Main focus of the institute for macromolecular chemistry is the synthesis of biomimetic polymers and their applications in biotechnology and biomedicine. We have developed the so-called solid phase polymer synthesis that gives access to highly defined polymers suitable for the controlled attachment and presentation of various functional groups and ligands. Routinely, we apply methods that involve the synthesis of novel monomers and polymers, synthesis and conjugation of different bioligands such as sugars and peptides, characterization of the obtained materials in terms of their chemical composition, molecular weight distributions, interactions with proteins and cells (e.g. by ITC and SPR), stability and adhesion properties (e.g. by light scattering and AFM). Furthermore, we use our oligo- and polymers as building blocks for the synthesis of hydrogels and polymer-functionalized nanoparticles and surfaces.
At the institute for macromolecular chemistry, we develop modern methods of polymer synthesis, in particular of highly-defined and biomimetic polymers. Both are important aspects of today’s material research and offer several links to the synthesis and applications of polymers within the BioSC. Within the research area ‘Microbial and molecular transformation’ new monomers and polymers become accessible via the interdisciplinary combination of biological, process control and chemical methods. Furthermore, polymers play an important role e.g. as compatibilizer in organic/aqueous reaction mixtures or during the isolation of products from complex mixtures. The research area ‘Chemical engineering and processing of renewable resources’ addresses the synthesis of polymers from renewable resources that could be tested for new and improved properties and applications. The cross-cutting topic ‘Structural biology’ includes our interest in the selective interactions of biomimetic polymers with proteins across different length scale, e.g. for drug delivery applications.