Synthetic, bio-based or natural biomaterials are defined as materials in contact with biological systems such as cells or tissues. The minimum requirement for a biomaterial is that it must be biocompatible. Modern biomaterials, however, are even biofunctional or bioactive. For example, they transmit active signals to their biological environment by providing molecular recognition sites that serve as anchor points for coupling molecules or cells, or release biologically active molecules at the appropriate time. Also, biomaterials can imitate the mechanical and topographic properties of a natural cell environment and thus promote the growth behavior and the differentiation of cells. In this way it is possible to produce complete artificial tissues. In addition, stability and biodegradability as well as specific biological effects such as anti-thrombogenicity are crucial points in biomaterial development.

Reference projects

Functional Adaptive Nano-Materials and Technologies for Energy Efficient Buildings – -FoAM-BUILD

Project duration: September 2013 – August 2017

A new, lightweight and high insulating nano-cellular foam including a non-halogenated nano-based flame retardant will be developed.

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Functional polymer foams

For the named applications the inner surface of the pores must generally be equipped with functional groups or molecules. Depending on the pore structure and type of the polymer used for the foam, this is currently impossible or extremely difficult.

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Antimicrobial surfaces by the application of natural active substances

Technical application requires that active agents can be applied in a suitable form, we are developing layer systems for longer-term and targeted release and, particularly in the case of biomolecules, for the long-term maintenance of their function.

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Biomimetic, antibacterial bone implants for the prevention of local infections

Since the use of antibiotics is problematic, due to the development of bacterial resistance, other strategies must be found, compared and developed.

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Multi-functional PEGs – new materials for the life sciences

This process involves adjusting the cross-link density by means of the chain length of PEG since the functional groups are located at the end of the chain. Such end-group functionalized PEG is commercially available; however, the choice of chain lengths is extremely limited.

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Production of vascular structures by means of rapid prototyping – BioRap

The aim in tissue engineering is to create functional tissues and organs in vitro and to use them as transplants or in vitro test systems. The generation of larger tissue constructs has been limited due to the lack of a proper nutrient supply throughout the tissue via a vascular system.

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Artificial vascularized scaffolds for 3D tissue regeneration – ArtiVasc 3D

Project duration: November 2011 – October 2015

These vascularized scaffolds will be populated with autologous cells in order to enable the formation of vascularized fatty tissue and, ultimately, artificial skin.

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Laser printing polymer particles for biomaterial applications

The process offers the possibility of arranging a variety of differently colored toner particles with high resolution and thereby individually designing a paper substrate.

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Regioselective functionalized hollow fiber membranes for blood purification

The hollow fibers are functionalized in such a way that the sensitive blood cells are washed unhindered through the unmodified lumens of the hollow fibers.

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