensors (Emmy-Noether group)



Project Description

The creation of artificial receptors remains an open challenge in supramolecular chemistry. In particular, the detection of small biomolecules in aqueous or complex biological media by supramolecular chemosensors proved difficult.[1] We have developed a remarkably facile and versatile biomimetic strategy for the design of high-affinity artificial receptors by exploiting a combination of specific analyte-host interactions and the powerful, non-classical hydrophobic effect as driving forces for binding.[2]  Current developments include the monitoring of dynamic processes, e.g. of enzymatic reactions, and the extension of the sensors to applications in living cells.

[1] S. Sinn, F. Biedermann, Chemical Sensors Based on Cucurbit[n]uril Macrocycles. Isr. J. Chem. 2018, 58, 357-412.

[2] F. Biedermann, H.-J. Schneider, Experimental Binding Energies in Supramolecular Complexes. Chem. Rev. 2016, 116, 5216-5300.


For up-to-date information, please visit our group website: http://biedermann-labs.com/index.php


Group Expertise & Equipment

  • Photophysical characterisation of supramolecular and self-assembled systems (Circular Dichroism spectroscopy with FDCD capabilities, Absorbance & Emission spectroscopy, Stopped Flow)
  • Calorimetric binding studies (Isothermal Titration Calorimetry, ITC)
  • Synthesis of molecular hosts and dyes (automated flash chromatography & photoreactor)

Team Members

  • M.Sc. Amrutha Prabodh (PhD candidate)
  • MSc. Laura Grimm (PhD candidate)
  • Dr. Stephan Sinn (Postdoctorial researcher)
  • Philipp Avon (Master student)
  • Joana Krämer (student assistant)

More details about our group members and alumni can be found at: http://biedermann-labs.com/index.php


Open Positions

PhD position available. We are looking for a Chemist (m/f) who is interested in supramolecular chemistry and assay development to join our team as a PhD candidate. We offer an in interdisciplinary projects in the area of design and synthesis of novel sensors and their application to biomolecule and drug sensing and reaction monitoring of biological processes in real time. Close supervision by an experienced PostDoc and group leader will be provided. State-of-the-art equipment is available. The candidate should bring the desire to learn and try out new things; experience in organic synthesis and spectroscopy would be helpful. For applying to become a PhD candidate in our group, please send your CV and a motivation letter (English or German). If you are interested in a Master project, feel free to contact us.


List of Most Important Publications

  1. Chemical Sensors Based on Cucurbit[n]uril Macrocycles
    S. Sinn, F. Biedermann, Isr. J. Chem. 2018, 58, 357-412.
  2. Platinum Complex Assemblies as Luminescent Probes and Tags for Drugs and Toxins in Water
    S. Sinn, F. Biedermann*, L. De Cola*, Chem. Eur. J. 2017, 231965–1971.
  3. Experimental Binding Energies in Supramolecular Complexes
    F. Biedermann*, H.-J. Schneider*, Chem. Rev. 2016, 116, 5216-5300.
  4. Nanomolar Binding of Steroids to Cucurbit[n]urils: Selectivity and Applications
    A. I. Lazar; F. Biedermann*; K. R. Mustafina; K. I. Assaf; A. Hennig; W. M. Nau J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 13022-13029. (Highlighted in local newspaper)
  5. Associative chemosensing by fluorescent macrocycle–dye complexes–a versatile enzyme assay platform beyond indicator displacement
    F. Biedermann*, D. Hathazi, W.M. Nau*, Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 4977-4980.
  6. The Hydrophobic Effect Revisited—Studies with Supramolecular Complexes Imply High‐Energy Water as a Noncovalent Driving Force
    F. Biedermann*, W.M. Nau*, H.-J. Schneider*, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 11158–11171.
  7. Noncovalent chirality sensing ensembles for the detection and reaction monitoring of amino acids, peptides, proteins, and aromatic Drugs
    F. Biedermann*, W.M. Nau*, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 5694-5699.
  8. Cucurbit[8]uril and blue-box: high-energy water release overwhelms electrostatic interactions
    F. Biedermann*, M. Vendruscolo, O. A. Scherman, A. De Simone, W. M. Nau, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2013, 135, 14879-14888.
  9. Release of high-energy water as an essential driving force for the high-affinity binding of cucurbit[n]urils
    F. Biedermann, V. D. Uzunova, O. A. Scherman, W. M. Nau, A. De Simone, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134, 15318-15323.
  10. Strongly fluorescent, switchable perylene bis (diimide) host–guest complexes with cucurbit[8]uril in water
    F. Biedermann, E. Elmalem, I. Ghosh, W. M. Nau, O. A. Scherman, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2012 51, 7739-7743.


                For a full publication list, see google scholar profile.



Curriculum vitae of Frank Biedermann



  • 12/2014 – 08/2016: Postdoc, Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT), Institute for Nanotechnology (INT), with Prof. Dr. L. De Cola
  • 12/2013 – 11/2014: Postdoc, Institut de Science et d'Ingénierie Supramoléculaires, Strasbourg, with Prof. Dr. L. De Cola
  • 10/2012 – 11/2013: Postdoc, Jacobs University Bremen, with Prof. Dr. W. M. Nau
  • 10/2008 – 10/2012: PhD in Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK, with Dr. O. A. Scherman
  • 10/2007 – 06/2008 Part III course in Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 10/2006 – 06/2007 Part-time studies Physics (1. and 2. semester), TU Kaiserslautern
  • 10/2004 – 08/2007 B. Sc., Universität Leipzig


  • 2017 YIN Award, KIT, Germany
  • 2016 Emmy Noether research grant, Germany
  • 2008 „Top five” in Part III Exams in Chemistry, Cambridge, UK
  • 2007 Ernst-Beckmann-Price, Universität Leipzig
  • 2005 Arthur-Hantzsch-Price, Universität Leipzig
  • 2004 International Chemistry Olympiads, silver medal , Kiel, Germany


  • 11/2013 Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Vortragsstipendium
  • 2012 – 2013 Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Rückkehrstipendium
  • 2008 – 2011 Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Promotionsstipendium
  • 2008 – 2011 Cambridge European Trust
  • 2004 – 2008 Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes


  • Highly selective artificial neurotransmitter receptors (2016)
  • Chiralitätsdetektion mit achiralen Wirt-Gast Sensoren (2014)
  • Cucurbituril-based hydrogels (2013)                


  •  Lecture in Supramolecular Chemistry (Master course level)


  • DAAD Doktoranden-Auswahl-Kommission
  • Young Investigator Network (YIN)
  • Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh)
  • Förderverein Chemie-Olympiade e.V. (FCHO)