Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research | Date: 2016-08-01
The invention concerns the field of polymer chemistry and relates to membranes, such as those used as membranes for the preparation of aqueous solutions by means of reverse osmosis or microfiltration, ultrafiltration or nanofiltration, for example. The object of the present invention is the specification of membranes that exhibit a reduced fouling tendency with equally suitable or improved filtration properties, as well as the specification of a simple and cost-effective method for the production thereof. The object is attained with membranes comprising a substrate on which a porous supporting layer is arranged, on which supporting layer a separation-active layer is arranged, and on which separation-active layer a cover layer is also arranged, wherein the material of the separation-active layer comprises functional groups which primarily have carbon-carbon triple bonds and/or carbon-nitrogen triple bonds, and wherein the material of the cover layer has functional groups which are primarily at least azide groups, and the functional groups having at least carbon-carbon triple bonds and/or carbon-nitrogen triple bonds are chemically coupled covalently with the azide groups.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.57M | Year: 2015
Today, industrial markets demand highly added value products offering new features at a low-cost. To this extent, technologies to modify surfaces instead of creating composites or applying coatings on surfaces can offer new industrial opportunities. Current state of the art identifies short pulsed(SP)/ultra-short pulsed(USP) laser-material processing as a promising technology for structuring surfaces and thus for embedding new functionalities for industrial applications. The LASER4FUN research programme pursues to go far beyond the current state through the development of new surface micro/nano-structuring/patterning methods by using emerging SP/USP laser technologies (LIPSS, DLIP, DLW & hybrid tech). The research will focus on the interaction of laser energy with several materials (metals, semiconductors, polymers, glasses & advanced materials) and on new surface functionalities like tribology, aesthetics and wettability. Moreover, LASER4FUN establishes an innovative training programme that aims at coaching a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early stage researchers (ESRs) focused on laser surface engineering. This novel programme will contain both scientific and general skills training activities and it will benefit from training at a network (e.g. secondments). In total, 14ESRs will be enrolled, developing individual research projects within LASER4FUN programme. After 36 months of research and training, the ESRs will be PH Doctors prepared to face EU laser-engineering new challenges. LASER4FUN consortium involves 8 Academic partners (4 Universities one of them as associated partner- and 4 RTD institutions) ensuring the progress beyond the state of the art, and 3 industrial partners guaranteeing that final solutions will be close to the market. They are from 6 different EU countries. The close cooperation among multidisciplinary partners will ensure knowledge transfer to cross the death valley between science and the market.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-01-2014 | Award Amount: 7.68M | Year: 2015
NANOLEAP project aims at the development of a coordinated network of specialized pilot lines for the production of nanocomposite based products for different civil infrastructure and building applications. The goal of this infrastructure is to support the research activities of European SMEs in the Construction sector in nanocomposite products enabling the progress of the product to next steps of technology deployment such as installation of industrial pilot lines and enter in the commercialization stage. For the creation of the NANOLEAP project pilot line network, the most promising applications of polymeric nanocomposites in the construction and engineering sector have been selected. This project will support the pilot lines for the scaling up and production of these nanocomposite based products in order to facilitate their further adoption by the entire construction chain: Antiweathering and anticorrosion nanocomposite coatings for the protection of structures exposed to aggressive environments such as wind turbines, offshore, marine infrastructure. Multifunctional polymeric nanocomposites providing smart applications to traditional construction materials such as concrete and coatings including self-cleaning, hydrophobicity, optical properties, early warning crack and water leak alarm. Prefab non-structural elements such as aerogels mechanically reinforced with nanoparticles for high-thermal insulation applications in building insulation. . Coated nanoparticles with improved compatibility with the matrix providing a wide range of functionalities and leading to high quality products and important saves of energy. In order to implement and demonstrate this approach, NANOLEAP project brings together a European Network of pilot production facilities focused on scaling up nanocomposite synthesis and processing methods.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 2.82M | Year: 2015
The last half century has seen a tremendous advancement in adhesives technology and has led to widespread replacement of mechanical fasteners with adhesive bonds (e.g. aircraft, automobile, construction, etc.). Bonding to wet, rough and fouled surfaces, however, remains challenging and adhesive technology is rarely applied for bonding in wet conditions, such as in (orthopaedic) medicine. Therefore, a need exists to educate young researchers in this interdisciplinary research field of controlling adhesion under wet conditions and to bridge the gap between the fundamentals of underwater adhesives and their practice. BioSmartTrainee is set up to provide such training by a combination of three complementary scientific fields: polymer science, adhesion and (fluid)-biomechanics. We aim to (i) extract principles from biological systems and mimic them to design synthetic materials; to (ii) experimentally test their adhesion properties in wet conditions and to (iii) clarify the adhesion mechanisms based on natural examples and theoretical modelling. These innovative adhesives will be useful for reversible attachment to a variety of surfaces in wet environments and, therefore, be highly relevant for products from European industry such as technological adhesives, coatings, tissue adhesives, wound dressings or transdermal delivery devices. This carefully planned research and training program in a network of leading academic and industrial (BASF, AkzoNobel, UGRO) partners will ensure that young researchers are given an excellent training in a pioneering research domain of high scientific and technological relevance, where Europe can take a leading position.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FETOPEN-1-2014 | Award Amount: 3.74M | Year: 2016
