Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, 2017-09-24

Helmholtz Virtual Institute (HVI) “Multifunctional Biomaterials for Medicine”

Piloting approaches in modern medical therapies often require innovative multifunctional biomaterials. Protein-biomaterial surface interactions are widely accepted to critically affect the performance of the materials in a biological environment but are still far from being understood or controlled. In the Helmholtz Virtual Institute (HVI) “Multifunctional Biomaterials for Medicine” the effect of protein adsorption on biophysical properties and the biological response in vitro will be fundamentally studied for novel biomaterials like polyglycerols as nanocarriers or functionalized gelatin for tissue regeneration.

These studies are performed in a fundamental science oriented project on biophysical evaluation and modeling of adsorption processes as well as in three clinically motivated projects that address key questions regarding the elimination of uremic toxins, the selective targeting of inflamed tissues with multifunctional nanosystems, and cartilage defects regeneration. The main aim is to establish fundamental biophysical evaluation processes for biomaterial-protein-interactions using a spectrum of comprehensive methods, and to receive a better understanding of the role of protein adsorption by help of the clinically motivated projects.

The Helmholtz Virtual Institute (HVI) addresses these topics by a unique combination of research groups (from Freie Universität Berlin, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, University of Freiburg, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht) working in close cooperation with the clinical partners. In addition to internationally visible principal investigators, junior research groups are substantially involved in interdisciplinary research in order to enable the scientific exchange and continuous development of the research field in cooperation with leading international partner universities.