Research Topics

Radical Ring-Opening Polymerisation

Synthesising a polyester from a radical polymerisation has some interesting features compared to a classic ring-opening polymerisation. Radical ring-opening polymerisation now allows for additional functional groups like amines. Since the final structure is still polyester, it can by hydrolysed and can also be biodegraded using enzymes like esterase. Altogether, this polymerisation does hold some very compelling features but also some tough challanges which we will conquer along the way.

Latest publication: DOI: 10.10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2020.109851

Responsive Hydrogels

It is the somewhat omnipresent question of polymer chemistry: How can we apply the vast array of polymers with all their functionalities for a certain application? Within the RTG “Hydrogel-Based Microsystems” with the TU Dresden, we apply this onto hydrogels and their use in microfluidics. Our hydrogels tend to hold responsive units (e.g. from complexation) as responsive additional cross-linking points.

Latest publication: 10.1039/D0SM00833H


It is fair to say that we have a bit of a history in the field. Amphiphilic block-copolymers can self-assembly into a large array of structures, but we find polymersomes the most compelling one. With their aqueous core and hydrophobic part of the membrane, they can host hydrophilic and hydrophobic cargo. If a molecule contains both domains (e.g. protein), it can even host these in their membrane. A lot has been seen and done on these vesicles, but as they say: There is loads of room at the bottom!

Our reviews in the field cover polymersomes in general, but also ABC triblock-copolymers as well as cross-linked polymersomes specifically.

Latest publication: 10.1021/acs.macromol.0c02301


For Che, Y., Gaitzsch, J., Liubimtsev, N., Zschoche, S., Bauer, T., *Appelhans D., *Voit B., Double cross-linked supramolecular hydrogels with tunable properties based on host–guest interactions. Soft Matter, 2020, 16, 6733-6742. DOI: 10.1039/D0SM00833H

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