Microencapsulation and polysaccharide chemistry

The department Microencapsulation and Polysaccharide Chemistry is dedicated to the development of customized biobased materials for a broad range of applications, from building materials, adhesives and detergents to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Our focus is on biodegradable microcapsules and matrix particles as well as polysaccharide and lignin modification.

Through our applied research, we provide sustainable, environmentally friendly and tailored solutions to meet the specific requirements of our customers.


Microencapsulation and structured particles


and lignin chemistry


Biobased materials for a sustainable future

Ways of cooperation

Equipment for synthesis and characterization



Biobased materials for a sustainable future

Why is sustainability important?

In the early days of polymer production, renewable raw materials such as tree resins or milk proteins were the main components of plastics. As industrialization progressed, products made from fossil and limited raw materials - coal and later mainly crude oil - gained in importance.

Now, almost two centuries later, this trend is reversing. The need for sustainable products and actions has also been brought to public attention by issues such as climate change, dwindling resources and plastic waste in the oceans. Only long-term, sustainable solutions will allow us to overcome these challenges.

How can we contribute to a sustainable future?

Many natural substances, such as fragrance oils or pigments, have functional properties. However, these are often not stable enough, for example against oxygen or temperature. By microencapsulation them in natural polymers, we stabilize these substances so that their processing and application profiles correspond to those of synthetic additives.

Through the combination of biobased polymers with biobased additives, we create pioneering products based on completely natural and sustainable principles.

Biobased composites

We develop fully biobased solutions for your application - from additives to capsule wall and matrix materials.

In this way, we support a sustainable circular economy that conserves resources, reduces CO2 emissions and effectively handles product end-of-life options.


Polysaccharides for microencapsulation

  • biobased capsule wall materials based on cellulose, starch, chitosan, hemicellulose and lignin
  • biodegradable capsule wall materials to avoid microplastics
  • reloadable microcontainers for active substances, if necessary fixed to suitable substrates (e.g. textiles)

Functional integration / microencapsulation

  • materials with accelerated biodegradability, e.g. enzyme-containing microcapsules
  • self-healing materials, e.g. starch coatings with integrated microcapsules
  • bioanalytics with micro- and nanofibrillated cellulose coatings

Ways of cooperation

We work on behalf of our industrial customers and offer many years of expertise to support the development of new solutions, products and applications. Do you want to collaborate with us? There are several ways:


Contract research

Do you want to improve a material or product, make it more sustainable or add new functions?

We are by your side with our extensive expertise, equipment as well as years of experience in microencapsulation and polysaccharide chemistry.


Public projects

Within the framework of publicly funded projects, you can collaborate with us to advance developments in the fields of microencapsulation and polyasaccharide chemistry and to work on fundamental questions in a pre-competitive manner.

An overview of our projects can be found here.


Technology Platform Microencapsulation

Become a member! Your benefits:

Update on patents and publications, newsletter, meeting of TPM members, workshop (also for interested parties), online platform



Equipment for synthesis and characterization

Particle and microcapsule analytics

  • microscopy, dark field microscopy, contrast microscopy, fluorescence microscopy
  • pore and surface determination (mercury porosimetry, volumetric gas adsorption - BET, dynamic vapor sorption - DVS)
  • particle size and distribution aqueous/organic dispersed, solid (10 nm - 2 mm)
  • particle charge (zeta potential, streaming potential)
  • processing properties (filming, thermal stability)
  • active ingredient release (HPLC, UV/VIS, potentiometric titration)
  • stability and distribution in solvents, formulations and composites

Polymer analytics

  • molecular mass and distributions (GPC, determination of intrinsic viscosity)
  • rotational viscometer
  • thermal properties and stability (DSC, TGA, TGA-MS)
  • deformation and flow behaviour (rheometer)
  • turbidity photometer
  • raman spectroscopy
  • biodegradability tests (respirometric)

Synthesis and modification

  • reactors to 60 L, kneaders 10 mL - 20 L, pressure reactors, microwave reactor
  • laboratory kneader and defibrator
  • dripping plant with single-substance and multi-substance nozzles
  • spray drying plants for water- and solvent-based systems (up to pilot plant scale)
  • fluidized bed coater, drum coater (coating of particles with diameters > 100 µm or > 1 mm, granulation)
  • colloid mill
  • microfluidizer, high-pressure homogenizer
  • fluidized bed dryer
  • ozonizer



Microencapsulated additives: novel filaments for 3D printing



Plastic components with longer service life



Prolonged lifetime through lubrication on demand



Biodegradability of microcapsules



Current Projects

  • BeBio2 | Resistance of lignin-resin systems
  • HarzForFree | Electroenzymatic synthesis of glycolaldehyde for the production of formaldehyde-free amino resins
  • SoilSynbiotics | Development of Synbiotics for enhancing the soil microbiome
  • ProgMat | materials as logical building blocks (programmable microcapsules)
  • SmartBarriers | self-healing coatings for cartons
  • LuBriKom | extrudable plastic composite with integrated durable friction


Completed projects

  • Abstrichfrei | infection prevention through smear-free on-site testing for SARS-CoV-2
  • Atemmaske | development platform for autonomous biosensors [Link]
  • LigOdor | odor reduction of thermoplastic lignin blends
  • EpoLig | lignin as a binder in reactive resin concretes
  • WikoRelease I and II | development of new active ingredient delivery systems with complex release profiles based on NWR for use in the textile finishing sector
  • SurSafe / Simpromat 2
  • Enzymics | acceleration of the biodegradability of biobased chemically modified polymers by integration of enzymes
  • HybridPearls | hybrid barrier materials to improve the barrier properties of microcapsules
  • Life in Plastik | integration of living microorganisms into polymer films