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Germany: Research Collaboration Antimicrobial Polymers as Alternatives to Antibiotics

Editor: Alexander Stark

On January 1, 2021, the new Emmy Noether Group “Next Generation Antimicrobial Polymers” started its work at the University of Potsdam in close cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP. The goal is to develop antimicrobial polymers that can replace antibiotics.

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Dr. Matthias Hartlieb heads the new Emmy Noether Group “Next Generation Antimicrobial Polymers”.
Dr. Matthias Hartlieb heads the new Emmy Noether Group “Next Generation Antimicrobial Polymers”.
(Source: Till Budde/ University of Potsdam/ Tobias Hopfgarten)

Potsdam/Germany — The fight against antibiotic resistance is becoming increasingly important. If we lost the ability to fight bacterial infections, we would be facing difficult times, explains Dr. Matthias Hartlieb, who founded and heads the research group. He argues that it is therefore essential to find new ways to effectively counter bacterial infections.

With his research team, the chemist aims to develop novel polymers at the University of Potsdam. They should be able to destroy antibiotic-resistant germs without harming humans. A key component of this project is the close cooperation with the Fraunhofer IAP, which is also located in the Potsdam Science Park. In addition to their proven expertise in the field of polymer research, the scientists at Fraunhofer IAP have a great deal of experience in the development of biofunctionalized materials and in testing with pathogens. They also have the appropriate safety laboratorie. At Fraunhofer IAP, the researchers are primarily investigating sugar-based interactions with pathogens and testing the antimicrobial efficacy of the newly developed polymers as part of this project. The transfer of excellent basic research into application plays an important role at the institute.

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