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PhD thesis successfully defended in the AG Thiele!

01.03.23: Congratulations, Dr. Hauck 🙂 How time flies…Nico has completed his PhD with flying colors! As a proud PI, it has been a pleasure to see him grow as a scientist and person through the years. He has shaped the group’s work on microfluidic material design, and some of his developments are still in use in collaborative work with other groups (interested in electrode-based droplet fusion to handle highly reactive hydrogel precursor species? – DOI: 10.1039/D1SM01176F. Below: From 2023 back to 2018 😉

2 PnD positions open in my group in Magdeburg at OVGU!

20.01.23: My group in Magdeburg is growing. With 2 PhD students having started this month, we have another 2 PhD positions open (each for three years, 65% TV-L13). Potential topics include microgels for synthetic biology and as tunable building blocks for hierarchically assembled soft matter. If you have a strong background in organic synthesis / polymer chemistry, you are eager to learn new experimental techniques (e.g., 3D printing based on DLP and droplet microfluidics), and have a passion for teaching – APPLY!

More info can be found here.

#56 is the charm

02.11.22: One of my ERC-funded PhD students – Talika A. Neuendorf – won a poster prize at this year’s CellMat 2022 (7th International Conference on Cellular Materials) in Dresden. Her poster (no. 56) entitled „Additive cellular material design by UV-induced polymer hydrogel inter-crosslinking“ introduces a key chemical motif for inter-crosslinking polymer micro- and macro-hydrogels into stable 3D assemblies. More info here. Congratulations Talika and well-deserved 🙂

Interested in a PhD in Cardiff?

10.10.22: My colleague and friend Ben Newland, a lecturer at Cardiff University, has an open PhD position to offer – check out his webpage if you are interested in developing therapies for brain cancer. Joint publication: „Sulfonated cryogel scaffolds for focal delivery in ex-vivo brain cultures“, Biomaterials 2021, 271, 120712. More info here.

Warm welcome in faculty council meeting

07.09.22: It has been a pleasure to be introduced to many new colleagues during the faculty council meeting of FVST/OVGU by the dean Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Dominique Thévenin. And thanks a lot for the flowers 🙂 More info here.

New PhD student has joined the AG Thiele!

12.09.22: Evgeny Grigoryev has joined the AG Thiele as new PhD student in the ERC StG project „3DPartForm“. Instead of focusing on applications of integrated hydrogel particle assemblies, he will work on fundamental aspects, e.g., what promotes assembly stability, how does a particle assembly or discontinuous soft matter respond to perturbations in its structure? – Good luck and let’s go 🙂

3 PhD positions open at OVGU Magdeburg

24.08.22: We are getting started 🙂 Three positions are open at the Chair of Organic Chemistry (novel research focus: „polymer material design via microfluidics and 3D printing: tools and platforms for elucidating/mimicking cellular life and for system integration“) and to be filled by January 1st 2023: three-year contract (65% TVL E13). The topics are:

  • Synthesis and functionalization strategies that allow biomass to be used to produce multifunctional, responsive and adaptive polymer materials using additive manufacturing
  • Development of polymer particle-based formulations for 3D printing that combine sensor properties and multi-functionality
  • Design of membrane components (amphiphiles) for the encapsulation of polymer microgels with functional,switchable membranes

For more info, please click in the image below or check this website.

PNIPAAm microgels with defined network architecture as temperature sensors in optical stretchers

01.08.22: Stretching living cells with light is a key method to assess their mechanics. To estimate the heat, cells experience during this procedure, microgels are utilized to relate temperature changes – caused by optical stretchers – to hydrogel swelling. With that, we expand the capability of standardized microgels in calibrating and validating cell mechanics analysis, not only considering cell and microgel elasticity but also providing stimuli-responsiveness to consider dynamic changes that cells may undergo during characterization. Congratulations, Nico, on finalizing the final paper of your PhD time! Further reading: „PNIPAAm microgels with defined network architecture as temperature sensors in optical stretchers“, Materials Advances, 2022, 3, 6179 – 6190.

Cover art by Philipp Spiridi

Appointed as professor at OVGU Magdeburg (Chair of Organic Chemistry)

26.07.22: Big news 🙂 I have been appionted as professor at the Faculty of Process and Systems Engineerung (FVST) at the Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg (OVGU).

Here, I will build up a research and teaching scheme that will utilize the core expertise of the Chair to synthesize functional macromer and bio-based building blocks. New tools and methods (additive manufacturing based on PµSL, Xolography, and FDM as well as microfluidics) will process these into artificial cellular materials and bioactive (sensoric) metamaterials. In parallel, our M-Era.Net-, Volkswagen Foundation- and SAB-funded research on enzymatic functionalization and degredation of polymers, sustainable material libraries for functional 3D printing, and hybrid polymer material design based on integrated processing strategies will continue at Leibniz IPF Dresden!

I would really like to thank OVGU for the trust in my research and teaching concept – and of course, I thank all my students as well as current and former group members, who helped setting up the lab back in 2015 and contributed their hard work, ideas, and expertise to make this a success – I owe you a lot!

