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.


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

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.

18.02.2020 - Student internship in polymer chemistry
Today we welcomed students of the Gorge-Orwell-school from Berlin Lichtenberg for a laboratory internship in polymer chemistry.

27.11.2019 - Congratulations to Justus Horsch!
Today Justus Horsch has defended his outstanding PhD theses „Muschel-inspirierte Polymerisation: Synthetische Bioadhäsive für wasserbasierte Klebstoffe und meerwasserresistente Beschichtungen“ with “summa cum laude”.

Congratulations and good luck for your future career!
06.11.2019 - Mussel‐Inspired Polymerization of Peptides: The Chemical Activation Route as Key to Broaden the Sequential Space of Artificial Mussel‐Glue Proteins
New Paper released in Macromolecular Rapid Communications.

Background: A chemical activation route makes the use of tyrosinase in the mussel‐inspired polymerization of peptides obsolete and enables the exploitation of the sequence space to generate artificial mussel‐glue proteins. This is shown by polymerizing the minimal adsorption domain Dopa‐Lys‐Cys, leading to poly(Dopa‐Lys‐Cys) with non‐peptidic thiol–catechol connectivities in the backbone. Polymer films are formed under seawater conditions and resist washing with 4.2 M hypersaline solution.

Full article link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/marc.201900431

22.07.2019 - Learning from peptides to access functional precision polymer sequences
New Paper in Angewandte Chemie has been published and is highlighted as hot article in drug delivery research:

Background: A new strategy to guide the sequence design for accessing functional precision polymers was described. For that purpose, a well-studied peptide that acts as a formulation additive to solubilize a photosensitizer drug was used and the direct translation of side chain functionality sequences towards precision polymer backbones, leads to macromolecules, which mimic drug hosting and release properties of the parent peptide.

Full article Link:


Hot Topic: Drug Delivery:


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