Welcome to BörnerLab

Research Overview

  1. Synthesis and design of functional hybrid polymers (bioconjugates)
  2. Bio-mimetic formation of structure and function in synthetic polymers (peptide-guided organization and structure based functions)
  3. Pseudopeptides and precision polymers for biomedical applications (integrated polymer systems for gene or drug delivery)
  4. Bio-functionalization of surfaces (bioactive polymer fibers, scaffolds and material interfaces; Bio-inspired adhesion segments in block copolymers, (bio)-functional coatings, crystal growth modifiers)

Objectives: Controlling interactions in synthetic polymers as precisely as in proteins would have a strong impact on polymer science. Advanced structural and functional control can lead to rational design of, integrated nano- and microstructures. To achieve this, properties of oligopeptides were exploited. By incorporating these as monodisperse segments into synthetic polymers we show how to program structure formation in polymers, control inorganic-organic interfaces in fiber composites, induce structure in biomacromolecules for biomedical applications and generate bioactive surfaces to control biological systems.


01.04.2021 - Jana Maria Krüger was awarded with a Talk Prize at 23rd JCF-Frühjahrssymposium
Congratulations to Jana Maria Krüger! At the 23rd JCF-Frühjahrssymposium her presentation titled "Paving the way toward a material platform via mussel-inspired polymerization" was awarded with a Talk Prize (Second Place). The 23rd JCF-Frühjahrssymposium was organized by JCF from Leipzig, Halle/Saale, Dresden and Berlin and took place in the online venue Gather.Town.

18.02.2021 - Congratulations to Narendra Lagumaddepalli Venkatareddy
Today Narendra Lagumaddepalli Venkatareddy has defended his outstanding PhD theses „Revealing secrets of mussel-glue mimetic peptides; From advanced NMR analysis to computational process modellings“.

Congratulations and good luck for your future career!

05.02.2021 - Implementing Zn2+ ion and pH-value control into artificial mussel glue proteins by abstracting a His-rich domain form preCollagen
New Paper released in Soft Matter.

Abstract: A His-rich domain of preCollagen-D found in byssal threads is derivatized with Cys and Dopa flanks to allow for mussel-inspired polymerization. Artificial mussel glue proteins are accessed that combine cysteinyldopa for adhesion with sequences for pH or Zn2+induced β-sheet formation. The artificial constructs show strong adsorption to Al2O3, the resulting coatings tolerate hypersaline conditions and cohesion is improved by activating the β-sheet formation, that enhances E-modulus up to 60%.

Full article link: https://doi.org/10.1039/D0SM02118K

28.01.2021 - Accessing the Next Generation of Synthetic Mussel-Glue Polymers via Mussel-Inspired Polymerization
New Paper released in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

Abstract: The formation of cysteinyldopa as biogenic connectivity in proteins is used to inspire a chemical pathway toward mussel-adhesive mimics. The mussel-inspired polymerization (MIPoly) exploits the chemically diverse family of bisphenol monomers that is oxidizable with 2-iodoxybenzoic acid to give bisquinones. Those react at room temperature with dithiols in Michael-type polyaddition, leading to polymers with thiol–catechol–connectivities (TCC). A set of TCC-polymers prove adhesive behavior even on challenging poly(propylene) substrates and there they compete in dry adhesive strength with commercial epoxy resins. The MIPoly promises ease of scale up and exhibits high modularity to tailor adhesives, as proven on a small library, where one candidate shows wet adhesion on aluminum substrates in both water and sea water models.

Full article link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.202015833

24.11.2020 - Information-Based Design of Polymeric Drug Formulation Additives
New Paper released in Biomacromolecules 2020.

