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A considerable number of systems have recently been reported in which
Brownian yet non-Gaussian dynamics was observed. These are processes characterised by a linear growth in time of the mean squared displacement, yet the probability density function of the particle displacement is distinctly non-Gaussian, and often of exponential(Laplace) shape. This apparently ubiquitous behaviour observed in very different physical systems has been interpreted as resulting from diffusion in inhomogeneous environments and mathematically represented through a variable, stochastic diffusion coefficient. Indeed different models describing a fluctuating diffusivity have been studied. Here we present a new view of the stochastic basis describing time dependent random diffusivities within a broad spectrum of distributions. Concretely, our study is based on the very generic class of the generalised Gamma distribution. Two models for the particle spreading in such random diffusivity settings are studied. The first belongs to the class of generalised grey Brownian motion while the second follows from the idea of diffusing diffusivities. The two processes exhibit significant characteristics which reproduce experimental results from different biological and physical systems. We promote these two physical models for the description of stochastic particle motion in complex environments.

Brownian yet non-Gaussian dynamics was observed. These are processes characterised by a linear growth in time of the mean squared displacement, yet the probability density function of the particle displacement is distinctly non-Gaussian, and often of exponential(Laplace) shape. This apparently ubiquitous behaviour observed in very different physical systems has been interpreted as resulting from diffusion in inhomogeneous environments and mathematically represented through a variable, stochastic diffusion coefficient. Indeed different models describing a fluctuating diffusivity have been studied. Here we present a new view of the stochastic basis describing time dependent random diffusivities within a broad spectrum of distributions. Concretely, our study is based on the very generic class of the generalised Gamma distribution. Two models for the particle spreading in such random diffusivity settings are studied. The first belongs to the class of generalised grey Brownian motion while the second follows from the idea of diffusing diffusivities. The two processes exhibit significant characteristics which reproduce experimental results from different biological and physical systems. We promote these two physical models for the description of stochastic particle motion in complex environments.

Recent advances in single particle tracking and supercomputing techniques demonstrate the emergence of normal or anomalous, viscoelastic diffusion in conjunction with non-Gaussian distributions in soft, biological, and active matter systems. We here formulate a stochastic model based on a generalised Langevin equation in which non-Gaussian shapes of the probability density function and normal or anomalous diffusion have a common origin, namely a random parametrisation of the stochastic force. We perform a detailed analysis demonstrating how various types of parameter distributions for the memory kernel result in exponential, power law, or power-log law tails of the memory functions. The studied system is also shown to exhibit a further unusual property: the velocity has a Gaussian one point probability density but non-Gaussian joint distributions. This behaviour is reflected in the relaxation from a Gaussian to a non-Gaussian distribution observed for the position variable. We show that our theoretical results are in excellent agreement with stochastic simulations.

In Germany more than 200.000 persons die of cancer every year, which makes it the second most common cause of death. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often combined to exploit a supra-additive eﬀect, as some chemotherapeutic agents like halogenated nucleobases sensitize the cancerous tissue to radiation. The radiosensitizing action of certain therapeutic agents can be at least partly assigned to their interaction with secondary low energy electrons (LEEs) that are generated along the track of the ionizing radiation. In the therapy of cancer DNA is an important target, as severe DNA damage like double strand breaks induce the cell death. As there is only a limited number of radiosensitizing agents in clinical practice, which are often strongly cytotoxic, it would be beneﬁcial to get a deeper understanding of the interaction of less toxic potential radiosensitizers with secondary reactive species like LEEs. Beyond that LEEs can be generated by laser illuminated nanoparticles that are applied in photothermal therapy (PTT) of cancer, which is an attempt to treat cancer by an increase of temperature in the cells. However, the application of halogenated nucleobases in PTT has not been taken into account so far. In this thesis the interaction of the potential radiosensitizer 8-bromoadenine (8BrA) with LEEs was studied. In a ﬁrst step the dissociative electron attachment (DEA) in the gas phase was studied in a crossed electron-molecular beam setup. The main fragmentation pathway was revealed as the cleavage of the C-Br bond. The formation of a stable parent anion was observed for electron energies around 0 eV. Furthermore, DNA origami nanostructures were used as platformed to determine electron induced strand break cross sections of 8BrA sensitized oligonucleotides and the corresponding nonsensitized sequence as a function of the electron energy. In this way the inﬂuence of the DEA resonances observed for the free molecules on the DNA strand breaks was examined. As the surrounding medium inﬂuences the DEA, pulsed laser illuminated gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were used as a nanoscale electron source in an aqueous environment. The dissociation of brominated and native nucleobases was tracked with UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy and the generated fragments were identiﬁed with surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Beside the electron induced damage, nucleobase analogues are decomposed in the vicinity of the laser illuminatednanoparticles due to the high temperatures. In order to get a deeper understanding of the diﬀerent dissociation mechanisms, the thermal decomposition of the nucleobases in these systems was studied and the inﬂuence of the adsorption kinetics of the molecules was elucidated. In addition to the pulsed laser experiments, a dissociative electron transfer from plasmonically generated ”hot electrons” to 8BrA was observed under low energy continuous wave laser illumination and tracked with SERS. The reaction was studied on AgNPs and AuNPs as a function of the laser intensity and wavelength. On dried samples the dissociation of the molecule was described by fractal like kinetics. In solution, the dissociative electron transfer was observed as well. It turned out that the timescale of the reaction rates were slightly below typical integration times of Raman spectra. In consequence such reactions need to be taken into account in the interpretation of SERS spectra of electrophilic molecules. The ﬁndings in this thesis help to understand the interaction of brominated nucleobases with plasmonically generated electrons and free electrons. This might help to evaluate the potential radiosensitizing action of such molecules in cancer radiation therapy and PTT.

