Dynamic Hydrogels at Biointerfaces
Natural SciencesPhysical sciencesChemical sciencesBiological sciencesMedical and Health Sciences

(DFG CRC / SFB 1449 "Dynamische Hydrogele an Biogrenzflächen")

The Integrated Research Training Group (IRTG) 1449 is a joint graduate school of the Freie Universität (FU), Technical University Berlin (TU), Humboldt University (HU), Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP), Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPI-KG), Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) and the Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB). It offers postgraduate education in the interdisciplinary field of dynamic hydrogels, a topic that combines the fields of Biosurface Physics, Biomacromolecular Chemistry, Biology and Target Organ Physiology. The graduate school is a member of the Dahlem Research School (DRS; Doctoral Program "Natural Sciences").


This CRC comprises a series of theoretical and experimental projects, which aim for the identification and elucidation of physicochemical properties of biological hydrogels (such as mucus and the glycocalyx) that define the protective function of such hydrogels. The overarchingaim of this CRC is to understand the individual and combined contributions of the physicochemical key parameters to hydrogel (dys)function in health and disease. To elucidate the function of hydrogels at biological interfaces in health and disease, physical, chemical, and biological properties of native and synthetic hydrogels will be determined and analyzed within this CRC. These investigations will mainly focus on the surfaces of lung and gut, which are the largest biointerfaces within the human body that are covered with biological hydrogels. To this end, mucins (i.e., the building blocks of mucus) and hydrogels will be synthesized and characterized using biophysical methods, yielding accurate physicochemical models of the synthesized compounds and allowing for a comparison with the properties of native mucins and biohydrogels, which are also characterized within the CRC.

The highly interdisciplinary research program of the CRC initiative "Dynamic Hydrogels at Biointerfaces" requires continuous training of all participating doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, which enables them to benefit as much as possible from the instrumental and methodological infrastructure developed in the individual working groups and to further expand them in line with the planned research activities to ensure maximal success. The program contains courses that give early career researchers access to important working and analytical methods in the field of hydrogel research, phenomena at biological interfaces and the effects of pathogens, as well as teach important key qualifications that prepare them optimally for their later professional development.

Contact Information

Dr. Stephan Block (speaker)
Prof. Dr. Beate Koksch (co-speaker)
Prof. Dr. Rainer Haag (co-speaker)
Freie Universität Berlin
Dr. Wiebke Fischer
Freie Universität Berlin
Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Takustr. 3
+49 (0)30 838 7268
vary, upon call for applications
vary, upon call for applications
Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Technische Universität Berlin Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Technische Universität Berlin