Biomimetics – Bio-inspired Materials

Biopolymers and functional polymers that mimic nature

Miesmuschel Biopolymere
© Fraunhofer IFAM

Blue mussels attach themselves to surfaces via their byssus filaments using a protein adhesive. The adhesive can be seen as the white points of attachment to the glass surface.

Adhesive bonding is a much utilized “joining technique” in the natural world. Examples include the specialized adhesion of proteins, cells, and organisms to surfaces. The challenge: How can the principles used in the natural world for adhesive bonding technology and surface technology be utilized?

Adhesive bonding in medicine involves bonding in aqueous environments which is generally difficult with standard synthetic adhesives. This is why structural components of adhesives from, for example, blue mussels in combination with synthetic polymers to produce new peptide-polymer hybrid adhesive systems are joined. Other key work areas are the bonding of histological preparations, wound care, and the use of renewable raw materials.

 

Key activities

 

  • Synthesis of polymer-peptide hybrids and their characterization
  • Adhesive bonding in medicine
  • Adhesive bonding and surface modification for medical technology
  • Wound care
  • Elucidation of bonding mechanisms found in the biological and natural worlds and their utilization for technical/industrial applications
  • Adhesives based on renewable raw materials
  • Analysis of biological adhesive systems
  • Utilization of biological concepts found in nature to develop synthetic materials