We present electrical impedance measurements of amoeboid cells on microelectrodes. The model organism Dictyostelium discoideum shows under starvation conditions a transition to collective behavior when chemotactic cells collect in multicellular aggregates. We show how impedance recordings give a precise picture of the stages of aggregation by tracing the dynamics of cell-substrate adhesion. Furthermore, we present for the first time systematic single cell measurements of wild type cells and four mutant strains that differ in their substrate adhesion strength. We recorded the projected cell area by time lapse microscopy and found a correlation between quasi-periodic oscillations in the kinetics of the projected area - the cell shape oscillation - and the long-term trend in the impedance signal. Typically, amoeboid motility advances via a cycle of membrane protrusion, substrate adhesion, traction of the cell body and tail retraction. This motility cycle results in the quasi-periodic oscillations of the projected cell area and the impedance. In all cell lines measured, similar periods were observed for this cycle, despite the differences in attachment strength. We observed that cell-substrate attachment strength strongly affects the impedance in that the deviations from mean (the magnitude of fluctuations) are enhanced in cells that effectively transmit forces, generated by the cytoskeleton, to the substrate. For example, in talA- cells, which lack the actin anchoring protein talin, the fluctuations are strongly reduced. Single cell force spectroscopy and results from a detachment assay, where adhesion is measured by exposing cells to shear stress, confirm that the magnitude of impedance fluctuations is a correct measure for the strength of substrate adhesion. Finally, we also worked on the integration of cell-substrate impedance sensors into microfluidic devices. A chip-based electrical chemotaxis assay is designed which measures the speed of chemotactic cells migrating over microelectrodes along a chemical concentration gradient.

Proteins are molecules that are essential for life and carry out an enormous number of functions in organisms. To this end, they change their conformation and bind to other molecules. However, the interplay between conformational change and binding is not fully understood. In this work, this interplay is investigated with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the protein-peptide system Mdm2-PMI and by analysis of data from relaxation experiments.
The central task it to uncover the binding mechanism, which is described by the sequence of (partial) binding events and conformational change events including their probabilities. In the simplest case, the binding mechanism is described by a two-step model: binding followed by conformational change or conformational change followed by binding. In the general case, longer sequences with multiple conformational changes and partial binding events are possible as well as parallel pathways that differ in their sequences of events. The theory of Markov state models (MSMs) provides the theoretical framework in which all these cases can be modeled. For this purpose, MSMs are estimated in this work from MD data, and rate equation models, which are related to MSMs, are inferred from experimental relaxation data.
The MD simulation and Markov modeling of the PMI-Mdm2 system shows that PMI and Mdm2 can bind via multiple pathways. A main result of this work is a dissociation rate on the order of one event per second, which was calculated using Markov modeling and is in agreement with experiment. So far, dissociation rates and transition rates of this magnitude have only been calculated with methods that speed up transitions by acting with time-dependent, external forces on the binding partners. The simulation technique developed in this work, in contrast, allows the estimation of dissociation rates from the combination of free energy calculation and direct MD simulation of the fast binding process. Two new statistical estimators TRAM and TRAMMBAR are developed to estimate a MSM from the joint data of both simulation types.
In addition, a new analysis technique for time-series data from chemical relaxation experiments is developed in this work. It allows to identify one of the above-mentioned two-step mechanisms as the mechanism that underlays the data. The new method is valid for a broader range of concentrations than previous methods and therefore allows to choose the concentrations such that the mechanism can be uniquely identified. It is successfully tested with data for the binding of recoverin to a rhodopsin kinase peptide.

Approaching physical limits in speed and size of today's magnetic storage and processing technologies demands new concepts for controlling magnetization and moves researches on optically induced magnetic dynamics. Studies on photoinduced magnetization dynamics and their underlying mechanisms have been primarily performed on ferromagnetic metals. Ferromagnetic dynamics bases on transfer of the conserved angular momentum connected with atomic magnetic moments out of the parallel aligned magnetic system into other degrees of freedom.
In this thesis the so far rarely studied response of antiferromagnetic order to ultra-short optical laser pulses in a metal is investigated. The experiments were performed at the FemtoSpex slicing facility at the storage ring BESSY II, an unique source for ultra-short elliptically polarized x-ray pulses. Laser-induced changes of the 4f-magnetic order parameter in ferro- and antiferromagnetic dysprosium (Dy), were studied by x-ray methods, which yield directly comparable quantities. The discovered fundamental differences in the temporal and spatial behavior of ferro- and antiferrmagnetic dynamics are assinged to an additional channel for angular momentum transfer, which reduces the antiferromagnetic order by redistributing angular momentum within the non-parallel aligned magnetic system, and hence conserves the zero net magnetization. It is shown that antiferromagnetic dynamics proceeds considerably faster and more energy-efficient than demagnetization in ferromagnets. By probing antiferromagnetic order in time and space, it is found to be affected along the whole sample depth of an in situ grown 73 nm tick Dy film. Interatomic transfer of angular momentum via fast diffusion of laser-excited 5d electrons is held responsible for the out-most long-ranging effect. Ultrafast ferromagnetic dynamics can be expected to base on the same origin, which however leads to demagnetization only in regions close to interfaces caused by super-diffusive spin transport. Dynamics due to local scattering processes of excited but less mobile electrons, occur in both magnetic alignments only in directly excited regions of the sample and on slower pisosecond timescales. The thesis provides fundamental insights into photoinduced magnetic dynamics by directly comparing ferro- and antiferromagnetic dynamics in the same material and by consideration of the laser-induced magnetic depth profile.