Postdoc and PhD positions will be advertised ASAP!

PhD thesis successfully defended in the AG Thiele!

03.06.22: Congratulations, Dr. Köhler 🙂 After a four-year journey at the interface of molecular and cell biology as well as macromolecular chemistry and cell-free biosynthesis, Tony has completed his PhD – all the best for the future!

Farewell pizza for Martin Schumann (TUD)

23.05.22: Martin Schumann has completed his student assistant job. After a successful time in my group, Martin has picked up his diploma thesis at TU Dresden. As a mechanical engineering student with a specialization in design, Martin helped us in the past 1.5 years to prepare table-of-content figures, cover art for different manuscripts, and helped the research group with his expertise in digital 2D/3D design. He has been a great colleague and most supportive. All the best Martin and take care 🙂

Exemplary work of Martin Schumann contributed to manuscripts of AG Thiele.
AG Thiele 23.05.22

Dr. Anika Kaufmann at SYNCELL 2022 „Applications of polymer microgels in synthetic biology“

19.05.22: Anika is currently at SYNCELL 2022 in The Hague. Here, she discusses the utilization of polymer microgels in synthetic biology, and focuses on two examples: „Microgels for cell-free protein synthesis“ and „Microgels as nucleoid mimics“. If you are interested in these topics, get in touch with us.

Great collaboration with the Seiffert group (JGU Mainz)

06.04.22: It is out 🙂 In a nice collaboration with Elena Stengelin and Sebastian Seiffert, we had a detailed look at the literature on polymer hydrogel materials as potential basis for in vitro micro-tissue model systems. The goal was to identify design rules that may help to substitute animal testing by applying the 3D principles (originally developed by Russell and Burch). Further reading…

Suggestion for TV evening 😉

03.04.22: Cells are the smallest functional units in organisms. But how and when did they form? Did simple precursor-type cells exist and could one reproduce and recreate these – not only to learn about the origins of cell-based life on Earth, but to develop substitutions for living cells (e.g., for drug development)? – If you are interested in this topic, I recommend Monday’s edition of Campus Talks (Campus Talks, 04.04.22, 22:15 ARD Alpha or 09.04.22, 12:00 ARD Alpha). Being a chemist by training, whose research is largely focusing on polymer material design (e.g., for cell-free biotechnology and cell biology), synthetic biology has its important place in the group’s research portfolio (e.g., DNA- and enzyme-functionalized microgels as cell-like reaction platforms).

„My“ first PhD defended his thesis 🙂

21.01.22: This was a special day for me (and for sure for Thomas Heida): He defended his PhD thesis „Design and microfluidic fabrication of hyaluronic acid-based microgels for constructing cell-free protein synthesis microenvironments“ successfully! – He joined my group in February 2016 as my very first PhD student and helped building up the group’s infrastructure. Thomas’s work on tailored hydrogel particles and the synthesis of multifunctional macromers is now the basis for many follow-up projects. Thomas, Congratulations and all the best!

Pictures of a rather relaxed PhD and an excited PI 😉

Hydrogel-based micromaterials as model systems for 3R (new review article in Adv. Sci.)

18.01.22: In a very fruitful and enjoyable collaboration, we have published a review article with the AG Seiffert at JGU Mainz on the potential of hydrogels as basis to design microtissue-like in vitro models of complex natural tissue. Enjoy 🙂

Visiting Berlin for TV recording

06.12.21: Visited Berlin for recording my talk in the TV show „Campus Talks – Forschung auf den Punkt gebracht„. More updates ASAP 🙂

Copyright (right image): Wolfram Wittstock

Leibniz IPF Dresden Innovation Award for Dr. Martin Geisler!
25.11.21: Congratulations to our postdoc Martin 🙂 He has been among a team of scientists at our host institute receiving the Leibniz IPF Innovation Award 2021!

How to process highly reactive hydrogel precursors in microfluidics?
19.10.21: Polymer material design by droplet microfluidics is well-established to fabricate uniform microgel particle…unless the experimenter tries to process fast-gelling hydrogel precursors, e.g.,  via Thiol-Michael addition (cf. below). Now, two PhD students of my group – Nicolas Hauck and Talika A. Neuendorf – have translated the concept of droplet pair fusion by electrocoalescence successfully to polymer microgel fabrication to gain control over precursors with fast gelation kinetics. The separate processing of hydrogel precursors until the moment of electrocoalescence allows for using microgel precursors that are usually hard to handle in droplet microfluidics. Congratulations, Nico and Talika – and cheers to Prof. Yixin Zhang (BCUBE, TU Dresden) for providing materials.

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More info: „Processing of fast-gelling hydrogel precursors in microfluidics by electrocoalescence of reactive species“

Update: Cover story is up on Soft Matter 🙂

Bachelor and master theses available in my group!
14.10.21: Starting into the winter term 2021/2022
, my colleague Dr. Anika Kaufmann offers two nice projects for bachelor / master theses. The first one (master) deals with the design of polymer microgels as nucleoid mimics, the second one (bachelor) with cell-free protein synthesis in compartentalized microgels.

