Biobased carbon fibers for lightweight constructions, OLEDs for flexible displays, artificial corneas for eye implants, microcapsules for cosmetics, hydrophobic coatings and biodegradable packaging materials – the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam develops polymers for all application areas.
The group Biological Building Blocks and Bioprocess Development focusses on the development and production of biobased monomers and polymers. Wild type and genetically modified strains, such as Escherichia coli, yeasts or fungi are developed to produce organic monomers, proteins and biopolymers. Structural proteins for fibers, foils or coatings, enzymes for monomer and polymer modifications as well as PHAs as biodegradable bioplastics are examples for biomolecules which are produced via fermentation. The production and purification processes are scaled up in the biotechnological pilot plant to produce material for application tests carried out with internal and external partners and to ensure process feasibility in an industrial scale. Furthermore, protein engineering and targeted mutagenesis are performed to improve or to introduce specific protein properties such as self-assembly or to increase the adsorption strength to synthetic or biobased materials. By developing strategies for the utilization of lignocellulosic substrates such as wheat straw, recycling material or other organic wastes in fermentation processes, the whole potential of biomass for the production of value added compounds is used.
Department Biological Building Blocks and Bioprocess Development