Institute of Functional Interfaces


MOF-templated Biomaterials

Our research interest is to develop novel materials for applications in biotechnology and medicine. These materials are based on a new class of multifunctional network polymers, which are prepared via a coordination-driven metal–organic framework (MOF)-based template-approach. This demonstrate the concept of crystal-controlled polymerization in confined nanospace, forming highly tunable three dimensional cross-linked network polymers, and tailored porous architectures. MOF-templated polymeric materials combine the advantages of ordered crystalline MOFs (high porosity, structure regularity, and designability) with the intrinsic behaviors of soft polymers (flexibility, processability, stability in physiological media and their biocompatibility) with widespread application possibilities and tunable properties. Such hierarchically structured materials, which are optimized at all length scales relevant for cellular activity could offer the necessary micro-environmental cues for cellular proliferation or differentiation in the right place and at the right time, which makes these biomaterials ideal candidates for applications in cell culture, tissue engineering, medical implants or wound dressing.

Polymerization in MOF Confined Nanospaces: Tailored Architectures, Functions, and Applications, Begum, S. , Hassan, Z. , Bräse, S. Tsotsalas, M.  Langmuir, 2020, (Invited Feature Article)  



Microporous Nanomembranes 


Freestanding nanomembranes of the precision polymers with a hierarchical composition are prepared by a layer-by-layer (LbL) synthesis on sacrificial substrates. The membranes and thin films can find application in gas and liquid phase separation as well as in organic electronics.


SEM images of a freestanding POF nanomembranes after transfer to a TEM grid



Dynamic Covalent Polymer Networks

Dynamic covalent polymer networks synthesized via multi-fold nitroxide exchange reactions (NER) or combination of NER and nitroxide mediated polymerization (NMP) offer a versatile approach for the preparation of controlled and tunable polymeric structures. These dynamic materials with self-healable, intrinsic reversibility and chemical stability can be tailored for applications in medical implants and membrane separation or as organic energy materials.