ThieleLab / Polymermicro(bio)reactors

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170706_LRC LOGOWe are part of the Leibniz Research Cluster (LRC), an interdisciplinary network of five research groups. As part of the strategy “Biotechnology 2020+” of the BMBF, we aim at developing novel multifunctional, cell-free platforms for biotechnological processes combining natural sciences and engineering with clear applications in drug development beyond model systems.

Recent research achivements include:

  • Protein synthesis in cell-like polymer microgels with tailored porosity and degree of macromolecular crowding replacing conventional biochemical reactions operating in dilute, homogeneous media
  • Microgel-based, multi-step enzymatic cascades for cell-free drug design (current example of application: polyketides – make up to 30% of all known natural compounds)
  • Bio-orthogonal synthesis strategies (multi-component reactions, 2+2 and 4+2 cycloaddition) for biocompatible hydrogel design
  • Weeks-long stable, mechanically defined microgels as artificial cell cultures/microniches for controlled differentiation of stem cells
  • Patented hydrogel particle-filled microchannel systems for continuous production of biomolecules (e.g., proteins) in a cell-like, densely packed environment (as replacement of conventional cell-atypical reaction environment in stirred bioreactors)


Our expertise includes:

190428_Abbildungen_Research Concept_JTH

Our research is funded by:

Volkswagen: „Experiment!“ (2019-2020)

BMBF: LRC – Leibniz Research Cluster (2015-2020)

BMBF: 3Dfor3M (German-American network on additive manufacturing) (2018-2019)

DFG: Gene expression in hydrogels (2016-2019)

BMBF: Precision Matrix Engineering (PI Prof. Carsten Werner, IPF Dresden) (2016-2017)

BMBF: Dresden4Asia (German-Asian network on additive manufacturing) (2017)

Leibniz Association: Tailored adapter peptides for enzyme immobilization (2018-2019)

Leibniz Association: Abiological catalysis by heme-carrying DNAzymes in DNA-polymer microgels (polyDNAcat) (2017-2018)

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