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Project overview

The Collaborative Research Centre is divided into the subject areas Core (A), Shell (B), Medium (C) and Viral (D) as well as Transfer (T), Educational Institutions and the Public (Ö) and Central Tasks (Z).
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Image: Peter H from Pixabay

The fight against inflammatory diseases, for example induced by infections, is of great importance for mankind and requires novel strategies for effective and safe pharmacotherapy. Current concepts for medication of inflammatory diseases suffer from restricted biocompatibility and organ specificity of available drugs and are associated with severe side effects. 

The CRC POLYTARGET offers innovative approaches for solving these treatment hurdles. Our consortium pursues the long-term goal to develop cell type-specific polymeric nanoparticle (NP) carriers for selective interference at different stages of the inflammatory processes. Targets for NP treatment include pathogens directly or concomitant harmful inflammatory reactions. Newly developed drugs encapsulated by tissue-specific NPs allow to resolve local and systemic inflammatory responses and protect remote organs. Based on these strategies POLYTARGET addresses a broad spectrum of inflammatory diseases leading to organ failures, i.e., sepsis. To face these challenges, a holistic view of the causes and effects of inflammatory reactions is required.

POLYTARGET maps the entire range of methods for generation and efficient application of cell type-specific NPs, which covers the synthesis of systematic polymer libraries, the formulation of NP libraries, the development of new anti-inflammatory drugs, modelling of drug-polymer interactions and the implementation of biomedical evaluation methods for testing the efficacy of drug-loaded NPs. The CRC's particular strength is the ability to comprehensively characterize all steps involved in the generation and implementation of the NPs.

  • Area A – CORE hosts the projects that deal with the “interior” of the NPs in a broad sense.
  • Projects in Area B – SHELL focus on the surface-related effects of NPs on biomolecules and cells.
  • Area C – MEDIUM expands the research level and includes cells, organisms, organoids and animal experiments.
  • Area D – VIRAL exploits the CRC`s expertise for fighting viral infections.
  • A public outreach project (Ö01) translates the concepts and findings of POLYTARGET to school education.
  • The underlying Area Z supplies the whole CRC with key technologies including chemical synthesis, upscaling, supply of human macrophages, central analytical techniques as well as bioinformatics approaches, but also with the scientific claim to further develop these methods. Moreover, the POLYTARGET Research Training Group (RTG) will continue educational mentoring of PhD researchers associated to the CRC by promoting their interdisciplinary scientific expertise to optimise the conditions for research and personal development.

Subject area A: CORE

A chemist works with liquid nitrogen.
A01
Tailor-made multifunctional polymers and nanoparticles with...
A female and a male chemist working in the synthesis lab.
A02
Multifunctional nanoparticles based on polysaccharides for targeted...
test tubes containing pink fuid
A03
Photoacids and bases as responsive elements in block copolymer...
test tubes containing pink fuid
A04
Spatial and temporal targeting of membrane-bound mPGES-1 and FLAP /...
A chemist uses a pipette to introduce cell samples into a so-called microtiter plate.
A05
Targetable nanoparticles for efficient translocation across...
A chemist works in the synthesis lab.
A06
Controlling stealth and barrier breaking behavior: Hybrid protein...

Subject area​ B: SHELL

Cell tissue on the monitor of a fluorescence microscope.
B01
Targeted nanoparticle mediated delivery of nucleic acids into...
A female and a male chemist working in the synthesis lab.
B02
Macromolecular prodrug nanoparticles for antimicrobial therapy
Projekt B03
B03
Bioinspired guanidinium-containing nanoparticles for gene delivery
A female chemist at work on a microscope.
B04
Nanoscale monitoring of surface effects, structural changes, and...

Subject area​ C: MEDIUM

 58/5000 A technician working on a centrifuge.
C01
Biophotonic characterisation of the interaction of nanoparticles...
test tubes containing pink fuid
C02
Tailored delivery of anti-inflammatory natural drugs using...
Two female chemists working on an electron microscope.
C04
Investigation of cellular response to nanoparticle uptake by dual...
Chemiker mit Reagenzglas im Labor
C06
Prevention of late phase liver damage by targeted modulation of the...

Subject area​​ D: VIRAL

test tubes containing pink fuid
D01
Mimicking viral entry mechanisms with polymeric nanoparticles
Chemikerin im Labor
D02
Delivery platforms for antiviral and anti-inflammatory agents...

Subject area​​ T: TRANSFER

Chemikerin im Labor
T01
Targeting renal phosphoinositide 3-kinase γ (PI3Kγ) by dye-tagged...

Subject area​ Ö:​ Educational institutions and the public​

Kinder mit buntem Schleim
Ö01
Science education on target: Didactic reconstruction of current...

Subject area​ Z: Central Research Platform and Supporting Projects​

Two chemists are working on a polyethylene oxide reactor
Z01
Research platform for the synthesis, formulation, and advanced...
Two female chemists working on an electron microscope.
Z02
Integrated Research Training Group
Assembly of a so-called synthesis and formulation robot
Z03
Central tasks of the Collaborative Research Center