Doctorate hsnResearch Projects
Sensoric Functionalisation of (Bio-)Polymers (BioFunc)

Sensoric Functionalisation of (Bio-)Polymers (BioFunc)

Led by:  H.-J. Endres, F. Renz
Team:  V. N. Dang
Year:  2016

This research project BioFunc has been set up to functionalise polymers and biopolymers by taking new, nanoscale and chemical approaches in order to gain sensoric properties. The BioFunc is achieved by covalent or non-covalent linkage of stimuli-responsive sensoric compounds to the biopolymers. The aim of BioFunc is to establish a scientific basis for innovative medical or materials engineering applications. 

In the medical sector, for example, the objective of BioFunc is to functionalise polymers with biosensors that are able to monitor healing processes (e.g., bandages that detect inflammatory conditions in babies or animals) or indicate diseases (e.g., cancer detection) at an early stage. Another objective is to release and/or absorb bio-effective substances in a locally controlled manner by functionalising bioresorbable or biocompatible polymers accordingly.

In other technological areas, for example, the focus of BioFunc lies on polymers with increased thermal conductivity for heat transfer (functional textiles, automobile heaters, etc.), or increased electrical conductivity for signal transmission (sports sector, sensors and control elements, adaptronics, medicine, etc.). Another functional capacity would be the detection of mechanical stress in engineering components, for example to indicate manufacturing flaws, fiber breakages, material fatigue, or delamination in fiber composite components. Additional fields of application might be to develop forgery-proof materials (product protection of plastic components, certificates and diplomas, etc.), to develop materials for selectively permeable membranes, or to develop polymers that are degradable even under marine conditions, e.g., for cosmetic uses.