Saarbrucken, Germany
Saarbrucken, Germany

Saarland University is a modern research university located in Saarbrücken, the capital of the German state of Saarland, and Homburg. It was founded in 1948 in Homburg in co-operation with France and is organized in eight faculties that cover all major fields of science. The university is particularly well known for research and education in computer science, computational linguistics and materials science, consistently ranking among the top in the country in those fields. In 2007, the university was recognized as an excellence center for computer science in Germany.Thanks to bilingual German and French staff, the University has an international profile, which has been underlined by its proclamation as "European University" in 1950 and by establishment of Europa-Institut as its "crown and symbol" in 1951.Nine academics have been honored with the highest German research prize, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, while working at Saarland University. Wikipedia.


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Patent
Saarland University | Date: 2016-09-10

Disclosed is a process for the production of an open cell porous structure the cells of which are optionally filled with an elastomeric or thermosetting plastic material. The open cell porous structure comprises a nanocrystalline metallic coating comprising nanocrystals having a crystallite size of from about 5 nm to about 150 nm.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-29-2015 | Award Amount: 6.33M | Year: 2016

The HISENTS vision is to address the problem of the dearth of high-quality tools for nano-safety assessment by introducing an innovative multimodular high throughput screening (HTP) platform including a set of individual modules each representing a critical physiological function connected and integrated in a hierarchical vectorial manner by a microfluidic network. The increase of the capacity to perform nano-safety assessment will be realised by innovative instrumentation developments for HTP and high content analysis (HCA) approaches. Toxicogenomics on chip is also one embedded objective. Our interdisciplinary approach focuses on tools to maximise the read-across and to assess applicable endpoints for advanced risk assessment of nanomaterials (NM). The main goal is thus to establish individual chip-based microfluidic tools as devices for (nano)toxicity screening which can be combined as an on-line HTP platform. Seven different chip-based sensor elements will be developed and hierarchically combined via a flow system to characterise toxicity pathways of NM. The HISENTS platform allows the grouping and identifying of NM. Parallel to the screening, the pathway and interaction of NM in biological organisms will be simulated using the physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model. Using the different sensor modules from the molecular to cell to organ level, HISENTS can input quantitative parameters into the PBPK model resulting in an effective pathway analysis for NM and other critical compounds. The developed platform is crucial for realistic nano-safety assessment and will also find extensive application in pharmaceutical screening due to the flexible modifications of the HTP platform. The specific objective is the development of a multimodular HTP platform as new a screening tool for enhancing the efficiency of hazard profiling. Currently, no such flexible, easy-to-use screening platform with flexibly combinable chip-based sensors is available on the market.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.89M | Year: 2017

The network Collective effects and optomechanics in ultra-cold matter (ColOpt) will train early-stage researchers (ESR) in fundamental science and applications in the areas of cold atom and quantum physics, optical technologies and complexity science to promote European competiveness in emergent quantum technologies. It consists of nine academic nodes and three companies from six European countries, supported by two partners in Brazil and the USA, five further non-academic partners and one public-private partnership. Collective, nonlinear dynamics and spontaneous self-organization are abundant in nature, sciences and technology and of central importance. Building on this interdisciplinary relevance, a particular novelty of ColOpt is the integration of classical and quantum self-organization. The research program focuses on collective interactions of light with laser-cooled cold and quantum-degenerate matter. We will explore innovative control of matter through optomechanical effects, identify novel quantum phases, enhance knowledge of long-range coupled systems and advance the associated trapping, laser and optical technologies, establishing new concepts in quantum information and simulation. ColOpt combines cutting-edge science with training in complex instrumentation and methods to the highest level of technical expertise, both experimentally and theoretically, and fosters the development of transferable skills and critical judgement. Each ESR will be exposed to a broad spectrum of experimental, theoretical and industrial environments, to obtain core competence in one of them and the collaborative experience and skills to thrive in a truly international and intersectorial framework. ESRs will develop the capabilities to analyse and understand complex interactions, and will gain awareness of societal and entrepreneurial needs and opportunities. Taken together, this will enable them to excel in a variety of sectors of our diverse and rapidly changing society.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-01-2016 | Award Amount: 16.02M | Year: 2017

