Biology-inspired interface and material design

Prof. Dr. Carsten Werner
Prof. Dr. Brigitte Voit

The rapid gain of knowledge in molecular life sciences, mainly in the fields of cell biology, genetics, developmental and system biology, provides today’s polymer research with new opportunities for biology-inspired design of functional materials referring to the archaic principle of learning from nature. Application of functional molecular units allows to mimick in synthetic systems materials properties never achieved before and – beyond that – to create completely new combinations of properties. The resulting developments permit to meet challenges of the future globalized civilization such as health, energy efficiency, and resource conservation.

To make use of its competence and capacities in the fields of theory, synthesis, interface design, and processing of polymers for biology-inspired materials development, the IPF established the Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials (MBC) together with the Institute of Material Science of the Technischen Universität Dresden. The MBC follows an interdisciplinary approach and cooperates closely with the Centres for Regenerative Therapies (CRTD) and Molecular Bioengineering (B CUBE) of the Technische Universität Dresden.
The research aims at application perspectives in medicine, especially in regenerative therapies to fight neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, and hematological and oncological diseases.  On the other hand, also non-medical technologies such as sensorics, surface technology, and environmental engineering can benefit from novel biomimetic materials with properties such as controlled bioadhesion, friction, or adaptive or self-healing behaviour.