DWI   Close-up view of a bioreactor Copyright: Bio VI

DWI – Leibniz-Institut für Interaktive Materialien e.V.

Research at DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials focuses on the development of materials with active and adaptive properties. The capability for active adaptation and interactivity is one of the most profound challenges of today’s material research and will ultimately lead to the evolution of intelligent materials. At DWI scientists with backgrounds in polymer sciences, biotechnology and chemical engineering collaborate closely on mastering this challenge. Research at DWI is organized in five research programs, each of them with a focus on key questions concerning development of active and interactive material properties.

  • Synthiofluidics - Microphase- and microfluidic-controlled syntheses and processes
  • Aqua Materials - Water-containing materials formed from aqueous solution; chemistry in aqueous systems
  • Macromolecular Films and Interfaces - Functionality of soft Interfaces
  • Transport and Exchange Systems - Separation- and reaction-controlling systems and processes
  • Biointerface and Biohybrid Systems - Biohybrid systems and control of bioreactions in material contact

Within DWI, the Schwaneberg Group engineers proteins, enzymes and peptides to develop biohybrid materials with tailor-made properties and functionalities. The key technology platform comprises a collection of >50 peptides which bind in water at ambient temperature on a variety of surfaces. Anchor peptides enable the attachment of functional building blocks, e.g. enzymes, microgels or particles to synthetic and natural polymers at ambient temperature in water. Wherein, protein engineering allows to tune interactions and to generate responsive hybrid materials based on functional building blocks. Current application areas of functional biohybrid materials comprise the functionalization of textiles - antimicrobial properties and dying - as well as the immobilization of microgels and antifungal proteins on plant leaves for efficient nutrient and pesticide supply. The division Biohybrid Systems is located in the DWI-Biotechnikum, which engineers and produces as core facility proteins for biohybrid materials in fermentations up to 100 L scale.

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