Biopolymers as scaffold for (enzymatic) function

In cooperation with with Dr. Liang Qiu from the Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung (IAP) we work on the visualisation of a new type of self-assembling biopolymers. The polymers have potential application in biomedicine as drug carriers, biosensors or as artifical reaction containers for enzymatically driven catalysis. They are produced by reversible-addition-fragmentation chain-transfer polymerisation (RAFT-polymerisation) of well defined glycopolymeres at the IAP and imaged at our facility using room temperature as well as cryo electron microscopy. We were able to differentiate different polymerisation states going from small spherical morphologies (~20 nm) to larger continuous wire-like structures (see pictures), lamella or micell-like morphologies (~300 nm).

Highly Ordered Glyco‐Inside Nano‐Assemblies
Photo: Thomas Bick
Different morphologies of glycol-inside nano assemblies obtained by RAFT dispersion polymerisation


  1. Qiu L., H. Zhang, T. Bick, J. Martin, P. Wendler, A. Böker, U. Glebe, C. Xing (2021) Construction of Highly Ordered Glyco-Inside Nano-Assemblies through RAFT Dispersion Polymerization of Galactose-decorated Monomer. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.