Intermolecular interactions of biofunctional polymers

The characterization of biopolymer systems consisting of different components with emphasis on bioactive interactions is a challenge again and again. Our first attempts to characterize biocomplexes and aggregation behavior of bioactive molecules led to the development of novel physicochemical approaches with high application potential.  


The focus of our research is on three different types of interaction:

1.    interactions between similar biopolymers (e.g. aggregation or cross-linking) for stimuli-responsive size changes 

Overview of molecular conformations of dendronized glycopolymers as a function of pH, concentration and generation number determined by AF4 in combination with light scattering. (6)


2.    non-covalent interactions between large host polymers and smaller guest molecules (e.g. complexation studies) for targeted drug-delivery

Complexation studies of guest-host systems by AF4-LS: Quantification of complexed molecules by UV and LS detection. (7)


3.    bioconjugation to fabricate supramolecular structures (e.g. studies of biohybrid structures or polyplexes) as e.g. sensor materials

From 1D rods to 3D networks: Structural transformation of biohybrid structures consisting of biotin-avidin interactions. (1)


The determination of multicomponent or aggregate distribution together with a characterization of scaling parameters enables a deep insight into structure-property-relationship. Large dimensions, high molar masses and extremely high functionality are characteristic for these molecules, accompanied by challenging molecular characterization. Using AF4 coupled to static light scattering, dynamic light scattering as well as using complementary methods such as AFM and MD simulations we can shed light on the interactions of biopolymer systems.


  1. F. Ennen, P. Fenner, G. Stoychev, S. Boye, A. Lederer, B. Voit, D. Appelhans Coil-like enzymatic biohybrid structures fabricated by rational design: Controlling size and enzyme activity over sequential nanoparticle bioconjugation and filtration steps ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2016), 8 (9), 6261-6268
  2. F. Ennen, P. Fenner, S. Boye, A. Lederer, H. Komber, B. Voit, D.Appelhans Sphere-Like Protein-Glycopolymer Nanostructures Tailored by Polyassociation Biomacromolecules (2016), 17 (1), 32-45
  3. A. Taubert, T. Mai , S. Boye , J. Yuan , A. Voelkel , M. Graewert , C. Guenter, A. Lederer Poly(ethylene oxide)-based block copolymers with very high molecular weights for biomimetic calcium phosphate mineralization RSC Advances 2015, 5, 103494-103505
  4. C. Striegler, M. Franke, M. Müller, S. Boye, U. Oertel, A. Janke, L. Schellkopf, B. Voit, D. Appelhans Amino acid modified hyperbranched poly(ethylene imine) with disaccharide decoration as anionic core-shell architecture: Influence of the pH and molecular architecture on solution behaviour Polymer 2015, 80, 188-204
  5. R.-P. Nzé, T. Nicolai, C. Chassenieux, E. Nicol, S. Boye, A. Lederer Effect of connectivity on the structure and the liquid-solid transition of dense suspensions of soft colloids Macromolecules 2015, 48, (21) 7995-8002
  6. S. Boye, A. Lederer et al. From 1D rods to 3D networks: A biohybrid topological diversity investigated by asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation Macromolecules 2015, 48,  4607-4619
  7. E. Haladjova, M. Geisler, S. Boye, A. Lederer et al. Asymmetric Flow Field-Flow Fractionation Investigation of Magnetopolyplexes  Macromol. Chem. Phys. 2015, 216, 1862-1867
  8. M. A. Yassin, S. Boye, A. Lederer et al. Overcoming Concealment Effects of Targeting Moieties in the PEG Corona: Controlled Permeable Polymersomes Decorated with Folate-Antennae for Selective Targeting of Tumor Cells small 2015 11 (13), 1580-1591
  9. T. Mai, S. Boye, A. Lederer et al. Poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(3-sulfopropyl methycrylate) block copolymers for calcium phosphate mineralization and biofilm inhibition Biomacromolecules 2014, 15, 3901-3914
  10. F. Ennen, S. Boye, A. Lederer et al. Biohybrid structures consisting of biotinylated glycodendrimers and proteins: influence of the biotin ligand's number and chemical nature on the biotin-avidin conjugation Polymer Chemistry 2014, 5, 1323-133
  11. S. Boye et al. pH Triggered Aggregate Shape of Different Generations Lysine-Dendronized Maleimide Copolymers with Maltose Shell Biomacromolecules 2012, 13 (12), 4222-4235
  12. S. Boye et al. An Alternative Route to Dye-Polymer Complexation Studies using Asymmetrical Flow Field-Flow Fractionation J. Chromatogr. A 2010, 1217, 4841–4849