Currently there is no truly sustainable pathway for the production of plastics, an industry which in the EU employs 1.45M people, has a turnover of 89B but consumes ~778GWh of energy per annum. This is an opportunity for industry with pressure increasing to develop low energy, high-quality, wet-processing techniques for consumer products. Here Nature may provide us with inspiration, as over hundreds of millions of years, it has evolved numerous strategies for efficient processing of its materials. One such solution has been recently hypothesised in natural silk spinning: FLIPT: FLow Induced Phase Transitions, a disruptive process which we believe could hold the key to a new low energy paradigm for polymer processing. Our research is promising, as it has already shown that silk is at least 1000 times more efficient at processing than a standard polymer (HDPE). To address these challenges our consortia will combine the expertise of world-leading groups in natural materials, polymer synthesis and material processing alongside practical input from 2 SME partners and larger European companies. Taking inspiration from the spider and silkworm, novel functionalised polymers (aquamelts) will be created that utilise FLIPT; enabling controlled solidification with minimal energy input. We firmly believe that there is huge potential in uncovering silks hidden functionality and applying it to enhance the processing of a range of polymeric materials. It is our goal to develop a platform technology to generate novel, bespoke, naturally derived, low embodied-energy materials, which would be competitive with current petroleum-based polymers in terms of performance and economics while well exceeding such materials in terms of sustainability.
Pompe T.,Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research
Nature protocols | Year: 2010
Surface- and matrix-bound signals modulate stem cell fate in vivo and in vitro. This protocol enables the immobilization of a wide range of biomolecules that contain primary amino groups to different types of solid carriers, including glass substrates and standard polystyrene well plates. We describe how thin polymer coatings of poly(octadecene-alt-maleic anhydride) can be used to covalently attach growth factors directly, or through poly(ethylene glycol) spacers, to solid supports at defined concentrations. Surface-immobilized growth factors can be presented over a wide range of concentrations (5-150 ng cm(-2)), as we have previously shown for leukemia inhibitory factor and stem cell factor. Cell activation can be achieved in the presence of adhesion-promoting extracellular matrix proteins. Depending on the methods used, the overall procedure takes 1.5-3 d. In general, the approach can be used to investigate the effect of defined amounts of immobilized growth factors on stem cells and on the maintenance, growth and differentiation of other cell types.
Ionov L.,Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research
Soft Matter | Year: 2011
Fabrication of 3D objects using folding of thin films is a novel and very attractive research field. The manuscript overviews recent advances in development and application of polymer films, which are able to fold and form 3D structures. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Ionov L.,Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research
Materials Today | Year: 2014
The rapid development of microtechnology in recent times has increased the necessity for the development of devices, which are able to perform mechanical work on the micro- and macroscale. Among all kinds of actuators, the ones based on stimuli-responsive hydrogels, which are three-dimensional polymer networks strongly imbibed with water, deserve particular attention. This paper aims to provide a brief overview of stimuli-responsive hydrogel actuators with respect to their sensitivity to different stimuli, different kinds of deformation, the possibilities of generating different types of movement, as well as their applications. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ionov L.,Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research
Advanced Functional Materials | Year: 2013
Active motion is intrinsic to all kinds of living organisms from unicellular ones to humans and inspires development of synthetic actively moving materials. Hydrogels, which are three dimensional polymer networks imbibed with aqueous solutions, mimic the swelling/shrinking behavior of plant cells and produce macroscopic actuation upon swelling and shrinking. This Feature Article covers basic principles of design as well as recent advances in the development of hydrogel based actuating systems. It is discussed how simply swelling can be used to generate very complex multistep motion, which can be used to develop new optical devices, sensors, biomaterials, smart surface, etc. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Zieris A.,Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research
Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society | Year: 2011
Effective vascularization is a prerequisite for the success of various different tissue engineering concepts. While simultaneous administration of basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been previously demonstrated to boost angiogenesis, the combined long-term delivery of both growth factors from biomaterials is still a major challenge. In this work, two important heparin binding cytokines were delivered in parallel from a modular starPEG (multi-armed polyethylene glycol)--heparin hydrogel system to human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) grown in culture and in a chicken embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model. As the utilized gels contain high quantities of heparin, loading and subsequent release of both growth factors (as determined by radiolabeling studies and Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay [ELISA]) occurred independently from each other. The combined delivery of FGF-2 and VEGF through starPEG-heparin hydrogels resulted in pro-angiogenic effects in vitro (study of cell survival/proliferation, morphology and migration) and in vivo (quantification of CAM vascularization) being clearly superior over those of the administration of single factors. Consequently, the independent delivery of growth factor combinations by biohybrid starPEG-heparin matrices allows for the precise multifactorial control of cellular processes critically determining regeneration. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.