One focal point of our current research is the encapsulation of drugs into polymeric nanoparticles. Such systems, which include nanospheres and nanocapsules, can work as carriers of pharmaceutical substances or genetic material for example. One project is currently dealing with the synthesis of nanocapsules as artificial oxygen carriers that can be used in aqueous dispersion as a blood substitute. This work is presently carried out in cooperation with the Institute for Physiological Chemistry and funded by the Ritter Foundation (in the context of a collaborativ research center the apply of funds from the DFG is requested).
technical nanocapsules and vesicles
A further research section is the investigation of technical nanocapsule applications, for example for self-lubricating surfaces or active corrosion prevention. Currently two projects in this field of study are encouraged by the Volkswagen Foundation and the AiF (German Federation of Industrial Research Associations). In this context we developed special methods in the pulsed field gradient nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (PFG NMR), which provide us various information about the structure, dynamics and physicochemical properties of capsule systems, vesicles and living cells.
Another area of research is the NMR spectroscopic analysis of extracellular macromolecules in biofilms. This work was started in a cooperative research group named "physical chemistry of biofilms" together with local micro-biologists. The investigation is mainly based on extracellular polysaccharides and proteins. Especially molecular networks and dynamics in biofilms are analysed. For this the importance of bivalent cations in polysaccharide solutions is examinated as well, because of their possible function as cross linking agent between the polymers. This work is currently funded by the DFG.