Arnd Pralle


Arnd Pralle.

Arnd Pralle


Arnd Pralle



Cellular Biophysics, Membrane Structure and Signaling, Advanced Microscopy and Spectroscopy, Magnetogenetics, Magnetothermal Stimulation, Nanoscale Heat Transport


  • MS, Physics, Justus-Liebig-University (JLU), Giessen – 1994
  • PhD, Physics, EMBL, Heidelberg, and Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU), Munich – 1999
  • Postdoctoral Research at the Max-Plank-Inst. Mol. Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden – 1999-2000; Human Frontier Science Program (HSFP) Fellow at University of California Berkeley, CA – 2001-2005

Research Area

Research Interests

My interests are the physics of cellular communication and morphology. We focus on two areas: the structure and dynamics of the cell surface in health and disease; and remote communication with neurons deep inside the brain. The cell surface is the communication gateway for cells, and its intrinsic structure is important for many processes, such as the immune response, cancer, organ development and cellular communication. External factors such as fever, adjuvants in vaccines, anesthetics, cholesterol changes throughout life, surface strain and mechanics affect the cell surface while the cell regulates it.We study why and how, under physiological conditions, cells spend energy to keep the structure in non-equilibrium conditions.For this, we use and develop ultra-resolution methods (camera based Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (bimFCS), TIRF, Single Molecule, Optical Trapping) in combination with computer simulations of the system.

Molecular Temperature Measurements

Behavior and emotions are control of by signaling networks deep inside the brain. Our group has developed magnetogenetics, the magneto-thermal stimulation and silencing of specific neuronal circuits inside the brain of awake, moving animals. To achieves this, the neurons are temperature sensitized using an appropriate ion-channel and superparamagnetic nanoparticles are delivered to their cell surface. Then applying an alternating magnetic field heats those nanoparticles, causing the channels to activate or silence, respectively, the neurons. Using this method, we study brain circuitry, develop new silencing modalities, and investigate the temperature dependence of neuronal function. In addition, we study nanoscale heat-transport and magnetic nanoparticle heating.

Awards and Honors

  • Human Frontier Science Program Award, 2012
  • EUREKA Award (NIH), 2011
  • Schloessmann Award (Max-Plank-Society), 2001

Selected Publications

For a complete list of publications, please see PubMed or Google Scholar

  • "Neuronal actin cytoskeleton gain of function in the human brain" EBioMedicine (2023)
  • Romero, Park, Koehler, Pralle and Anikeeva "Modulating cell signalling in vivo with magnetic nanotransducers" Nature Reviews Methods Primers (2022)
  • Signorelli, Hescham, Pralle and Gregurec "Magnetic nanomaterials for wireless thermal and mechanical neuromodulation" iScience (2022)
  • Liu, Munshi, He, Parker and Pralle "Deep brain magnetothermal silencing of dopaminergic neurons via endogenous TREK1 channels abolishes place preference in mice" bioRxiv (2022)
  • Hescham, Chiang, Gregurec, Moon, Christiansen, Jahanshahi, Liu, Rosenfeld, Pralle, Anikeeva and Temel "Magnetothermal nanoparticle technology alleviates parkinsonian-like symptoms in mice" Nature communications (2021)
  • Jin, Zucker and Pralle "Membrane nanodomains homeostasis during propofol anesthesia as function of dosage and temperature" Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Biomembranes (2021) 1863 (2), 183511
  • Pralle "Modulation and dynamics of cell membrane heterogeneities" Chemistry and Physics of Lipids (2020) 233, 105006
  • Castellanos-Rubio, Rodrigo, Munshi, Arriortua, Garitaonandia, Martinez-Amesti, Plazaola, Orue, Pralle, and Insausti, "Outstanding heat loss via nano-octahedra above 20 nm in size: from wustite-rich nanoparticles to magnetite single-crystals" Nanoscale (2019) 11 (35), 16635-16649
  • Jin, Simsek, and Pralle, "Quantifying spatial and temporal variations of the cell membrane ultra-structure by bimFCS" Methods (2018) 140, 151-160
  • Munshi, Qadri, and Pralle, "Transient Magnetothermal Neuronal Silencing Using the Chloride Channel Anoctamin 1 (TMEM16A)" Frontiers in neuroscience (2018) 12, 560
  • Castellanos-Rubio, Munshi, Qadri, and Pralle "Nanoparticle Preparation for Magnetothermal Genetic Stimulation in Cell Culture and in the Brain of Live Rodents" in Springer Protocols Neuromethods (2018)
  • Munshi, Qadri, Zhang, Castellanos-Rubio, del Pino, and Pralle, "Magnetothermal genetic deep brain stimulation of motor behaviors in awake, freely moving mice" eLife 27069 (2017) ( covered by UB news, and several general news sources and blogs, e.g. IEEE Spectrum )
  • Zhang, Castellanos-Rubio, Munshi, Orue, Pelaz, Gries, Parak, del Pino, and Pralle, "Model Driven Optimization of Magnetic Anisotropy of Exchange-Coupled Core–Shell Ferrite Nanoparticlesfor Maximal Hysteretic Loss" Chemistry of Materials 27 (21), 7380-7387   (2015)
  • H Huang, M F Simsek, W Jin, A Pralle, "Effect of receptor dimerization on membrane lipid raft structure continuously quantified on single cells bycamera based fluorescence correlation spectroscopy" PloS one 10 (3), e0121777 (2015)
  • H Huang, S Delikanli, H Zeng, DM Ferkey, A Pralle, "Remote control of ion channels and neurons through magnetic-field heating of nanoparticles" Nature Nanotechnology 5 (8), 602-606 (2010)  ( covered by UB news and many science blogs )