Please get in touch with Anika for further info (kaufmann „at“ 🙂

Improving teaching concept and learning portfolio
27.09.21: Started today
attending this year’s „Modul 1 International: Basic Teaching Qualification in Higher Eduction“ provided by the Hochschuldidaktisches Zentrum Sachsen. My goal is to improve teaching in front of large audiences with a focus on individualization, feedback, and reflection.

New 3D printing technology acquired by ThieleLab
21.09.21: My group’s goal to push the boundaries of functionality and resolution of additive manufacturing based on home-made photopolymer formulations
requires new thinking and an open mind towards technological innovations. On this account, we have acquired the next generation of volumetric 3D printing. More info on our „trip to the future“ 😉 ASAP.

PhD work comes to conclusion: Multimaterial design via PµSL printing
12.09.21: Applications of 3D-printed polymer materials
often require complex functions that go beyond geometric complexity and micron-scale resolution of material properties. On this account, the ThieleLab now provides 3D-printed materials (example of application: microfluidics) that arise from a step-wise printing routine to allow for processing materials with rather different features, e.g., hydrophobic-hydrophilic. Cheers to the „3D printing section“: Max and Niclas!

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Bachelor student from Dresden University of Applied Sciences joins ThieleLab
: Steven Winkler from HTW Dresden has joined our group for his bachelor thesis. Supervised by Dr. Anika Kaufmann (Synthetic Biology) and Dr. Martin Geisler (Bioplotting and material design), he will work on 3D-printed, enzyme-functionalized hydrogel structures in 3D-printed microreactors – an extension of our previous endeavors in the Leibniz Research Cluster (LRC). WELCOME Steven and good luck 🙂

ThieleLab joins the Dresden International Graduate School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering (DIGS-BB)
: My group has joined the strongly interdisciplinarly network of research groups in the DIGB-BB. Here, we will provide students with training, guidance and mentoring on our topic: Active soft matter and biomaterials by multi-scale polymer processing. More info here:


ThieleLab becomes member of the GASB
: To strengthen our network in the area of synthetic biology and foster collaborations on cell-like platforms to mimic and construct biological systems (cf. RSC Adv. 2020, 10, 40588; ChemSystemsChem 2020, 2(3), e1900058; ChemBioChem 2016, 17, 228; Lab Chip 2014, 14, 2651), the ThieleLab is now part of the GASB. (


How to 3D-print hydrophilic and hydrophobic polymers at micron-scale resolution next to each other!
: Check out our new work utilizing projection micro-stereolithography (PµSL) for multimaterial-printing in Advanced Materials Technologies: We are now able to fabricate polymer materials with sub-50 µm resolution (inner features) that contain both hydrophobic and hydrophilic sections. Exemplarily, these materials allows for fabricating microfluidic devices with spatially localized wettability to form single and higher-order emulsion droplets. More info soon, early view here!


3D printing of elastic materials at sub-50 µm resolution by projection-microstereolithography
: Great work by my 3rd-year PhD student Niclas: he has developed a library of new resin formulations to 3D-print microfluidic devices with very similar optical and mechanical properties like PDMS – microfluidics‘ „gold“ standard. The elastic properties of these 3D-printed flow cells with feature sizes smaller than 50 µm are then explored to manipulate the size of emulsion droplets on demand (= one flow cell – large range of droplet sizes available).

More info here:


Work of the ThieleLab featured on the website of the European Synthetic Cell Initiative
: My group’s work on cell-free biosynthesis in polymer gels and enzymatic conversion of polymers is featured in the news section of the European Synthetic Cell Initiative. Thanks a lot to Violet van Houwelingen (TU Delft) for her interview! Related work:  ChemSystemsChem 2020, ChemBioChem 2016, Lab Chip 2014.

Student assistant position available on polymer characterization and analytics
: My group is looking for a student to support our experimental work (biosample preparation, polymer analytics, e.g., MALDI, SEC) in a Volkswagen Foundation-supported project. If you are interested in exploring new, efficient and sustainable approaches to functionalize synthetic polymers to expand their applications, send an email to: geisler“at“ or thiele“at“ Looking forward to welcoming you in the ThieleLab!

New review article published
: Planning to start with projection-microstereolithography any time soon? – Then you may face questions such as: What materials are out there, how are they crosslinked, what is the minimal achievable resolution, how about multi-material printing? – Check out our review article on PµSL printing with a focus on droplet microfluidics to help answering these question (Molecules 2021). Cheers to Max and Elif for their nice work 🙂

Julian becomes part of the Dresden Center for Intelligent Materials (DCIM)

16.03.21: The next generation of materials scientists and group leaders at TU Dresden and DRESDEN-concept working on novel materials being able to feel, think and act has started to gather in the DCIM, led by G. Cuniberti, M. Gude, and T. Wallmersperger. I’m very glad to be part of this awesome group of scientists and look forward to collaborations in this flat-hierarchy environment. More info here:

New postdoc in our group
: We are happy to announce that Martin Geisler (formerly Leibniz IPF Dresden, Polymer Analytics Department) has joined the ThieleLab to utilize analytical tools like MALDI-SEC to investigate the backbone functionalization of synthetic polymers (introduced by biocatalysis, cf. Volkswagen „Change of Course“ post) and also broaden his research profile towards micro-resolution bioprinting of functional hydrogel suspensions and 4D materials.