The SYSCID consortium aims to develop a systems medicine approach for disease prediction in CID. We will focus on three major CID indications with distinct characteristics, yet a large overlap of their molecular risk map: inflammatory bowel disease, systemic lupus erythematodes and rheumatoid arthritis. We have joined 15 partners from major cohorts and initiatives in Europe (e.g.IHEC, ICGC, TwinsUK and Meta-HIT) to investigate human data sets on three major levels of resolution: whole blood signatures, signatures from purified immune cell types (with a focus on CD14 and CD4/CD8) and selected single cell level analyses. Principle data layers will comprise SNP variome, methylome, transcriptome and gut microbiome. SYSCID employs a dedicated data management infrastructure, strong algorithmic development groups (including an SME for exploitation of innovative software tools for data deconvolution) and will validate results in independent retrospective and prospective clinical cohorts. Using this setup we will focus on three fundamental aims : (i) the identification of shared and unique core disease signatures which are associated with the disease state and independent of temporal variation, (ii) the generation of predictive models of disease outcome- builds on previous work that pathways/biomarkers for disease outcome are distinct from initial disease risk and may be shared across diseases to guide therapy decisions on an individual patient basis, (iii) reprogramming disease - will identify and target temporally stable epigenetic alterations in macrophages and lymphocytes in epigenome editing approaches as biological validation and potential novel therapeutic tool. Thus, SYSCID will foster the development of solid biomarkers and models as stratification in future long-term systems medicine clinical trials but also investigate new causative therapies by editing the epigenome code in specific immune cells, e.g. to alleviate macrophage polarization defects.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: DS-04-2015 | Award Amount: 6.34M | Year: 2016

SISSDEN is a project aimed at improving the cybersecurity posture of EU entities and end users through development of situational awareness and sharing of actionable information. It builds on the experience of Shadowserver, a non-profit organization well known in the security community for its efforts in mitigation of botnet and malware propagation, free of charge victim notification services, and close collaboration with Law Enforcement Agencies, national CERTs, and network providers. The core of SISSDEN is a worldwide sensor network, which will be deployed and operated by the project consortium. This passive threat data collection mechanism will be complemented by behavioral analysis of malware and multiple external data sources. Actionable information produced by SISSDEN will be used for the purposes of nocost victim notification and remediation via organizations such as National CERTs, ISPs, hosting providers and Law Enforcement Agencies such as EC3. It will especially benefit SMEs and citizens, which do not have the capability to resist threats alone, allowing them to participate in this global effort, and profit from the improved information processing, analysis and exchange of security intelligence, to effectively prevent and counter security breaches. The main goal of the project is creation of multiple high-quality feeds of actionable security information that will be used for remediation purposes and for proactive tightening of computer defences. This will be achieved through development and deployment of a distributed sensor network based on state-of-the-art honeypot/darknet technologies and creation of a high-throughput data processing center. SISSDEN will provide in-depth analytics on the collected data and develop metrics that will be used to establish the scale of most important security issues in the EU, and impact of the project itself. Finally, a curated reference data set will be created and published to provide a high-value resource.


Schneider H.-J.,Saarland University
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2013

