Functional Protein Systems

Functional Protein Systems

The department of Functional Protein Systems is intensively working in the field of integration of biofunction into materials. Current fields of research include the incorporation of membrane proteins in polymer membranes via tailor-made synthesis strategies, immobilization of enzymes for biocatalysis in thin films and the use of glycopolymers in the life science sector. We work at the interface between biology and polymer chemistry and combine chemical, physical and biotechnological methods to transfer the diversity of nature into new materials.


Our topics

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

Our services

Functional biosystems

  • polymer synthesis (Homopolymers, Block-copolymers, statistical copolymers, glycopoylmers)
  • switchable polymers (temperature and pH-responsive)
  • functional monomers, initiators and chain-transfer agents for polymerizations
  • synthesis of biohybrid materials
  • production of isoporous, ultra-thin (10 nm) membranes
  • biofunctional surface coating and surface modification
  • surface activiation and cleaning by plasma treatment
  • microcontact printing
  • fabrication of Langmiur, Langmuir-Blodgett and Langmuir-Schaefer films
  • wrinkled substrates as templates in the nano- and micrometer scale
  • coating methods (Spin- and Dip-coating)
  • microwave-assited synthesis
  • tailored particles sized and distributions in nano- and micrometer scale
  • biocatalysis
  • separation processes
  • process design and module design

Life Science

  • design and characterization of proteins/enzymes
  • protein purification from biomass
  • proteinchemical analysis (SDS-PAGE, Western Blot)
  • biological evaluation of polymers
  • protein modification
  • protein-polymer and peptide-polymer conjugates
  • peptide synthesis
  • assay development (ELISA)
  • chemo-enzymatic syntheses


  • atomic force microscopy (surface structure analysis, nanoindentation for determining the hardness of surfaces, targeted selective surface oxidation, surface potential measurements, recording of force-displacement curves)
  • characterization of thin films
  • fluorescence microscopy
  • surface potential and dynamic light scattering
  • analytical and preparative chromatography (UHPLC, LC-MS)
  • isothermal titration calorimetry
  • mechanical and dimensional testing of hair and fibers

Our research topics

Protein modification and protein immobilization

  • embedding in polymer matrices (membranes, gels, particles)
  • linkage to different surfaces
  • introduction of anchor groups
  • sequence Design
  • enzymatic protein ligation


  • increase the temperature stability of proteins
  • directed immobilization and immobilization without function-loss
  • purification and tagging
  • highly sensitive immunological assays

Ultrathin functional layers

  • protein-polymer membranes
  • biocatalytically active membranes
  • glycopolymers on surfaces


  • filtration with isoporous membranes
  • continuous biocatalysis
  • protein repellent surfaces
  • cell culture
  • biosensors

Interactive colloidal systems

  • nanoparticle-polymer hybrid materials
  • self-replicating colloidal structures
  • janus particles
  • surface functionalization of particles
  • targeted surface modification by microcontact printing
  • self-assembly techniques for creating complex structures


EFRE projects

New production technologies based on colloidal self-assembly