Welcome Martin and all the best 🙂

Julian announced as member of the YAE
: After evaluation by the Board of the Young Academy of Europe, Julian has been invited to become a member of the YAE. More information can be found here.

Poster award for scientist from ThieleLab at the symposium „Materials and Additive Manufacturing“ of the Bundesvereinigung-GRAT (Gesellschaft für Ressourceneffizienz und Additive Technologien e.V.)

04.06.20: Carolin Fischer, staff scientist currently working in our Volkswagen „Experiment!“ project, has received an Award for one of the Best Poster Presentation. She presented her work on cytocompatible resins for HUVEC growth on µSL-printed microculturing discs, recently published in MDPI Micromachines. CONGRATULATIONS, Caro 🙂


Cover article in ChemSystemsChem
: Our article „Cell-free protein synthesis in bifunctional hyaluronan microgels: A strategy for in situ immobilization and purification of his-tagged proteins“ has been selected as cover article in Wiley’s ChemSystemsChem. Find out more about our research on polymer microgels as cell-inspired biosynthesis platform here.


Poster award for PhD student from ThieleLab at Annual Meeting 2020 of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (Leipzig)
: Tony Köhler, PhD student in his final year, has received the Award for the Best Poster Presentation. He presented his work on DNAzymes as catalysts for L-tyrosine and amyloid beta oxidation, most recently accepted at ACS Omega. CONGRATULATIONS, Tony 🙂

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Poster presented at Makromolekulares Kolloquium 2020 (Freiburg)
: Our PhD students Max and Nico presented their latest results on microfluidic processing of fast-gelling precursors towards defined isotropic/anisotropic microgels and on multi-material 3D printing of microreactors via µSL.

Meeting the ThieleLab at upcoming conferences

17.02.20: The first generation of PhD students is about to wrap up their fruitful work – time to communicate latest results by (invited) talks and posters in upcoming conferences:

  • 26.02. – 28.02.: Makrokolloq 2020 (Makromolekulares Kolloquium, Freiburg)
  • 08.03. – 11.03.: 6th Joint Conference of the DGHM & VAAM (Annual Meeting 2020 of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology, Leipzig)
  • 16.03. – 19.03.: Bioinspired Materials 2020 (5th International School and Conference on Biological Materials Science, Irsee)
  • 16.03. – 19.03.: MiCom 2020 (8th International Conference on Microbial Communication for Young Scientists, Jena)
  • 29.03. – 01.04.: 17. Dresden Polymer Discussion (Adaptive Polymer Synthesis Methodologies, Meißen)
  • 30.03. – 02.04.: NANOMEE (Symposium on Biomaterials, Dresden)
  • 27.04. – 29.04.: ProgMatCon 2020 (International Conference on Programmable Materials, Berlin)
  • 11.05. – 12.05.:Max Bergmann Symposium 2020 (Assembling matter at all scales, Dresden)
  • 12.07. – 16.07.: 84th PMM (Frontiers of Polymers Colloids 2020, Prague)
  • 23.08. – 27.08.: CHISA 2020 (24th International Conference on Chemical and Process Engineering, Prague)
  • 13.09. – 18.09.: 8. Sino-German Frontiers of Chemistry Symposia (GDCh/CCS, Shenzhen)

CORONA UPDATE: If you want to get latest information on our research or discuss potential collaborations, drop us an email, and we’ll be happy to setup a Zoom meeting or invite you to Dresden (GER) following the rules and practice of social distancing!

ThieleLab at SPIE Photonics West

03.02.20: Max Männel, final-year PhD student in the ThieleLab, has presented our latest results on multimaterial fabrication of microfluidic devices via µSL at Conference 11235: Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XVIII.

IMG_20200202_231937_FÜR HOMEPAGE

04.02.20, UPDATE: Max has received the Best Paper Award handed over by Holger Becker (ChipShop) and Prof. Bonnie L. Gray (SFU Canada)! – Good job, Max 🙂


PhD position in Volkswagen project open!

28.01.20: We offer a PhD position (3-year contract) on tailor-made synthetic polymers and hydrogel precursor design. If you are a chemist by training (MSc) and experienced in polymer synthesis and/or macromolecular chemistry, we look forward to receiving your application (cf. job section). Start date: ASAP!

Thanks again to my ERC buddies!

22.01.20: Emu, Simon, Judith, Sandra:  THANK YOU SO MUCH for supporting my ERC grant preparation last year!! (and to Janett, who couldn’t be out with us last night) Your input on photos, graphic design, budget, interview slides and submission process made my life so much easier 🙂


ThieleLab now registered at INTAP

15.01.20: Thanks to our postdoc Anika, we are now visible to job seekers at INTAP, a Dresden-based recruiting network. More info here.

