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NCCR Lecture series: Katharina Landfester

Prof. Katharina Landfester, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (Germany), will give a talk entitled: “Polymeric modules for synthetic biology”.

 

About the talk

Since many years, there is a quest for minimal cells in the field of synthetic biology, potentially allowing a maximum of efficien­cy in biotechnological processes. Although the so-called “protocells” are usually referred to in all papers that attempt a cumulative definition of Synthetic Biology, research in this area has been largely under-represented. The aim of the Landfester lab is to develop vesicular structures, i.e. protocells, based on block copolymer self-assembly and engulfed nanocontainers with incorporated functions, such as energy production and the control of transport properties through nanomembranes. They have designed and developed nanocapsules that act as cell-like compartments and can be loaded with enzymes for synthetic biology and chemistry. In addition, self-assembly of well-defined diblock copolymers has been used to generate polymersomes and hybrid liposomes/polymersomes. Both strategies allow the compartimentalization on the nano- or microscale and conducting enzymatic or chemical reactions in the confinement of the polymersomes/ nanocarriers. New block copolymers and permeable nanocarriers have been synthesized and optimized. With these protocols, the Landfester lab established an enzymatic reaction cascade within droplet-based compartments. These compartments can act as cell-like functions to regenerate NAD. For these tasks, novel conductive polymer nanoparticles have been developed which will be included into the protocells for the NAD regeneration by light. Also enzyme-complexes are assembled that will fulfill these requirements.

 

About Katharina Landfester

Katharina Landfester received her doctoral degree in Physical Chemistry after working in 1995 at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPIP). After a postdoctoral stay at the Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA), she worked at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam (Germany) leading the mini-emulsion group. From 2003 to 2008, she was full professor at the University of Ulm. At the MPIP, she started her activities in the field of biomedical applications in cooperation with several medical groups working on the interaction of nanoparticles with different cell compartments, the labelling of cells and the delivery of substances to specific sides. She joined the Max Planck Society in 2008 as one of the directors of the MPIP. She was awarded the Reimund Stadler prize of the German Chemical Society and the prize of the Dr. Hermann Schnell Foundation, followed by the Bruno Werdelmann Lecturer in 2012 and the Bayer Lecturer in 2014. Her research focuses on creating functional colloids for new material and biomaterial applications. She has published more than 650 papers in international journals, 30 reviews and holds more than 50 patents.

Katharina Landfester lab webpage

 

More info

UNIGE: Monday, November 04, 2019 – room: A150 – 16:15
EPFL: Tuesday November 05, 2019 – room CH-G1 495 – 11:15