TIMed CENTER Center for Technological Innovation in Medicine

Research Projects

Functional Polymers for Biomimetics (PolFunk)

Target: Investigation of polymer surfaces (µm/nm) that imitate chemical and mechanical properties of biological systems.

Geometrically flexible, bio-compatible surfaces made of functional polymers and hydrogels are getting more and more relevant for various industrial and research sectors. They are used for the manufacturing of tissue substitution materials, for wound care and in the field of prosthetics (bone replacement, dental prostheses, implants). Furthermore, these components can be found in nano technology as well as in procedures like 2D-/3D-printing, micro- and nano-fluidics and lithography.

It is the task of biomimetic materials to imitate the structure and the function of biological materials. The research group responsible for the project PolFunk is concerned with the manufacturing of structured polymer surfaces in a micro- until nanometer scale. Their variably adjustable shape as well as their mechanical and chemical properties should allow them to imitate biological systems. The surfaces produced at the faculty in Linz are able to bind proteins and thereby adopt biochemical properties. Thus, an extra-cellular matrix that serves as a carrier structure for cells may be produced. Furthermore, these surfaces may form the substrate for bio sensors, for example for the purpose of proteom-/genom-anaysis and in-vitro-diagnostics.

The superordinate goal of this project is the development of a "chemical toolbox" that enables a variety of bio-molecules to bind to polymer structures. They are quantified by means of microscopic methods like the Hellfeld-, fluorescence or atomic force microscopy.

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