Interested in microfluidics? – Graduate textbook introducing microfluidics

02.12.19: Finally, after hard work, our textbook on microfluidics is out. From the cover: „Microfluidics introduces the practise of fluid flow on small scales. The exquisite control of such flow at low Reynolds numbers allows liquids to be processed in either a well-defined co-flow or a well-defined segmented-flow fashion. Both lays a ground for high-througput analytics and advanced materials design. With that, this book is ideal for research scientists and PhD students in the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, biotechnology, and materials science.“ Hope you have a good read!


The ThieleLab is hiring 🙂
: Interested in joining us on challenging topics in the area of 4D-material design by additive manufacturing or how to functionalize low-reactive polymers by biocatalytical means? – Check our jobs section!

Sofja Kovalevskaja Awards and Georg Manecke Award featured in Angew. Chem.

04.11.19: This year’s awardees of the Sofja Kovalevskaja Awards and Georg Manecke Award are presented in Angewandte Chemie. Further information can be found here: Angew. Chem. 2019, 131(46), 16505. DOI: 10.1002/ange.201912504.

Impressions from the Georg Manecke award ceremony
: Thanks a lot to Barbara Köhler (GDCh) for inviting my wife and me to Berlin, Rainer Haag (FU Berlin) for perfectly organizing the 5. International Symposium of the SFB 765 „Multivalency in Chemistry and Biology“, Prof. Brigitte Voit (IPF Dresden) for the kind laudation, and particularly Nina Manecke for joining the award ceremony. (Fotocopyright: GDCh, Fotograf: Frederic Schweizer, Berlin)


ThieleLab’s research on biosynthesis in microgels presented in Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung (DAZ)

20.09.19: The DAZ online has published an article on our work regarding protein synthesis and enzymatic cascades (work within the Leibniz Research Cluster) in polymer microgels. Thanks a lot to journalist Volker Budinger for the professional, straightforward work. More information: Article in DAZ (in German).

190920_DAZ Online_LOGO

ThieleLab presents research at APMM 2019 („Arts and Science“)
: Our lab is currently participating with 2 talks and 3 posters in the conference „Active Polymeric Materials and Microsystems 2019„. Thanks a lot to Prof. Gerald Gerlach (TU Dresden), the organization committee (particularly, for choosing the Penck Hotel Dresden as conference site) and the DFG Training School 1865 for a great meeting and a lot of inspiring discussions with colleagues and friends.


For more information: APMM 2019 and A. R. Penck

3 master theses from TU Dresden BIOTEC successfully defended
: Ruzica Pantelic, Milica Milic, and Carolin Fischer have obtained their master degree (BIOTEC, Molecular Bioengineering) after successfully defending their theses. Congratulations to all three of them  🙂

ERC Starting Grant for Julian
: The European Research Council funds the project 3DPartForm aiming at establishing a radically new approach for polymer material design, rethinking additive manufacturing on both material and process level. Here, functionality will be already embedded at the building block level to emerge into larger scales. The exact methodology relies on polymer microparticles as a novel material basis with arbitrary geometry, function, mechanics and responsiveness. These microparticulates will serve as voxel-like building blocks yielding hierarchical assemblies with spatially defined voxel position and programmable, adaptive properties, which clearly go beyond existing functional material classes. With that, 3DPartForm will address the current lack of additive manufacturing providing multifunctional, stimuli-responsive materials, in which not only strongly different, but most importantly functional building blocks with intrinsic time axis will be processed into true 4D-polymer multimaterials.


More information on the project 3DPartForm (in German): press release idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More information (in German): Forschungsnachrichten der Forschungsnachrichten

More information on ERC StG 2019 statistics

GDCh press release: Georg Manecke Award 2019 (in German)
: Am 2. Oktober ehrt die Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh) Dr. Julian Thiele, Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden, mit dem Georg-Manecke-Preis. Der Chemiker erhält die Auszeichnung der bei der GDCh angesiedelten Georg-Manecke-Stiftung auf der Tagung „Multivalency in Chemistry and Biology“ an der Freien Universität Berlin. Der Preisträger forscht auf dem Gebiet der Polymer- und Kolloidchemie sowie der Mikrofluidik.

Georg Maneckes (1916-1990) Interesse galt der präparativen makromolekularen Chemie mit Blick auf die praktische Anwendung makromolekularer Stoffe, vor allem für biochemische und -technische Zwecke. Der Georg-Manecke-Preis wird an promovierte Wissenschaftler vergeben, die im Bereich der makromolekularen Chemie forschen und eine wissenschaftliche Laufbahn anstreben.

