Particle-based systems

Nanoparticles with a diameter in the range of 50 up to 300 nanometers are synthesized at the Fraunhofer IGB of organic as well as inorganic materials. Our research focuses on the design of special nanoparticles as carriers for biotechnology and medicine and the use of carbon nanotubes for actuator applications.

Fields of research

Customized core-shell particles for chemistry, medicine, pharmacy and the environment

Core-shell particles are functional composite materials combining at least two different functions: those of the particle core and those of the particle surface or shell. In the preparation of particles, at the Fraunhofer IGB the focus is on the design of the surface, for example by binding biological molecules. However, the cores can also be given additional functions, e.g. by loading with dyes or drugs for drug release applications.

Active agent formulation

A major challenge in the treatment of diseases is the selective transport of active agents to the damaged tissue or organ. Cell membranes are the most important barriers for a targeted drug delivery. Another problem is the degradation or derivatization of free agents in the body which often reduces the specific effect of the drug at the target site. Also, active agents are distributed incorrectly or are changed in the body, which may lead to unwanted side effects. An already-tested way to circumvent these disadvantages is the manufacturing of particulate active ingredient formulations, where the active agent is bound into a polymeric shell or matrix.

Printing processes

Among the established printing techniques, inkjet printing offers a highly attractive technique to generate two- or even three-dimensional structures that have been designed before at the computer. At the Fraunhofer IGB ink formulations for processing a variety of functional components such as hydrogels, nanoparticles, proteins and conductive materials are developed.

Carbon-based materials

Due to their outstanding properties, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon nanofibers (CNF) are considered as the material of the 21st century. Besides single wall nanotubes (SWNT) and multi wall nanotubes (MWNT), also double wall nanotubes (DWNT) and chemically functionalized nanotubes are commercially available. In addition also several carbon nanofibers distinguished e.g. as heringbone or platelete widen the material's diversity. Recently, also single graphite layers, kown as graphene, arouse the curiosity of the scientific community and are synthesized and processed for first applications.