The process of learning by doing has fueled supramolecular chemistry and, more specifically, the understanding of noncovalent aromatic interactions in synthetic and natural systems. The preparation of new host molecules and the investigation of their complexations have produced many insights into significant noncovalent binding mechanisms. In this Account, we attempt to discuss significant binding contributions involving aromatic units and their practical applications. We use typical examples from our group and the literature, but this Account is not a comprehensive view of the field.Other than systems with saturated frameworks, host compounds based on arenes offer better controlled conformations and active interactions with many guest molecules. Because of their fluorescent properties, larger aryl systems are particularly suitable for sensors. The noncovalent interactions observed with different supramolecular complexes can be compared and exploited for interactions with biopolymers such as nucleic acids. Complexes formed with cyclophanes have been a constant source of inspiration for understanding noncovalent forces and their use for the design of functional supramolecular systems. Other than cyclodextrins or ionophores, which occur in nature, arene-based macrocycles are synthetic and provide more opportunities for structural variations than other macrocycles. These derivatives allow researchers to study and to exploit an unusually broad variety of binding mechanisms in both aqueous and organic media.Systematic analyses of complexes with different substituents and structures in solution, based also on flat aromatic systems such as porphyrins, can lead to a consistent picture of the noncovalent forces that dominate in these systems. These studies have elucidated attractive interactions between many heteroatoms and π systems including cyclopropanes. Through systematic analysis of the equilibrium measurements one can derive binding free energy increments for different interactions. The increments are usually additive and provide predictive tools for the design of new supramolecular systems, benchmarks for computational approaches, and an aid for drug design. In aqueous media, the major noncovalent forces between different aryl systems or between arenes and heteroatoms of larger polarizibility are dispersive, and hydrophobic forces play a minor role. In several examples, we show that electrostatic forces also contribute significantly if donor and acceptor groups show complimentarity.In early investigations, researchers found cation-π and, to a lesser degree, anion-π interactions with several cyclophanes in systems where the host or the guest molecules bear charges in an orientation that facilitates contact between charged and aryl portions of the molecules. In supramolecular complexes, hydrogen bonding effects are usually only visible in apolar media, but very strong acceptors such as phenolate anions can also work in water. To facilitate potential applications, researchers have primarily developed water-soluble, arene-containing receptors through the implementation of permanent charges. Supramolecular complexes that mimic enzymes can also rely on aryl interactions. Examples in this Account illustrate that the conformation of host-guest complexes may differ significantly between the solid and solution state, and suitable spectroscopic methods are needed to observe and control these conformations. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Antigenic targets of the B-cell receptor (BCR) derived from malignant cells in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) might play a role in the pathogenesis of this neoplasm. We screened human tissue-derived protein macroarrays with antigen-binding fragments derived from 47 consecutive cases of CLL. An autoantigenic target was identified for 12/47 (25.5%) of the cases, with 3 autoantigens being the target of the BCRs from 2 patients each. Recombinantly expressed autoantigens bound specifically to the CLL cells from which the BCR used for the identification of the respective autoantigen was derived. Moreover, binding of the autoantigen to the respective leukemic cells induced a specific activation and proliferation of these cells. In conclusion, autoantigens are frequent targets of CLL-BCRs. Their specific binding to and induction of proliferation in the respective leukemic cells provide the most convincing evidence to date for the long-time hypothesized role of autoantigens in the pathogenesis of CLL.


Hydrogen bonds with organic fluorine are discussed on the background of an ongoing controversy, with an overview on the different methods of investigation, and with many examples, reaching from simple complexes to those involving nucleic acids. Often overlooked experimental values for the free energy of hydrogen bond involving C-F as acceptor depend on the solvent; in CCl 4 they amount with moderately acidic donors to ΔG = 6 kJ mol -1, much higher than with other halogens, placing fluorine as an acceptor between alkanes and arenes. The measured ΔG values increase from primary to secondary to tertiary C-F moieties, ab initio calculations predict an increase from sp 3 to sp 2 to sp 1 carbon. Simultaneous action of several X-H⋯F bridges can lead, even in polar media such as CDCl 3/CD 3CN, to binding constants of 70 [M -1]. Spectroscopic measurements unequivocally establish the presence of such hydrogen bonds, furnishing H⋯F distances as small as 2.02 Å, and X-H⋯F angles close to 180°, which generally agrees with most computational analyses. All computations point to dominating dispersive contributions, in particular for the very weak C-H⋯F interactions. In contrast, crystallographic analyses have led to controversial conclusions. Screening of databases, essentially based on X-ray determinations, often showed only very few structures with short H⋯F distances, for which reason the existence of such hydrogen bonds has been generally questioned. Some database evaluations, however, have shown enough cases for interactions between fluorine and X-H donors, mostly with H⋯F distances around 2.5 Å and X-H⋯F angles around 130°, which makes it difficult to distinguish hydrogen bonds from dispersive interactions. In several cases intermolecular H⋯F bridges dominate, and play a significant role in packing motifs, even when the underlying molecules tend to form only intramolecular bridges in solution. Generally, structures with intramolecular bonds give a clearer picture of X-H⋯F geometries. The limitations in deriving from crystal studies non-covalent binding mechanisms for weak single interactions are discussed. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-STG | Phase: ERC-2016-STG | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2017

