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Functional and stimuli-responsive polymer surfaces

 

     Group Leader: Pavel Levkin

     tel.: +49 721 608 29175
     fax: +49 721 608 24673
     email: levkin∂kit.edu

     External webpage: http://www.levkingroup.com/

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We are a young research group at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and at the University of Heidelberg that uses organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, cell biology and microbiology approaches to develop innovative research tools and to answer important biological questions.

The goal of our research is to gain better understanding of biological interfaces and to advance our ability to effectively control and direct behavior of eukaryotic cells and bacteria. We are developing biologically active functional polymer surfaces and materials, "smart" switchable polymer surfaces, and gradient surfaces, which we use for investigation of biointerfaces, for studying cell- or bacteria-surface interactions, for studying biofouling and for creating "smart" culture devices. Our motivation is to create polymer films and coatings that will improve performance of existing biomedical devices, implants and cell culture dishes. Our research is very interdisciplinary and we closely collaborate with biologists, microbiologists and physicists.

 

 

NEWS:

16/09/2015

Our third Advanced Materials paper this year has been accepted.

In this case, it is a review "Combinatorial Approach to Nanoarchitectonics for Nonviral Delivery of Nucleic Acids". Congratulations Mijanur!

 

10/09/2015

Another paper has been accepted in Nano Letters. Congratulations to Mona Jaggy and all co-authors including Prof. Bastmayer and Dr. Blattner (KIT) for an excellent collaboration!

The title of our paper is

"Hierarchical Micro-Nano Surface Topography Promotes Long-term Maintenance of Undifferentiated Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells"

In this paper we present evidence that hierarchical surface roughness at the micro and nano scale promotes long-term maintenance of undifferentiated stem cells.

 

09/09/2015

Our paper "Freestanding MOF Microsheets with Defined Size and Geometry using Superhydrophobic-Superhydrophilic Arrays" has been accepted in Advanced Materials Interfaces. Congratulations to the all co-authors including Wenqian and Dr. Manuel Tsotsalas from IFG, KIT.

 

20/08/2015

Anna´s Advanced Materials paper is online.

 

05/07/2015

Xin has successfully defended his PhD in Heidelberg University. Congratulations!

 

02/07/2015

Tina Cruz and Ivana Pini join our group. Welcome!

 

01/07/2015

Anna Popova´s paper has been accepted in Advanced Materials. Congratulations, Anna!
This interesting paper introduces a novel miniaturized platform for high-throughput screening of cells in individual microdroplets formed on a superhydrophobic-superhydrophilic microarray. The title of the paper is "Droplet-Array (DA) Sandwich Chip: a Versatile Platform for High Throughput Cell Screenings Based on Superhydrophobic-Superhydrophilic Micropatterning".

 

24/06/2015

Celebration of 20th anniversary of Helmholtz Association in Berlin.

Angela Merkel attended the event and gave a good speech about Helmholtz Association and future developments.

 

15/06/2015

Our new very interesting paper titled "Reversible and Rewritable Surface Functionalization and Patterning via Photodynamic Disulfide Exchange" has been accepted to Advanced Materials. Congratulations to Xin Du!

 

27/05/2015

Our ERC Proof-of-Concept Grant "CellScreenChip" has been preliminary accepted. The goal of this grant is to perform precommerciallization of a Cell-Screen-Chip to establish a platform for miniaturized cell-based diagnostic applications.

 

15/05/2015

Congratulations to Wenqian and Linxian with the acceptance of his paper by Angewandte Chemie! Wenqian and Linxian introduced a tetrazole-thiol reaction - a novel photochemical reaction that enables highly efficient surface functionalization and polymer conjugation. Well done!

 

02/04/2015

Pavel Levkin receives the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize from the DFG and BMBF

Pavel Levkin erhält Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Preis

Wichtigste deutsche Auszeichnung für den Forschungsnachwuchs – Polymerchemiker entwickelt neuartige Materialien für die molekulare Zellbiologie

Der Chemiker Dr. Pavel Levkin vom Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) erhält den Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Preis 2015. Die von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) verliehene Auszeichnung gilt als wichtigster Preis für den Forschungsnachwuchs in Deutschland. Zu den wissenschaftlichen Schwerpunkten von Pavel Levkin gehören die Erforschung von Zell-Oberflächen-Interaktionen, die Entwicklung von biofunktionalen Materialien und super-wasserabstoßenden Oberflächen sowie Nanopartikeln für den gezielten Medikamenten- und Gentransport. Ein großer wissenschaftlicher Erfolg gelang ihm mit der Synthese von lipidartigen Molekülen zur Genmodifikation von Zellen.