Tailor-made copolymers are designed based on a peptide-poly(ethylene glycol) (QFFLFFQ-PEG) conjugate as a blueprint, to solubilize the photosensitizer meta-tetra(hydroxyphenyl)chlorin (m-THPC). The relevant functionalities of the parent peptide-PEG are mimicked by employing monomer pairs that copolymerize in a strictly alternating manner. While styrene (S) or 4-vinylbenzyl-phthalimide (VBP) provide aromatic moieties like Phe, the aliphatic isobutyl side chain of Leu4 is mimicked by maleic anhydride (MA) that reacts after polymerization with isobutylamine to give the isobutylamide-carboxyl functional unit (iBuMA). A set of copolymer-PEG solubilizers is synthesized by controlled radical polymerization, systematically altering the length of the functional segment (DPn = 2, 4, 6) and the side chain functionalization (iBuMA, iPrMA, MeMA). The m-THPC hosting and release properties of P[S-alt-iBuMA]6-PEG reached higher payload capacities and more favored release rates than the parent peptide-PEG conjugate. Interestingly, P[S-alt-RMA]n-PEG mimics the sensitivity of the peptide-PEG solubilizer well, where the exchange of Leu4 residue by Val and Ala significantly reduces the drug loading by 92%. A similar trend is found with P[S-alt-RMA]n-PEG as the exchange of iBu → iPr → Me reduces the payload capacity up to 78%.

27.08.2020 - Combining Phage Display and Next-Generation Sequencing for Materials Sciences: A Case Study on Probing Polypropylene Surfaces
New Paper released in Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Phage display biopanning with Illumina next-generation sequencing (NGS) is applied to reveal insights into peptide-based adhesion domains for polypropylene (PP). One biopanning round followed by NGS selects robust PP-binding peptides that are not evident by Sanger sequencing. NGS provides a significant statistical base that enables motif analysis, statistics on positional residue depletion/enrichment, and data analysis to suppress false-positive sequences from amplification bias. The selected sequences are employed as water-based primers for PP–metal adhesion to condition PP surfaces and increase adhesive strength by 100% relative to nonprimed PP.

Full article link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/jacs.0c03482

21.08.2020 - Congratulations to Carmen Juds
Today Carmen Juds has defended her outstanding PhD theses „Phagendisplay und Hochdurchsatz- Sequenzierung: Neue Werkzeuge zur Identifizierung Peptid-basierter Materialbinder“.

Congratulations and good luck for your future career!

28.07.2020 - Toward Artificial Mussel-Glue Proteins: Differentiating Sequence Modules for Adhesion and Switchable Cohesion
New Paper released in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

Abstract: Artificial mussel-glue proteins with pH-triggered cohesion control were synthesized by extending the tyrosinase activated polymerization of peptides to sequences with specific modules for cohesion control. The high propensity of these sequence sections to adopt b-sheets is suppressed by switch defects. This allows enzymatic activation and polymerization to proceed undisturbed. The b-sheet formation is regained after polymerization by changing the pH from 5.5 to 6.8, thereby triggering O→N acyl transfer rearrangements that activate the cohesion mechanism. The resulting artificial mussel glue proteins exhibit rapid adsorption on alumina surfaces. The coatings resist harsh hypersaline conditions, and reach remarkable adhesive energies of 2.64 mJm-2 on silica at pH 6.8. In in situ switch experiments, the minor pH change increases the adhesive properties of a coating by 300% and nanoindentation confirms the cohesion mechanism to improve bulk stiffness by around 200%.

Full article link: https://doi.org/10.1002/ange.202008515

17.06.2020 - Congratulations to Emmanuelle Schue
Today Emmanuelle Schue has defended her outstanding PhD theses „Oxidative intramolecular crosslinking in sequence-controlled polymers: Approaches toward more complex designs and folding analysis “.

Congratulations and good luck for your future career!

03.06.2020 - Congratulations to Matthias Röber!
Matthias Röber absolvierte die erste digitale Promotionsverteidigung im AK Börner und schloss damit seine Promotion zum Thema „Templatgeleitete Strukturbildung kollagenartiger Peptide" erfolgreich ab.

Wir gratulieren zum Doktortitel und zur Einstellung bei Pensatech Pharma GmbH.

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