Björn Reinhard

Björn Reinhard

Professor Björn Reinhard

Degrees and Positions

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley, 2004-2006
  • Dr. rer. nat., Technical University Kaiserslautern, 2003
  • Diploma, Technical University Munich, 2000
  • Intermediate Diploma, University of Bielefeld, 1997


  • 2010 NSF Career Award
  • 2006 Call to Nanobiocenter at Odense University, Denmark (Declined)
  • 2006 Juan de la Cierva Award
  • 2005 DFG Research Scholarship
  • 2004 Otto Wipprecht Fellowship
  • 2004 Scholarship for the 51st Annual Western Spectroscopy Association Conference
  • 1995 Award of the German Chemical Industry Fund


The Nano-Bio Interface Lab has been awarded a Boston University Nanomedicine Award. In collaboration with the Fearns and Genco Groups, we will develop novel nanotechnology enabled tools to probe RNA-protein complexes in viral and bacterial pathogens.

Research in the Reinhard Lab focuses on new optical materials and their application to interrogate fundamental life processes. We are exploring the interface between nanotechnology and biological systems. For an overview of current research projects, please visit our group’s website. Recents techniques/materials developed in the Nano-Bio Interface Lab include:

  • Plasmon ruler RNase A cleavage assay. (A) The RNA plasmon rulers are bound to the surface of a glass flow chamber using a BSA (bovin serum albumin)-Biotin-NeutrAvidin surface chemistry. Upon addition of RNase A, the RNA tether is cleaved, and the dimer converted into a monomer. (B) Single RNA plasmon ruler cleavage trajectory (recorded at 96 Hz). (I) The plasmon ruler is first incubated in buffer containing spermidine at defined concentrations (0 -5 mM), (II) the buffer is exchanged with a 1 nM RNase A solution, causing (III) a strong drop in intensity upon RNA cleavage. Inset: Number of cleavage events for flushing with/without enzyme. ∆tcl is defined as the time between enzyme addition and cleavage. For more information, refer to: L.R. Skewis & B.M. Reinhard, Nano Lett., 8, 214 (2008).

Faculty Profile Scientific Image Reinhard 1

  • Plasmon Coupling Microscopy. Gold nanoparticle labeled surface receptors (left) and spectral signature (right) as function of interparticle distance. (a) For interparticle separations ∆ larger than the particle diameter D, the near-field interactions between the particles is small and the resonance wavelength λres is that of an individual particle. (b) For interparticle separations ∆ < D the plasmons in the individual particles couple and the resonance wavelength λres red-shifts with decreasing separation. This spectral shift is observable as an increase in the intensity ratio R = I580nm/I530nm.

Faculty Profile Scientific Image 2

  • Multiscale Nanoparticle Cluster Arrays (NCAs). SEM images from extracts of nanoparticle cluster arrays with varying diameters of e-beam defined binding size D = 50 nm (a), 80 nm (b), 100 nm (c), 130 nm (d), 200 nm (e). The SEM images confirm that through control of the diameter of the e-beam fabricated binding site the cluster size can be continuously varied. The enlargement of an individual cluster in (f) shows junctions and crevices between nearly touching particles constituting a high degree of roughness on the nanoscale.

Faculty Profile Scientific Image Reinhard 3

Techniques & Resources

The Reinhard group utilizes a variety of techniques including:

  • Spectroscopy: Raman, SERS, Single Molecule Fluorescence, Plasmon
  • Live Cell Imaging
  • Nanofabrication
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy
  • Cell Culture Facility
  • Fluorescence Plate Readers
  • Nanoparticle Synthesis/Functionalization/Integration
  • The Photonics Center
  • Center of Nanoscience and Nanobiotechnology


Nanobiotechnology and photonics are emerging technologies with high societal relevance. Graduate students in the Nano-Bio-Interface Laboratory will be equipped with the knowledge and the tools to successfully compete in this exciting research area.

Professor and Director of the Nano-Bio Interface Laboratory
PHO 727
Phone: 617.353.8669
Office Hours: Mondays 10am-12pm
Reinhard Group Home Page
Google Scholar Page