Philipp Löffler

Ph.D. Student

Center for Fundamental Living Technology
Department of Physics and Chemistry
University of Southern Denmark
Campusvej 55
5230 Odense M

Fax +45 6615 8760
Phone +45 6550 3532
Email: pmgl

Research Interest

Supramolecular chemistry, nucleic acid chemistry, organometallic chemistry, origins of Life, quantum chemistry.

Supervisor: Pierre-Alain Monnard 

Ph.D. project

Non-enzymatic nucleic acid replication supported by self-assembled interfaces

Template-directed nucleic acid ligation and polymerization in the absence of enzymes are model systems for prebiotic information transfer and can be used to study information mutation and alteration based on the underlying chemical principles (self-assembly, molecular recognition, phosphodiester bond formation). An efficient information transfer from a template nucleic acid oligomer cannot be achieved efficiently in bulk aqueous media, however, self-assembled interfaces or structured media have been shown to support the non-enzymatic nucleic acid polymerization. Based on these results, this project aims at demonstrating non-enzymatic template-directed replication of short nucleic acids strands. This replication process will later be photocatalytically controlled using a picolyl capped oligomer and a ruthenium photosensitizer.

In any living cell and by extension protocell, information stored in nucleic acid polymers defines the identity of the individual. To maintain its identity and transmit its information make-up to its progeny, a protocell must be able to replicate it efficiently.


“Ethyl-2-(1,2,3,4-tetrahydrospiro[carba-zole-3,2’-[1,3]dioxolan]-9-yl)acetate” /P. M. G. Löffler, T. Ulven and A. D. Bond*: Acta Crystallographica Section E. 2009; E65, o685

“Tetra-μ2-acetato-bis(1-5-(dimethylamino)naphthyl-sulfonyl]imidazole-κN3|rhodium)(Rh—Rh)aceto-nitriledisolvate” / P. M. G. Löffler, H. H. Petersen, S. Skovsgaard; Ch. J. McKenzie and A. D. Bond*: Acta Crystallographica Section E. 2006; E62, m1808–m1809


“Stable Vesicles Composed of Mono- or Dicarboxylic Fatty Acids and Trimethylammonium Amphiphiles”/ F. Caschera, P.M.G. Löffler, T.E. Rasmussen, J.B. de la Serna, M. Hanczyc, L. Bagatolli, P.-A. Monnard. Langmuir

“Non-enzymatic Polymerization of Nucleic Acids from Monomers: Monomer Self-Condensation and Template-Directed Reactions” / M.Dörr, P.M.G. Löffler, P.-A. Monnard. Current Organic Synthesis

Conference contribution:

Poster: “Eutectic phases in water-ice: an efficient medium for biopolymerization”. P. M. G. Löffler, Rafal Wieczorek, M. Dörr,and P.-A. Monnard. Origins 2011, Montpellier, France 03-08 July 2011

Talk: “Possible role of ice in the synthesis of polymeric compounds” / M. Dörr, P. M. G. Löffler and P.-A. Monnard: Cospar, session F3.6 "Life inside Refrigators - Satellites of Giant planets”  Bremen, Germany, 18-25 July 2010


August 2008 – December 2010, M.Sc.: Nanobioscience

University of Southern Denmark (SDU), 5230 Odense M, Denmark (Institute for Physics and Chemistry)
Master thesis: “Non-enzymatic template-directed RNA-polymerization in a structured environment”

August 2004 – January 2008, B.Sc.: Nanobioscience

University of Southern Denmark (SDU), 5230 Odense M, Denmark (Institute for Physics and Chemistry)
Bachelor thesis: ”Amphiphilic aza crown ethers as membrane anchors in DNA-conjugates”

August 2001 – June 2004, High School Diploma

Deutsches Gymnasium für Nordschleswig, 6200 Aabenraa, Denmark; major in chemistry and mathematics.