Julian Thiele erhält den Preis für seine wegweisende Arbeit auf dem Gebiet der Polymerchemie, bei der er natürliche Mechanismen nachahmt, um reaktionsfähige Materialien zu synthetisieren. Mit seiner Forschungsgruppe entwickelt er unter anderem Materialien, die sich selbst „heilen“, also ihre Eigenschaften wiederherstellen können. Zudem beschäftigt sich Thiele im Rahmen des Leibniz Research Cluster (LRC) „Bio/synthetic multifunctional micro production units – novel ways of compound development“ mit neuartigen Wegen zur medizinischen Wirkstoffentwicklung. Für seine Forschung nutzt er Hydrogele (in Wasser gequollene, dreidimensionale Polymernetzwerke) als maßgeschneiderte Reaktionsumgebung für biotechnologische Anwendungen. Durch die zellfreie Biosynthese in Mikrogelen ermöglicht Thiele nicht nur eine energieökonomisch optimierte Darstellung pharmakologisch wie technisch interessanter Proteine und Enzyme (z.B. Antibiotika), sondern liefert auch neuartige Wege zur Wirkstoffentwicklung.

Julian Thiele, geboren 1983 in Hamburg, studierte Chemie an der Universität Hamburg und promovierte 2011 an der Universität Bayreuth. Er forschte an der Harvard Universität/USA, gefördert durch den Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdienst (DAAD) und den Fonds der Chemischen Industrie (FCI). Nach der Promotion ging Thiele als Feodor-Lynen-Stipendiat der Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung an die Radboud Universität Nijemegen/NL. Seit 2015 ist er Gruppenleiter am Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden.

Die Preisverleihung erfolgt im Rahmen der Session „Mucus Hydrogels“, bei der internationale Wissenschaftler ihre Forschung präsentieren werden. Anschließend wird der Preisträger seine Arbeit in einem Vortrag vorstellen.

Die Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh) gehört mit rund 31 000 Mitgliedern zu den größten chemiewissenschaftlichen Gesellschaften weltweit. Treuhänderisch verwaltet die GDCh zwölf unselbstständige Stiftungen. Zweck dieser Stiftungen ist die Vergabe von Preisen, Förderpreisen und Stipendien. Der Georg-Manecke-Preis wird an promovierte Naturwissenschaftler/innen für herausragende wissenschaftliche Leistungen der letzten Jahre vergeben. Er soll auch die wissenschaftliche Vernetzung auf internationaler Ebene fördern. Der Preis ist mit 7000 Euro dotiert. (Kontakt: Dr. Karin J. Schmitz,  Leiterin GDCh-Öffentlichkeitsarbeit,, Tel. 069/7917-493)


New lysate prepared: Chi6 DNA makes all the difference
: We have developed a new round of lysate for cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) based on Escherichia coli. This time, we combined two things: sonication-based lysate preparation according to Levine et al. (DOI: 10.3791/58882) and utilization of Chi6 DNA to enhance expression of linear DNA by reducing nuclease activity of RecBCD complex (sequence of deGFP and background information according to DOI: 10.1186/1754-1611-4-8 and DOI: 10.1002/bit.26333). The figure shows the fluorescence of deGFP after expression by illumination with an UV-lamp (365 nm), which is 11-times higher if Chi6 DNA is supplemented to the lysate. This lysate is currently utilized in our group for CFPS in bifunctional microgels, to be published ASAP.

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Poster displayed at MechanoChemBio 2019 (McGill, Montreal)
: Thanks a lot to Kerstin Blank ( and her coworker Isabell Tunn for organizing the transport of our poster to Montreal and putting it up for the session.


ThieleLab presented latest research at IUPAC Paris (05.07. – 12.07.)
: Two colleagues from the ThieleLab, Max Männel (MSc) and Nicolas Hauck (MSc), presented their work:

Poster P275: „Droplet-assisted microfluidic fabrication and characterization of multifunctional polysaccharide microgels formed by Ugi four-component reaction“

Poster P277: „Microscopic polymer hydrogels loaded in microreactors to perform enzymatic cascades towards polyketide synthesis“


For more details, feel free to contact us.

Dr. Yue Li receives Humboldt fellowship
: We are proud of our colleague Dr. Yue Li, who has been awarded a fellowship by the Humboldt Foundation ( to start her work on a new project dealing with light harvesting in polymer gel networks in the ThieleLab and in the group of Prof. Dr. Andreas Fery (

ThieleLab performing a Change of Course!
: The Volkswagen Foundation is funding our vision towards functional polymers by combining material design and cell-free biocatalysis together with our collaboration partner Prof. Dr. Marion Ansorge-Schumacher at TU Dresden:

Detailed information:

In conventional polymer design, function is either being introduced in the synthesis process or via post-functionalization employing standard organic synthesis routes. Although being only available in small numbers, the end-group of a polymer is predominantly the designated target for introducing functionality beyond intrinsic polymer properties, as in many cases, the non-functional polymer backbone is either too inert or cannot be targeted by functionalization reagents at pre-defined locations.

