Research

At the Chair of Biomaterials, different model systems of fibrous protein biopolymers are studied, among them spider and insect silks, as well as collageneous mussel byssus threads. A further focus is on analysis and production of peptides and hybrid materials. The starting point always is the understanding of the molecular interplay and assembly mechanisms of the underlying peptides and proteins, as well as their impact on the structure-function relationships and material properties. Mimetic versions of the fibrous proteins are recombinantly produced, and their physico-chemical properties are thoroughly characterized. The recombinantly produced proteins are processed by variable methods into various material forms for technically relevant applications in pilot plant scale. The expertise of an interdisciplinary team covers six topics:

• protein analytics

• molecular biology / design of molecules

• recombinant protein production („white biotechnology“)

• functionalization and modifcation of proteins

• process technology (spinning, casting, coating, microfluidics, 3D printing/biofabrication a.o.)

• cell biology

Due to morphological variability, outstanding mechanical propterties, biocompatibility, biodegradability, as well as ease of functionalization biopolymers as spider silk and mussel collagens posess a huge appllication potential. The Chair of Biomaterials acts as an link between industry and scientific research, developing innovative high-performance materials for technical and medical applications. The scope of applications ranges from fine dust filter materials, special textiles, to cosmetics, wound repair, implant coating and drug delivery systems. Financial support is acknowledged by: Europäische Union (EU EFRE) | Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft (DFG) | Fonds der Chemischen Industrie | Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) | US Army Research Office | Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Umwelt und Gesundheit (StMUG)

Biofabrication processing / 3D printing

Biofabrication is an emerging field in the area of biomaterials which aims to generate three-dimensional (3D) biocompatible constructs using natural materials as building blocks in combination with cells.

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Biomaterials for Tissue Regeneration

Working group Salehi focuses on developing and combining advanced biomaterials with microfabrication techniques. Designing and application of micro and nano features have been evaluated to engineer complex and functional tissue constructs. The modified structures will show improved physical, mechanical and biological properties.

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Fiber Processing

The focus of this research group is the production of functional and high-performance fiber materials based on proteins. Fiber, yarn und fiber mats are produced using the following processing technologies: wet-, electrostatic- and biomimetic spinning as well as microfluidics.

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Gradient Materials and Delivery Systems

The research group “Gradient Materials and Drug Delivery Systems” deals with research and development of gradient materials and drug delivery systems of protein-based materials.

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Hybrid Materials

Application of the self-assembly principles to control nano- and micro scaled structuring of biomaterials is in focus of our group. Examples of our research comprise DNA-protein hybrid constructs based on recombinant spider silk and specifically designed nucleic acid sequences, as well as fusion proteins.

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Protein Folding and Modification

The focus of this research group is the analysis of structure and assembly as well as the application-specific modification of proteins, which for example occur as main components in spider silk, in green lacewing egg stalks and in the thread of mussel byssus. The starting point always is the understanding of the molecular interactions and assembly mechanisms of the analyzed peptides and proteins, as well as there impact on the structure-function relationships and material properties.

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Simulations of Mesostructured Materials

The group uses computer simulations and numerical methods for studying polymer and filament networks, colloid-polymer suspensions, and colloidal quasicrystals. Furthermore, we investigate solid state materials for alternative energy materials like thermoelectrics and thin film solar cells.

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Tissue Engineering

The subgroup “Tissue Engineering” aims to develop, design and process specific soft or hard tissue biomaterials in different geometries, morphologies and structures. The behaviour and interaction of cells in contact with fabricated scaffolds is studied under the simulated body condition and different electrical, chemical and mechanical stimuli.

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