Research


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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-10-01 - 2020-09-30

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is affecting the global population. This chronic disease can lead to serious joint damages and disabilities caused by prolonged inflammatory states with a duration from weeks to years. During these inflammatory states macrophages are playing a key role as possible distinctive markers of activation and maturation while folatereceptor beta expression rates are selectively elevated in RA synovial macrophages. Its high affinity for folic acid (FA) can be used as a strategy for targeted drug delivery to chronically activated macrophages by binding FA on the delivery particle. In this way severe side effects occurring with currently used RA treatment methods, which can be avoided by site specific drug delivery and reduced drug loading. Furthermore, decreases in the pH-value in inflammatory and cancerous tissue from pH 7.4 to pH 5.4 are reported and could serve as an additional target for a stimuli-responsive treatment strategy. Therefore, the aim of this project is the development of a bifunctional nanoparticle system for a new RA treatment strategy. On the one hand a pH-depending release profile will enable drug release only in the acidic environment of inflamed tissue while on the other hand specific targeting to chronically activated macrophages will be achieved by surface functionalization with either FA or monoclonal antibodies (mAb). Based on research results of the last decade, human serum albumin (HSA), silk fibroin (SF) and silk-elastin like proteins (SELPs) could offer nanotechnological approaches for new stimuli-responsive treatment strategies with SF and SELPs adding stimuli-responsive properties to HSA based systems. In this project HSA/silk fibroin and HSA/SELPs combinations will be investigated regarding their nanoparticle formation ability, the pH-responsive drug release behaviour and in addition the cell toxicity using various analytical methods.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-10-01 - 2020-09-30

Increasing environmental pollution concerns linked to climate change, increasing number of chronic diseases as well as the diminishing supply of none renewable resources (e.g. the world's petroleum-based chemicals and materials) is directing efforts towards to development of green chemistry technologies, and efficient and maximum exploitation of renewable resources. Current biorefinery concepts focus on lignocellulosic biomass as a feedstock for the production of next generation biofuels and platform chemicals. Lignin a by-product of wood pulping process, is one of the major chemical constituents of woody biomass and second most abundant biopolymer on Earth, surpassed only by cellulose. Traditionally, lignin has been viewed as a waste material and burned as an inefficient fuel. However, in recent decades, research has focused on more economical ways to convert lignin into value-added commodities, such as biofuels, biomaterials, and biochemicals, thus developing and strengthening the concept of fully integrated biorefineries. In this study, we propose to adapt our previously developed novel laccase lignin polymerization system based on continuous supply of oxygen to produce versatile lignin based wood coating fromulations with enhanced adhesives, hydrophobic, antimicrobial, flame retardant and UV-stability property
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-05-01 - 2020-04-30

Modern circular bioeconomy concepts undoubtedly involve the generation of value-added products by using modern, specific and efficient technologies. Enzymes as powerful biocatalysts are already used in many biorefineries. In the pulp and paper industry, environmentally friendly enzyme based processes such as for deinking, bleaching or refining have been developed more than 20 years ago, while implementation is still restricted due to the high enzymes cost. On the other hand, valuable components like residual cellulose fibres in waste streams, such as from deinking of recycled paper are currently under-exploited. Similarly, due to various reasons nitrogen rich waste streams from abattoirs are primarily used for energy production. Building on these facts, the major aim of this InduZyme project is the in-house production of enzymes used in the P & P and waste processing industries using cellulose present in deinking sludge as carbon source and abattoir waste as a nitrogen source and source of other essential nutrients for microbial growth. The use of such waste streams, consequently not only leads to value added products namely enzymes (InduZymes) that are required by these industrial partners at lower cost but also reduces the amount of waste generated in the respective industrial processes . Hence, the InduZyme concept, after subsequent optimization and industrial scale-up will allow the companies to save cost both due to on-site enzyme production and due to converting waste difficult to dispose into valuable products. In detail, the tasks of InduZyme will involve enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose fiber in deinking sludge in order to produce valuable sugars as carbon source for microbial enzyme production. Thereby, the nitrogen as well as other essential nutrients needed for microbial growth will be recovered from protein rich abattoir waste streams. Enzyme production will be accessed for e.g. cellulases, hemicellulases, lipases, proteases needed by the same industries for e.g. deinking and production of biodiesel, amongst for other enzyme based processes. This concept is novel and economically attractive since in contrast to many other concepts a market and demand for the value-added biorefinery products (i.e. the enzymes) already exists within the companies.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations