Life Science and Bioprocesses

Polymeric materials with biological functions

Nature has been developing and optimizing biological systems for millions of years. We use these proven mechanisms in the research division of Life Science and Bioprocesses to expand the range of polymer functionality. Our focus is on integrating new biological functions into polymer materials.  

In the area of Functional Protein Systems, polymer research is combined with biotechnology in a unique way. Functional biobased building blocks are produced and implemented into polymers using chemical, physical and biotech methods. Interactive colloidal systems are also developed.

The department of Healthcare, Biomaterials and Cosmeceuticals unites polymer research, nanotechnology and interfacial chemistry to develop new, high-tech materials for medical technology through to application maturity.

Our services

Hair analysis

  • surface treatment
  • mechanical analysis (stress-strain behavior under standard environmental conditions)
  • dimensional analysis via laser scanning micrometer
  • surface analysis with atomic force microscopy

Biological building blocks

  • metabolic engineering and strain development of protein-based building blocks
  • digestion of biological residues

Biotechnological processes

  • fermentation processes and product processing
  • utilisation of renewable raw materials

Functional biosystems

  • protein modification and protein immobilization
  • ultrathin functional layers
  • (bio)responsive polymers

Self-assembly techniques

  • colloidal building blocks
  • polymeric nanostructures
  • surface and interface-driven assembly
  • functional coatings

Development of materials for life science    

  • hydrogels, polymer dispersions
  • "intelligent" materials for medical applications
  • implants
  • active ingredient systems, drug delivery systems
  • cosmetics
  • microbiology testing

Our research topics

Our activities in the research division of Life Science and Bioprocesses span a wide range of application fields. We develop processes, materials and key substances, for example, for biotechnology, the chemical industry, for textiles, medical products, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, as well as for environmental- and nanotechnologies.

In addition to the traditional research fields, our research and development concentrates on biomaterials and hydrogels, implants, bioactive surfaces, sensors and biotech processes. Microbiology testing and testing using primary cells and cell lines deepen the scope of our R&D capabilities.

Focus is also placed on the synthesis of polymers and biohybrid materials, the production of ultra-thin membranes and the biofunctionalization of surfaces.

Our developments in biotechnology are implemented on a lab-scale and scaled up to pilot plant-scale. The utilization of renewable raw materials plays a key role in this regard.

Our equipment

Fuctional Protein Systems

  • state of the art synthesis laboratories for the synthesis of high and low molecular weight substances and particle systems
  • schlenk-lines including high vacuum pumps
  • langmuir trough
  • high performance atomic force microscope
  • spin and dip coater
  • low-pressure plasma system for various process gases and evaporation of liquids
  • membrane flux analysator
  • dynamic light scattering with autotitrator and temperature control
  • zeta potential
  • inverted microscope (fluorescence, phase contrast, high performance camera)
  • automated peptide synthesizer
  • microwave reactor
  • isothermal titration calorimetry with low sample volumes


Biological Building Block and Bioprocess development

  • Biochemical and molecular biological S1/S2 laboratories
  • DNA work: thermocycler, real-time PCR, gel electrophoresis systems, gel imaging system, DGGE/SSCP system
  • Protein work: gel electrophoresis systems (1D,2D), blotting apparatus, analytical HPLC system
  • UV/VIS-spectrometer
  • fluorescence microplate reader
  • cell disruption: ultra-sonic homogenizer, bead beater, cryogenic vibrating mill
  • freeze-drying
  • centrifugal mill for crushing plant substrates
  • shaking and standing incubators
  • S1 pilot plant
  • stainless steel bioreactors: 3x 2 liter, 1x 10 liter, 1x 100 liter working volume with exhaust gas analytics and process analytics
  • flow separator for cell separation
  • high pressure homogenizer for cell disruption
  • ultracentrifuge
  • filtration device for ultra-, micro- and diafiltration
  • preparative HPLC-system
  • freeze-drying (up to 20 liter scale) and rotary evaporator (10 liter scale)
  • autoclaves


Functional Polymers for Medical Technology

  • modern synthesis laboratories for low-and high-molecular compounds
  • modern methods of molecular analysis of organic substances
  • various methods of molecular weight analytics: size exclusion chromatography (GPC/SEC), cryoscopy, osmotic pressure, vapor pressure osmometry (VPO), ultracentrifuge
  • polyelectrolyte titration, turbidity photometry
  • UV-vis-NiR and FT-IR spectrometer
  • HPLC high performance liquid chromatography coupled with MS
  • thermogravimetry and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)
  • microscopes (with polarization, darkfield and phase contrast facility stereo incident light, inverse fluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscope)
  • photomicrograph and digital image analysis
  • dynamic light scattering
  • surface tension (tensiometers, spinning drop)
  • rheometer (rotation, oscillation, interfacial rheology)
  • precision density measurement
  • ellipsometer
  • surface plasmon resonance spectrometer (SPR)
  • contact angle measurement
  • spin and dipcoater
  • determination of the minimum film forming temperature (MFT)
  • steam sterilizers, autoclaves
  • ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) with MS coupling
  • gas chromatography with MS coupling

Joachim Storsberg

Contact Press / Media

Prof. Dr. Joachim Storsberg

Head of Department | Healthcare, Biomaterials and Cosmeceuticals

Fraunhofer IAP
Geiselbergstraße 69
14476 Potsdam

Phone +49 331 568-1321

Ruben R. Rosencrantz

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Ruben R. Rosencrantz

Head of Department | Biofunctionalized Materials and (Glyco)Biotechnology

Fraunhofer IAP
Geiselbergstraße 69
14476 Potsdam

Phone +49 331 568-3203

Dmitry Grigoriev

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Dmitry Grigoriev

Head of Devision | Multifunctional Colloids and Coatings

Fraunhofer IAP
Geiselbergstraße 69
14476  Potsdam-Golm

Phone +49 331 568-3219