We will explore cell-free bio-catalysis based on pre-screened, tailored enzymes to modify hard-to-functionalize, low-reactive polymers with functional groups. Thus, the range of a polymer’s function and consequently of application will be significantly extended. The particular focus will not be on targeting the limited number of polymer end-groups, but on targeting the polymer’s backbone made of repetitive monomer units, which may allow for precisely tuning the number of functionalized positions. Most importantly, enzymes that have previously been utilized mainly to introduce functional groups to low-molecular weight substrates will be explored to target abiological/synthetic polymers with high molecular weight. This disruptive approach is envisioned to be transferable to improve performance, applicability and bioavailability of leading polymer systems. Tackling the challenge of an accelerating demand for highly specialized, multifunctional polymers by introducing biocatalytic functionalization to synthetic polymers is our change of course for polymer material design and cell-free biocatalysis, adding distinct new directions of research to both fields.


Georg Manecke Award for Julian
: Julian is this year’s recipient of the Georg Manecke Award (Georg Manecke Foundation). He is recognized for linking macromolecular chemistry with applications in biotechnology as well as drug development. The prize will be awarded during the „Multivalency in Chemistry and Biology“ meeting at FU Berlin (09/30 – 10/02).

More information:

Leibniz Research Award 2019 awarded to Wittko Francke during Leibniz Conference on Bioactive Compounds in Dresden

06.04.19: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Wittko Francke (Hamburg University) is this year’s recipient of the Leibniz Research Award 2019. Congratulations!! Further thanks go to our plenary speakers Prof. Dr. Ansorge-Schumacher, Prof. Dr. Wilhelm T. S. Huck and Dr. Julien Lefranc as well as to all other speakers and poster authors who contributed to the success of this year’s meeting. Special thanks go to Dr. Anika Kaufmann and Anna Rusznyak for their support!!

Special issue in POLYMERS now open for submission!
: The special issue „Polymer Material Design by Microfluidics“ of the open-access journal POLYMERS (IF 2.935) is now open for submission. Guest edited by Julian Thiele and Sebastian Seiffert, the focus will be on most recent developments in the application of microflow cells fabricated from PDMS, glass or via additive manufacturing/3D printing to pave the way towards the development of polymer materials with physicochemical and mechanical properties tailored from the nano- to microscale that exhibit novel architecture and functions.

For more information: MDPI Polymers Special Issue „Polymer Material Design by Microfluidics“, or contact the guest editor: thiele[at]

ThieleLab and colleagues from IPF Dresden visiting UCI Havana and the Embassy of Cuba in Berlin, Germany
: As part of our BMBF-funded project „3Dfor3M: Additive manufacturing for medicine, microsystems, and innovative materials“, colleagues from the ThieleLab and IPF Dresden visited Cuba and its embassy in Berlin to set up a research network for future H2020 project proposals.


More information (in Spanish): Delegation visiting Embassy of Cuba in Berlin and Delegation from IPF visiting UCI Havana as part of BMBF-funded research network 3Dfor3M

Leibniz Application Laboratory registered at DRESDEN Concept Technology Portal
: You can now find more information on the Leibniz Application Laboratory „Additive manufacturing/3D-printing“, founded by the ThieleLab, here:

Leibniz Application Lab 3D-printing @ Dresden Technology Portal

Poster session at „Makromolekulares Kolloquium Freiburg“
: Nicolas Hauck has presented our work on multi-component reactions to microfluidically fabricate hydrogel particles in a library-like fashion (cf. Polymers 2018, 10, 1055). Thanks again to our collaboration partners Jochen Guck (MPI Erlangen), Dominik Wöll (RWTH Aachen) and Ludger A. Wessjohann (Leibniz IPB Halle) for making this a success!


OPEN FOR REGISTRATION: Leibniz Conference on Bioactive Compounds
: As co-organizers (together with the Leibniz Research Alliance Bioactive Compounds and Biotechnology), we cordially invite you to the upcoming Leibniz Conference on Bioactive Compounds 2019! Follow our invitation and present your research in a poster or a short talk and get in touch with other scientists.

Leibniz Conference on Bioactive Compounds


Great!ipid4all / DAAD grant obtained
: Nicolas Hauck and Julian Thiele have received an award for travel allowance fron the TUD Graduate Academy to initiate collaborations on mechanoresponsive polymer gels with the WeitzLab at Harvard (


Volkswagen Foundation supporting ThieleLab
: The ThieleLab has successfully aquired funding by the VW Foundation under the „Experiment!“ program to explore a novel approach towards polymer multi-material printing based on particle-based photopolymer formulations in the next 1.5 years.


Update 17.04.19: Press release by Leibniz IPF Dresden can be found under Glad to have received the first shipment from Lithoz (Vienna) to get started.

ThieleLab seeking out for new collaborations on additive manufacturing as part of the BMBF project „3Dfor3M“ (Horizon 2020 with partners from North- and Central America)
: As part of the project „3Dfor3M – Additive manufacturing for Medicine, Microsystems and intelligent Materials“, representatives from the ThieleLab together with other colleagues from the Leibniz IPF Dresden are currently traveling to Boston (attending the MRS Fall Meeting and the 77th New England Complex Fluids Workshop), Bozeman (Montana State University) and Montreal (Concordia University) to set up new collaborations in preparation for upcoming H2020 calls.

