Tom Vosch – University of Copenhagen

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Center for Synthetic Biology > Meet the Researchers > Tom Vosch

Tom Vosch

Associate Professor

Tom Vosch

The NanoSpectroscopy Group
Nano Science Center
Department of Chemistry
Faculty of Science

Tom Vosch's group is setting up single molecule fluorescence and new high resolution fluorescence microscopy techniques that will allow them to continue the development of new noble metal cluster fluorophores and their applications for microscopy.

During my PhD, I developed a state of the art setup for studying single molecule fluorescence with a confocal microscope. In addition I discovered a bright near IR emitting silver cluster DNA complex that can be used as a fluorescent single molecule label. This can be used as bright water soluble dyes for in vivo imaging.

Inspired by the work on the photostable and bright DNA/silver clusters I initiated a new field of research, where silver clusters were created in microporous materials like zeolites. Beside the potential use as biolabels, local irradiation with UV light on larger silver exchanged zeolites (micrometer range) introduces a local increase in the emission intensity. Based on the silver exchanged zeolites unique properties, 4 patents were granted related to energy conversion, LED and solar cell applications and data storage.

Recently, I have started collaboration with Prof. Seong Wook Yang, in developing silver cluster probes for detecting microRNA (miRNAs), RNA and DNA fragments. This detailed understanding of the chemical and biological mechanisms of miRNA detection is a prerequisite for further method development. Our research mainly focuses on plant miRNA detection as a model system but the method can be applied in medical research and clinical diagnosis.

Figure: A) Sequences of the DNA-12nt-RED-160 probe and 4 miRNA targets: RNA-miR160, RNA-miR166, RNA-miR172 and RNA-RY-1. B) Emission spectra (excited at 560 nm) of 1.5 μM DNA-12nt-RED-160 probe (black curve) and mixtures of 1.5 μM DNA-12nt-RED-160 probe with 0.5 μM of RNA-miR160 target (red curve), RNA-miR163 target (blue curve), RNA-miR166 target (green curve), RNA-mir172 target (pink curve) and RNA-RY-1 target (brown curve). C) I0/I values of the fluorescence intensity of the AgNC when adding 0.5 μM of the target miRNA sequences to 1.5 μM of DNA-12nt-RED-160 probe. The values are the average of 3 measurements each.

Read a news article detailing the results of this reserach here
Read the Berlingske article detailing the results of this research here (in Danish)
Read a summary of the publication resulting from this research here
Read the publication resulting from this research here:


2010-present Associate Professor, NanoScienceCenter/ Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen.
2008-2010 Post-doctoral fellowship from F.W.O. (Fund for Scientific Research Flanders-Belgium) second term, Belgium.
2005-2008 Post-doctoral fellowship from F.W.O. (Fund for Scientific Research Flanders-Belgium) first term, U.S.A./Belgium.
2005-2007 Post-doctoral fellow at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, U.S.A.
2004 P.D.M. post-doctoral fellowship from the K.U. Leuven, Belgium.
2003 PhD obtained at K.U. Leuven, Belgium

Collaborations within the Center for Synthetic Biology
Seong Wook Yang
Knud J. Jensen 
Simon Gregersen (PhD)
Claus Juul Løland
Liao Zhiyu (PhD)
Birger Linberg Møller 

Selected Scientific Publications

Reeler, N.E.A., Lerstrup, K.A., Somerville, W., Speder, J., Petersen, S.V., Laursen, B.W., Arenz, M., Qiu, X., Vosch, T, and Nørgaard, K. Gold nanoparticles assembled with dithiocarbamate-anchored molecular wires. Scientific Reports 5, 15273 doi:10.1038/srep15273 (2015) I.F. 5.597

Kacenauskaite, L., Abildgaard Swane, A., Kirkensgaard, J.J.K., Fleige, M., Kunz, S., Vosch, T. and Arenz, M. Synthesis Mechanism and Influence of Light on Unprotected Platinum Nanoparticles Synthesis at Room Temperature ChemNanoMat E-pub ahead of print doi: 10.1002/cnma.201500118 (2015)  I.F. not available

Hooley, E.N., Paolucci, V., Liao, Z., Temboury, M.R.C. and Vosch, T. Single-Molecule Characterization of Near-Infrared-Emitting Silver Nanoclusters. Adv. Optical Materials. 3, 1109–1115. DOI: 10.1002/adom.201500048  (2015) I.F. 4.063

Z Liao, M Tropiano, S Faulkner, T Vosch and TJ Sørensen. Time-resolved confocal microscopy using lanthanide centred near-IR emission. RSC Advances5, 70282-70286 DOI: 10.1039/C5RA15759E (2015) I.F. 3.907

Kemmer, G.C., Bogh, S.A., Urban, M., Palmgren, M.G., Vosch, T., Schillerd J. and Pomorski, T.G. Lipid-conjugated fluorescent pH sensors for monitoring pH changes in reconstituted membrane systems Analyst 140, 6313-6320. doi: 10.1039/C5AN01180A (2015) I.F. 4.097

Frederiksen, R., Alarcon-Llado, E., Madsen, M.H., Rostgaard, K.R., Krogstrup, P., Vosch, T., Nygård, J., Fontcuberta i Morral, A. & Martinez, K.L. Modulation of fluorescence signals from biomolecules along nanowires due to interaction of light with oriented nanostructures Nanoletters  15 (1), 176 181  doi: 10.1021/nl503344y (2015)

