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University of Bayreuth, Press Release No. 121/2023, 04.09.2023

German Research Foundation funds Bayreuth project with more than 200,000 euros

Prof. Dr André Gröschel, Professor for Polymer Materials and Electrochemical Storage at the Bavarian Center for Battery Technology (BayBatt) at the University of Bayreuth, will be researching even more intensively on porous microparticles. The research results can have an impact on various branches of industry, from renewable energies to the chemical industry.

Polymer-Cubsome

The German Research Foundation (DFG) will fund a project on the production and application of polymer cubosomes with 263,825 euros. The project leader is Prof. Dr. André Gröschel, Professor of Polymer Materials and Electrochemical Storage at the Bavarian Centre for Battery Technology (BayBatt) at the University of Bayreuth. The project officially starts on 1 October 2023 and runs for a period of three years.

The core innovation of the project is the production of polymer cubosomes and hexosomes, and their application in electro- and photocatalysis. "Polymer cubosomes and hexosomes are a novel micelle morphology in which block copolymers in water spontaneously aggregate into microparticles that are thoroughly porous and highly ordered," says Prof. Dr. André Gröschel. "So we can produce porous particles in any shape and structure directly and don't need templates, which you always have to remove after use, as we did before."

The research of Gröschel's team is all about the targeted fabrication of complex nanostructures, often realised through self-assembly and block copolymers. In a recent article in the journal ACS Nano, for example, BCP hexosomes with a distinct prismatic shape were described for the first time. Their structural features are about an order of magnitude larger compared to similar structures made from lipids, which enables the uptake of larger cargo such as nanoparticles and possibly virus particles.

The previous research results enable a wide range of functions, as polymer cubosomes and hexosomes can be made from different polymers. The DFG research project is now testing further possible areas of application. The new structures can, for example, be biodegradable or react to various influences such as light or temperature.

"During the project period, we are keen to elucidate the mechanism of cubosome formation and to specifically endow cubosomes with functions by synthesising novel BCPs in order to explore a wide range of potential applications," says Prof Gröschel.

The introduction of polymer cubosome technology marks an important advance in nanoscience and will open new avenues for the application of soft porous microparticles in various fields of research and industry. In the Gröschel group, variants of polymer cubosomes are currently being researched as drug carriers for agrichemistry, as carriers for catalysts and as precursors to mesoporous materials for high-performance battery electrodes.

Andre Gröschel

Prof. Dr. André Gröschel

Professor for Polymer Materials and Electrochemical Storage 

+49 (0) 921 / 55 – 4931

Mail: PolyBatt@uni-bayreuth.de

Jennifer Opel

Jennifer Opel (on maternity/parental leave)Deputy Press & PR Manager

Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-5357
E-mail: jennifer.opel@uni-bayreuth.de