 

15/01/2015

Tina Cruz joins our group as a PhD student. Tina will work on the application of the Droplet Microarray platform for screening of stem cells in order to investigate factors that can be used to control stem cell differentiation and maintenance of pluripotency. Welcome, Tina!

 

08/12/2014

Our paper describing a novel transparent reactive superhydrophobic surface based on silicon nanofilaments has been accepted for publication in Nano Letters. Congratulations to all the authors!

Li, Junsheng; Li, Linxian; Du, Xin; Feng, Wenqian; Welle, Alexander; Trapp, Oliver; Grunze, Michael; Hirtz, Michael; Levkin, Pavel
"Reactive Superhydrophobic Surface and Its Photo Induced Disulfide-ene and Thiol-ene (Bio)functionalization"

 

24/11/2014

Victoria has successfully defended her PhD at the University of Heidelberg, Department of Applied Physical Chemistry. Congratulations!

 

21/10/2014

Erica has successfully defended her PhD at the KIT. Congratulations!

 

30/09/2014

Xin´s paper on "UV-Triggered Dopamine Polymerization: Control of Polymerization, Surface Coating and Photopatterning" has been accepted to Advanced Materials. Congratulations!

 

01/07/2014

Linxian has accepted a postdoctoral position in The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the MIT, USA. Congratulations!

 

20/06/2014

Wenqian´s two publications have been accepted at the same time in Advanced Materials Interfaces and Journal of Materials Chemistry C. Congratulations!

W. Feng, L. Li, E. Ueda, J. Li, S.Heißler, A. Welle, O. Trapp, P. A. Levkin Surface Patterning via Thiol-Yne Click Chemistry: an Extremely Fast and Versatile Approach to Superhydrophilic- Superhydrophobic Micropatterns. Adv. Mater. Interfaces

 

12/06/2014

Alexander Efremov graduates from Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg with Magna Cum Lauda. Congratulations, Alexander!

 

24/05/2014

Dr. Pavel Levkin receives the Ewald-Wicke-Prize, which will be awarded at the Bunsentagung 2014 to be held at the University of Hamburg on 29-31st of May.

 

23/05/2014

Linxian Li has just graduated from Heidelberg University with Magna Cum Laude. Congratulations, Linxian!

 

21/03/2014

Incella GmbH is a start-up company that developes and commercializes novel gene-delivery systems. Incella is a result of one of our research projects that was finished by Linxian two years ago in cooperation with Gary Davidson´s lab at the KIT. Now, just two years after that project three novel transfection reagents (ScreenFect A, ScreenFect siRNA and ScreenFect mRNA) are available in Europe, Japan, China and soon in the US. Incella GmbH has moved to the High-Tech Inkubator at the KIT where the company currently rents one chemistry and one cell biology laboratory and employs 8 scientists.

 

20/03/2014

Linxian´s and Junsheng´s Angewandte paper "Direct UV-Induced Functionalization of Surface Hydroxy Groups by Thiol–Ol Chemistry" is online and has been selected as a HOT PAPER by the editor.

 

28/02/2014

Junsheng has successfully defended his PhD in Heidelberg University. Congratulations!

 

12/02/2014

Check our laboratory´s youtube channel. The interviews are kind of funny, but the macro videos of droplets, superhydrophobic surfaces and micropatterns are interesting. High-density arrays of square microdroplets, or unusual ring-shaped droplets are something what we do not often see in our real life.

 

06/02/2014

Prof. João F. Mano visits our group and gives a talk on "Ex-vivo applications of biomimetic polymeric surfaces for biomedical applications".

 

02/01/2014

Dr. Levkin represents KIT at the European Career Fair at the MIT in Boston.

 

15/01/2014

Dr. Anna Popova and Mr. Konstantin Demir have joined our group. They will work on the development of a new platform for high-throughput screening of live cells using the Dropletmicroarray approach as a part of the ERC Starting Grant. Welcome!