Møller Stormm, M., Overgaard, M., Younesi, R., Abildgaard Reeler, N.I., Vosch, T., Gro Nielsen, U., Edstrom, K. and Norby, P. Reduced graphene oxide for Li–air batteries: The effect of oxidation time and reduction conditions for graphene oxide. Carbon 8 (5), 233- 244, doi:10.1016/j.carbon.2014.12.104 (2015)

Liao, Z., Tropiano, M., Mantulnikovs, K., Faulkner, S., Vosch, T., and Sørensen, T.J.  Spectrally resolved confocal microscopy using lanthanide centred near-IR emission. Chem. Commun. 51, 2372-2375doi:  10.1039/C4CC09618E  (2015)

Antoku, Y., Dedecker, P., Pinheiro, P.S., Vosch, T. and  Sørensen, J.B. Spatial distribution and temporal evolution of DRONPA-fused SNAP25 clusters in adrenal chromaffin cells. Photochem. Photobiol. Sci. 14, doi: 1005-1012 doi: 10.1039/c4pp00423j (2015)

Mazzocut, A., Coutino-Gonzalez, E., Baekelant, W., Sels, B., Hofkens, J., and Vosch, T. Fabrication of silver nanoparticles with limited size distribution on TiO2 containing zeolites. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 16, 18690-18693, doi:10.1039/c4cp02238f (2014).

Hutchison, J. A. Uji-i, H., Deres, A., Vosch, T., Rocha, S., Mueller, S., Bastian, A.A., Enderlein, J., Nourouzi, H., Li, C., Hermann, A., Mullen, K., De Schryver, F., Hofkens, J. A surface-bound molecule that undergoes optically biased Brownian rotation. Nature Nanotechnology 9, 131-136,doi:10.1038/nnano.2013.285 (2014)

Kennes, K. Baeten, Y. Vosch, T., Sempels, W., Yordanov, S., Stappert, S., Chen, L., Müllen, K.,  Hofkens, J., Van der Auweraer, M. and Fron. E.Photophysical Investigation of Cyano-Substituted Terrylenediimide DerivativesThe Journal of Physical Chemistry118: 14662−14674 (2014)

Zana, A., Rüdiger, C., Kunze-Liebhäuser, J., Granozzi, G., Reeler, N.E.A., Vosch, T., Kirkensgaard, J.J.K., and Arenz, M. Core-shell TiO2@C: towards alternative supports as replacement for high surface area carbon for PEMFC catalysts. Electrochimica Acta 139, 21-28,doi:10.1016/j.electacta.2014.07.002 (2014).

Li, T. Jevric, M., Hauptmann, J.R., Hviid, R., Wei, Z., Wang, R., Reeler, N.E.A., Thyrhaug, E., Petersen, S., Meyer, J.A.S., Bovet, N., Vosch, T., Nygard, J., Qiu, X., Hu, W., Liu, Y., Solomon, G. C., Kjaergaard, H. G., Bjornholm, T., Nielsen, M. B., Laursen, B. W. Norgaard, K. Ultrathin Reduced Graphene Oxide Films as Transparent Top-Contacts for Light Switchable Solid-State Molecular Junctions. Adv. Materials 25, 4164-4170, doi:10.1002/adma.201300607 (2013).

Liao, Z., Hooley, E.N., Chen, L., Stappert, S., Muellen, K., and Vosch, T. Green Emitting Photoproducts from Terrylene Diimide after Red Illumination. Journal of the American Chemical Society 135, 19180-19185, doi:10.1021/ja407431w (2013).

Shah, P., Rorvig-Lund, A., Ben Chaabane, S., Thulstrup, P.W., Kjaergaard, H.G., Fron, E., Hofkens, J., Yang, S.W., and Vosch, T. Design Aspects of Bright Red Emissive Silver Nanoclusters/DNA Probes for MicroRNA Detection. Acs Nano 6, 8803-8814, doi:10.1021/nn302633q (2012).

Yang, S. W. & Vosch, T. Rapid Detection of MicroRNA by a Silver Nanocluster DNA Probe. Analytical Chemistry 83, 6935-6939, doi:10.1021/ac201903n (2011).

Weil, T., Vosch, T., Hofkens, J., Peneva, K. & Muellen, K. The Rylene Colorant Family-Tailored Nanoemitters for Photonics Research and Applications. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 49, 9068-9093, doi:10.1002/anie.200902532 (2010).

De Cremer, G., Coutino-Gonzalez, E., Roeffaers, M.B.J., Moens, B., Ollevier, J., Van der Auweraer, M., Schoonheydt, R., Jacobs, P.A., De Schryver, F.C., Hofkens, J., De Vos, D.E., Sels, B.F., Vosch, T.  Characterization of Fluorescence in Heat-Treated Silver-Exchanged Zeolites. Journal of the American Chemical Society 131, 3049-3056, doi:10.1021/ja810071s (2009).

Vosch, T., Antoku, Y., Hsiang, J.-C. Strongly emissive individual DNA-encapsulated Ag nanoclusters as single-molecule fluorophores. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 104(31), 12616-12621, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0610677104 (2007).