User interfaces are moving onto the human body. However, todays rigid and mass-fabricated devices do not conform closely to the body, nor are they customized to fit individual users. This drastically restricts their interactive capabilities. This project aims to lay the foundations for a new generation of body-worn UIs: interactive skin. Our approach is unique in proposing computational design and rapid manufacturing of stretchable electronics as a means to customize on-body UIs. Our vision is that laypeople design highly personalized interactive skin devices in a software tool and then print them. Interactive skin has the advantage of being very thin, stretchable, of custom geometry, with embedded sensors and output components. This allows it to be used as highly conformal interactive patches on various body locations, for many mobility tasks, leveraging the many degrees of freedom of body interaction. This vision requires ground-breaking contributions at the intersection of on-body interaction, stretchable electronics, and digital fabrication: 1) We will contribute an automatic method to generate printable electronic layouts for interactive skin from a high-level design specification. 2) We will contribute multimodal interaction primitives that address the unique challenges of skin interaction. 3) We will develop principles for design tools that allow end-users to easily design a personalized interactive skin device. 4) We will use the newly developed methodology to realize and empirically evaluate interactive skin in unsolved application cases. The project will establish digital fabrication as a strong complement to existing mass-manufacturing of interactive devices. We will contribute to a deep and systematic understanding of the on-body interaction space and show how to build UIs with unprecedented body compatibility and interactive capabilities. We expect that our method will act as a key enabler for the next generation of body-UIs.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FETPROACT-01-2016 | Award Amount: 5.89M | Year: 2017

Bio-electronic microsystems hold promise for repairing the damaged central nervous system (CNS). However, this potential has not been developed because their implantation inflicts additional neural injury, and ensuing inflammation and fibrosis compromise device functionality. In Neurofibres we want to achieve a breakthrough in Neuroregenerative Bio-electronics, developing dual-function devices that will serve as electroactive scaffolds for CNS regeneration and neural circuit activation. We engineered electroconducting microfibres (MFs) that add negligible tissue insult while promoting guided cell migration and axonal regeneration in rodents with spinal cord injury (SCI). The MFs also meet the challenge of probe miniaturisation and biofunctionalisation for ultrasensitive recording and stimulation of neural activity. An interdisciplinary consortium composed of neuroscientists, medical specialists, researchers in biomaterials, protein engineering, physics, and electrical and mechanical engineering, together with a company specialised in fabrication of microcables and microconnectors, will join efforts to design, develop, and test the MFs and complementary technology (microfibre functionalisation, assembling, and electronic interconnection), in order to produce a biologically safe and effective bio-electronic system for the treatment of SCI. This goal will be achieved through five specific objectives: 1) To improve the electrical conductivity, strength, and chemical stability of the microfibres. 2) To develop electro-responsive engineered affibodies for microfibre functionalisation. 3) To develop the technology for MF interconnection and assembling into implantable systems. 4) To perform comprehensive investigation of the immunological, glial, neuronal, and connective tissue responses to the implanted MFs and applied electrostimulation in rodent and swine SCI models. 5) To investigate the motor and sensory effects of microfibre implantation and electrostimulation.

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