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Sponges and shells get settled at ZIK B CUBE


ZIK B CUBE – a research center for molecular bioengineering at TU Dresden – is extending its research scope and welcomes a new junior research group led by Dr. Igor Zlotnikov. With 4.6 million Euro of financial support for 5 years from the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF, Initiative „Unternehmen Region – Zentren für Innovationskompetenz) Zlotnikov gets the opportunity to build up his team, which will study the role of internal interfaces in biological tissues formation and function.

Zlotnikov started his activities on 1 July and uses marine shells, such as the pen shell Pinna nobilis, which is one of the biggest shells worldwide, as a biological model system. He also works with glass spicules of marine sponges, such as the giant spicule of the deep-sea sponge Monorhaphis chuni.

His scientific research is based on the aim of establishing thermodynamic and mechanical models describing the role of internal interfaces in morphological regulation and mechanical behavior of mineralized tissue.

"With the knowledge from our work we will gain more insights into different fields, ranging from global aspects of earth sciences to the more specific niches in biology, chemistry and materials science", says Zlotnikov.

"The planned research is expected to provide new concepts for smart composite materials design while developing new nanomechanical characterization techniques that will be used in science and industry."

Igor Zlotnikov was born in the Ukraine and studied materials science and physics at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. Since 2009, he worked as postdoctoral fellow and independent researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam.

About ZIK B CUBE at TU Dresden
The Center for Innovation Competence (ZIK) B CUBE – Center for Molecular Bioengineering was founded in 2008 in conjunction with the funding by the BMBF-program „Unternehmen Region“ and sees itself as a bridge between life sciences and engineering sciences. The center is dedicated to research and development of biological materials in the three main axes Bioprospecting, BioNano Tools and Biomimetic Materials and contributes substantially to the profile of TU Dresden in the field of modern biotechnology and biomedicine. Here, the B CUBE works closely with the Biotechnology Center (Biotec) and the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) at the TU Dresden.

Press contact:

Dr. Igor Zlotnikov, ZIK B CUBE, TU Dresden, Tel.: 0351 463 40359
E-Mail:, Homepage:

Ines Kästner, Koordinatorin, ZIK B CUBE, TU Dresden, Tel.: 0351 463 40359
E-Mail:, Homepage:

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B.A. Rasha Nasr | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

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