 

24/12/2013

Linxian´s and Junsheng´s paper "Photoinduced Surface Modification by Thiol-ol Chemistry" has been accepted to Angewandte Chemie. Congratulations!

 

24/12/2013

Junsheng´s and Yin´s paper "Direct three-dimensional imaging of polymer-water interfaces by nanoscale hard X-ray phase tomography" has been accepted to Soft Matter. Congrats!

 

10/12/2013

Alexander´s paper on "Digital liquid patterning: a versatile method for maskless generation of liquid patterns and gradients" was accepted to Advanced Materials Interfaces. Congratulations!

 

07/11/2013

Cover for the current issue of Advanced Healthcare Materials:
Erica Ueda and Pavel A. Levkin present a simple method to produce precise micropatterns of hydrophobic liquids by using hydrophilic–hydrophobic substrates. On page 1425, these micropatterns are shown to possess long-term stability, excellent cell-repellency, no cytotoxicity, and higher efficiency than conventional PEG or superhydrophobic surfaces in controlling eukaryotic cell adhesion.

 

19/10/2013
Our spin-off company Incella GmbH is looking for a chemist.

 

08/10/2013

Junsheng´s paper on "Liquid-infused slippery surfaces show marine anti-biofouling properties" was accepted to ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. Congratulations!

 

05/10/2013

Figure from Erica´s paper in Advanced Healthcare Materials was accepted as a front cover for the next journal issue. Congratulations! (we will publish the cover art as soon as it appears in the journal)

 

20/09/2013

The research in our group and the ERC Starting Grant are highlighted in the KIT Magazine for research teaching and innovation

pdf link

 

10/07/2013

Our 10th paper for this year has been just accepted to Biomaterials. The paper describes new Boronate-Dextran pH-responsive nanoparticles for drug delivery. Congratulations Linxian!

 

05/07/2013

Priscila´s and Erica´s paper on a novel method for the replication of superhydrophobic-superhydrophilic patterns has been almost accepted (minor revision) to ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. Congrats Erica and Priscila!

 

01/07/2013

(A) Junsheng´s paper has been published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Congrats!

Hydrophobic Liquid-Infused Porous Polymer Surfaces for Antibacterial Applications

In this paper we study of antibacterial behavior of SLIPS coatings prepared on porous polymethacrylate films and show unexpected bacteria-specific behavior.

(B) Wenqian´s first paper has been published in a new nanotechnology journal: Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology. Congratulations!

Porous polymer coatings as substrates for the formation of high-fidelity micropatterns by quill-like pens

 

25/06/2013

The photo is not really perfect, but the text is correct. KIT´s press release about the ERC grant.

 

31/05/2013

Erica´s next paper has been published in Advanced Healthcare Materials. Congratulations!  

 

15/05/2013

View Dr. Levkin´s presentation at the 2013 Materials Research Society (MRS) meeting in San Francisco.

 

13/05/2013

Press-release about our recent review in Advanced Materials:
Biologie: Anwendung von wasserliebenden und wasserabstoßenden Mikroschichten

05/04/2013

Wenqian Feng joins our group to perform his PhD (Department of Organic Chemistry, Heidelberg University). Welcome!

 

10/03/2013

Erica´s paper in Advanced Materials will appear on the (back) cover of the journal. Congrats!
 

01/03/2013

Congratulations to Linxian Li for receiving the "CHINESE GOVERNMENT AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SELF-FINANCED STUDENTS ABROAD"!

 

The award amounts to 6000 US dollars. This year 30 students in Germany have received this prestigious award. The ceremony for students in Germany will be held on April 6th in the Chinese embassy in Berlin.

 

25/01/2013

Our review on "Emerging Applications of Superhydrophilic-Superhydrophobic Micropatterns" is now online in Advanced Materials.

 

01.10.2012

Priscila Auad, Thiago Felipe and Joao Machado join our group for 1 year as exchange students between Brasil Universities and Heidelberg University. Welcome!

 

10/10/2012

Erica´s paper "DropletMicroarray: Facile Formation of Arrays of Microdroplets and Hydrogel Micropads for Cell Screening Applications" has been accepted to Lab on a Chip. Congratulations!