Our collaborators from YONSEI UNIVERSITY visit IPF Dresden
: Prof. Jong-Souk Yeo from the School of Integrated Technology at Yonsei University and two of his students have visited IPF Dresden. As part of this collaboration, Jihye Lee (PhD candidate, School of Integrated Technology) has started an 8-week internship in our group to work on neuromodulation and neurorecording in polymer hydrogels (in further collaboration with Dr. Ivan Minev, BIOTEC Dresden).


PhD position open (starting date: 1st September 2018) CLOSED
: The ThieleLab aims at further broadening its research acitivties on 3D-printing by micro-stereolithography (µSL). Particularly, we are interested in the synthesis of multifunctional polymer materials, which will form the basis for formulations / resins in µSL. In close collaboration with other group members as well as external partners, these pre-polymers / macromers will be processed into defined materials with tailored optical properties, mechanics as well as sensitivity towards external triggers. For that, we currently invite candidates to submit their application to join our group as a PhD student with a strong background in polymer synthesis and macromolecular chemistry.

Please send your application to thiele“at“

More information:

Professor-Franz-Brandstetter-Award for master thesis from ThieleLab
: Lisa Schäfer, former group member and now pursuing her PhD thesis at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research – UFZ (Environmental Engineering and Biotechnology) has been awarded the Prof.-Franz-Brandstetter-Award for her outstanding master thesis on polymer microgels als experimental platform for enzymatic conversion of Malonate to Malonyl-CoA, which is a key building block for polyketides (

Congratulations 🙂

More information (in German):

Publication preprint on biorxiv available

29.03.18: We have co-authored a joint manuscript from TU Dresden, BIOTEC, IPF Dresden and Zellmechanik Dresden on the first example of rationally designed microgel particles as standardized calibration samples for cell mechanics measurements. The pdf is available here:

180329_Microgels in cell tissue

Lab technician position open (starting date: ASAP) CLOSED
Laboranten/in mit 40 Wochenstunden ab sofort (Deutsche Stellenbeschreibung: THIELELAB_Labororatory technician)
: The ThieleLab is looking for a promising lab technician, who wants to work in a strongly interdisciplinary research team (biologists, chemists, biotechnicians), and is open for new tasks (e.g. Computer-aided design). As a key member of the group, the position focuses on the design of microflow cells by photo- and soft lithography for other group members as well as collaboration partners. Other daily tasks include the lab management (consumables, hazardous substances registry) and introduction of new lab members to safety installations.

PhD position open (starting date: 1st April 2018) CLOSED
: The ThieleLab aims at broadening their research activities in the area of additive manufacturing by (micro-)stereolithography. Particularly, we look for candidates, who are already experienced in using 3D printers (e.g. Asiga Pico2, Envisiontec P4 Mini), and want to apply their knowledge in a holistic approach to design novel photopolymers for 3D-printing, modify existing printing techniques, and ultimately design polymer materials unifying structure and function in one step. Please send you applications to thiele“at“ More information: THIELELAB_PhD position_3D printing

ThieleLab part of the DFG Graduate School 1865
: The ThieleLab is taking part in the second round of the Graduate School 1865 „Hydrogel-based microsystems“, funded by the DFG. The goal will be the design of microgels as voxel materials in additive manufacturing (particularly stereolithography). PhD position to be posted ASAP (start date: 01.04.18) ! More information on the graduate school an be found here:

180123_GRK1865 LOGO
Logo of the GRK 1865. (C) TUD/IFE

Research group at Christmas Bowling
: The Polymer micro(bio)reactors group improved their bowling skills 😉171213_Bowling

Leibniz Application Lab online!
: We are happy to announce the launch of the Leibniz Application Laboratory „Additive manufacturing / 3D printing“:

Special thanks to Stefan Schwurack for organization and web design.

New 3D printer in the ThieleLab!

17.11.17: After installation of an ASIGA Pico2 and an ENVISIONTEC Mini P4 ERM in 2016, we are proud to announce, that a LITHOZ CeraFab 7500 Mod has been added to the portfolio of 3D printers in our group. The microstereolithography printer with 10.4 µm resolution will be employed in our research „From resins to functional components“. For more information: thiele“at“

Research project available for internship or master thesis!

04.10.17: „Synthesis and characterization of novel triblock compolymer surfactants based on poly(2-oxazoline)-block-poly(ethylene glycol)“. Please get in touch with us: heida“at“ or thiele“at“

Master theses defended!

29.09.17: Simon Baumgarte and Lisa Schäfer have obtained their master degree (BIOTEC, Molecular Bioengineering) after defending their thesis with great success. Congratulations to both of them  🙂

Research group on hiking trip 🙂

11.07.17: The Polymer micro(bio)reactors group explored the Dresdner Heide.

Julian Thiele announced as TU Dresden Young Investigator

10.05.17: Julian Thiele received his letter of appointment as Young Investigator at TU Dresden from Prof. Hans-Müller Steinhagen (rector of TUD). (Picture copyright Birgit Holthaus)

170510_TUD Young Investigator_Julian Thiele

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