Proteins and other bio molecules are often analysed exclusively in aqueous solutions in test tubes. But it is uncertain if these experimental studies can be transferred to the densely-packed cellular environment. The Bochum-based researchers from the team of Junior Professor Dr Simon Ebbinghaus have developed a novel method which can be used to analyse the effects of the lack of space in living cells with the aid of a microscope for the first time. They designed a sensor that changes colour depending on how confined the space in the cell is. The researchers report their findings in the trade journal Angewandte Chemie and Angewandte Chemie International Edition. The findings are the result of a collaboration conducted between RUB and Max Planck Institute for Coal Research (Dr Matthias Heyden) under the umbrella of the Cluster of Excellence RESOLV.