 

20/09/2012

A patent application describing a novel type of cell- and bacteria-resistant coating has been submitted to the European Patent Office. Congratulations to Erica and Junsheng! The work is a cooperation with the Schwartz group in IFG, KIT.

 

01/08/2012

Linxian´s paper on combinatorial synthesis of vectors for gene-delivery via thiol-yne click chemistry has appeared [Opens external link in new window] online in Biomaterials

 

22/07/2012

Our new paper "A Biomimetic Lipid Library for Gene Delivery through Thiol-Yne Click Chemistry" has been just accepted to Biomaterials. Congratulations to Linxian!

 

21/07/2012

A patent application describing the DropletArray method - a new application of superhydrophobic-superhydrophilic micropatterns - has been submitted to the European Patent Office. Congratulations to Erica!

 

10/07/2012

Martin Maiwald and Felix Braun join our group as internship students to continue projects started by Aniket and Asritha.

 

01/07/2012

Kubilay Demir finishes his PhD in the group of Prof. Boutros (DKFZ) and joins our group as a postdoc. Welcome! Kubilay is going to work on the application of our superhydrophobic-superhydrophilic microarrays for the high-throughput cell screening.

 

10/06/2012

Proposal for a non-contact liquid dispenser system (100.000 €) was supported by the Helmholtz Association.

 

01/06/2012

Asritha Nallapaneni and Aniket Gudadhe join our group as interns for summer. Welcome!

 

25/05/2012

Our paper on "Printable Superhydrophilic−Superhydrophobic Micropattern" was just accepted to Langmuir. Congratulations to Junsheng, Erica, Linxian and Asritha!

 

15/04/2012

Incella GmbH is founded! Incella is a startup that will commercialize new gene- and drug-delivery systems developed in our group and in collaborations. The first product – highly efficient transfection reagent ScreenFect A – is already on the market in Germany, China and Austria. ScreenFect is a result of a collaborative  project with the group of Dr. Gary Davidson. More info is on the website: www.incella.com

 

15/04/2012

Our website is updated.

 

01/04/2012

Konny joins our group as a technical assistant. Welcome!

 

20/11/2011

Congratulations to Florian who has joined the group of Yi Liu in Berkeley (LBNL) (http://foundry.lbl.gov/liugroup/index.html) as an intern student.

 

01/09/2011

Xin, Bai and Girish join the group as PhD students. All have received external scholarships to pursue their graduate work. Congratulations and welcome!

 

30/05/2011

Results of Florian’s and Erica’s work are accepted to Angewandte Chemie

 

20/05/2011

Results of David’s work are published in Advanced Materials http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.201101203/abstract 

 

09/12/2010

Results of Florian´s research work lead to receiving the Helmholtz-Enterprise grant for opening a start-up company. More information can be found at the Helmholtz Association website or at the KIT website.

 

29/12/2010

EU patent application based on Florian´s results is submitted with the help of the KIT and the Müller-Boré & Partner law firm.

 

01/12/2010

 joined the group

 

01/11/2010

 joined the group

 

01/09/2010

 joined the group

 

01/08/2010

Alexander Efremov has joined the group

 

01/06/2010

 joined the group

 

22/09/2009

Die Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft fördert fünf neue Nachwuchsgruppen am KIT. Damit können fünf herausragende junge Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler in Karlsruhe ihre eigenen Forschungsgruppen aufbauen und leiten. Jede Nachwuchsgruppenleitungsstelle ist mit einem Jahresbudget von mindestens 250.000 Euro über fünf Jahre und der Option auf eine unbefristete Anstellung verbunden.

Am Institut für Toxikologie und Genetik (ITG) des KIT widmet sich die Gruppe "Functional and Stimuli-Responsive Polymer Surfaces" von Dr. Pavel Levkin gemeinsam mit Forschern der Universität Heidelberg der Synthese neuartiger Materialien auf Polymer-Basis mit bestimmten Eigenschaften, was Morphologie, Oberflächenchemie und Elastizität betrifft, und untersucht das Verhalten von Zellen und bakteriellen Biofilmen auf der Oberfläche solcher Materialien.

 

 

 

 

Updated: December 10, 2015