The ThieleLab’s competences are in the field of microfluidics, high-resolution additive manufacturing, polymer and organic synthesis, cell-free biosynthesis and cell culturing platforms. Based on 12 years of experience in microfluidic device design/operation and being founders of the Leibniz Application Laboratory „Additive Manufacturing / 3D- printing“, our focus is on multi-scale polymer processing for life sciences. The ThieleLab translates monomer- and macromer-based hydrogel precursors, surfactants and photopolymer formulations into multifunctional, stimuli-sensitive polymer materials via additive manufacturing and microfluidics with feature sizes from a few micrometers to the millimeter-scale and beyond. Our particular strength lies in the design of physicochemically and mechanically tailored hydrogel particles (microgels). The hydrogel’s polymer network allows for tailoring size, shape, porosity, elasticity and compartmentalization and is thus the ideal platform for recapitulating cellular functions in a cell-free environment, and for mimicking cell scaffolds. On this account, my group makes use of bio-orthogonal synthesis schemes and biocompatible material bases.
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