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Welcome on the website of the Research Group Nanotechnology for Life Science! Our main focus is the development of polymer systems for biomedical applications such as therapy, delivery or diagnostics. We are studying a wide range of applied polymer systems including nanocarriers for drug delivery, copolymers for non-viral gene delivery and functional colloids for magnetic resonance imaging.

The research group nanotechnology for life science started in April 2002 and is a joint research program between the Max Planck society (fundamental research) and the Fraunhofer society (applied research). It is the first time that both institutions have worked together on such pilot project. The group is located in the science park of Golm, an ideal location due to the geographic proximity between the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research (IAP), the Max Planck Institute (MPI) of Colloids and Interfaces and the University of Potsdam. Our research activities create a bridge between fundamental polymer/material science and human medicine. Thus, we are working closely with the market for drug carriers and drug targeting systems by taking the insight produced by the fundamental research of the MPI of Colloids and Interfaces and developing them further in collaboration with industry. However, for each project our group covers and optimises every step of the scientific development from synthesis to applications. We are developing various types of nanocarriers which can be:

Well-defined macromolecular structures: For example, diblock copolymers possessing a polycation segment capable to bind to the negatively charged phosphate-sugar backbone of DNA are studied as non-viral gene delivery vectors.

Supramolecular self assemblies of macromolecules: We are studying in particular the self assembly of amphiphilic segmented copolymers in aqueous media, which can lead to several morphologies such as micelles, multicompartment micelles, Janus micelles, worm-like micelles or polymersomes. Such organized nanostructures are convenient vehicles for drug delivery applications.

Colloids: For instance, we are developing monodisperse ferrofluids for magnetic resonance imaging and drug delivery applications. These colloids contain inorganic magnetite nanoparticles coated with "molecular chimeras" (i.e. diblocks of synthetic polymers and polypeptides).