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Interactive Biomaterials

If we can make life-like chemical systems with signal-processing regulatory networks, then we should have outstanding opportunities to establish communication with cells and their signaling networks to cross-regulate behavior, which can ultimately lead to biohybrid morphogenesis.

Funded by our new ERC Consolidator Grant, we will establish this research line within our newly built cell lab.

Together with partners, we already target a more immediate application of for instance for 3D printed nanocellulose materials, for which we could show excellent biocompatibility, as well as possibilities for cell-friendly degradation to make free standing 3D cell constructs or possibly allow in vivo degradation. Additionally, we engage in cancer immunotherapy within the SFB 1066 together with a range of partners at JGU Mainz and the University Clinic.


5 Selected References:

1. M. Krueger, L. A. Oosterhoff, M. E. van Wolferen, S. A. Schiele, A. Walther, N. Geijsen, L. DeLaporte, L. J. W. van der Laan, L. M. Kock, B. Spee “Cellulose Nanofibril Hydrogel Promotes Hepatic Differentiation of Human Liver Organoids“ Adv. Healthcare Mater. 1901658 (2020).

2. M. Hörner, K. Raute, B. Hummel, J. Madl, G. Creusen, O. S. Thomas, E. H. Christen, N. Hotz, R. J. Gübeli, R. Engesser, B. Rebmann, J. Lauer, B. Rolauffs, J. Timmer, W. W. A. Schamel, J. Pruszak, W. Römer, M. D. Zurbriggen, C. Friedrich, A. Walther, S. Minguet, R. Sawarkar, W. Weber “Phytochrome‐Based Extracellular Matrix with Reversibly Tunable Mechanical Properties“ Adv. Mater. 31, 1806727 (2019).

3. C. K. Wong, F. Chen, A. Walther, M. H. Stenzel “Bioactive Patchy Nanoparticles with Compartmentalized Cargoes for Simultaneous and Trackable Delivery” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 58, 7335 (2019).

4. J. G. Torres-Rendon, M. Koepf, D. Gehlen, A. Blaeser, H. Fischer, L. De Laporte, A. Walther “Cellulose Nanofibril Hydrogel Tubes as Sacrificial Templates for Freestanding Tubular Cell Constructs” Biomacromolecules, 17, 905 (2016).

5. J. G. Torres-Rendon, T. Femmer, L. de Laporte, T. Tigges, K. Rahimi, F. Gremse, S. Zafarnia, W. Lederle, S. Ifuku, M. Wessling, J. G. Hardy, A. Walther ”Bioactive Gyroid Scaffolds Formed by Sacrificial Templating of Nanocellulose and Nanochitin Hydrogels as Instructive Platforms for Biomimetic Tissue Engineering” Adv. Mater. 27, 2989 (2015).



1. A. Walther “From Responsive to Adaptive and Interactive Materials and Materials Systems: A Roadmap” Adv. Mater. 1905111 (2020) (Invited View Point).

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