Members of the Weinhart Group are working at the interface of Polymer Chemistry, Surface Science, Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering. Accordingly, we are a very interdisciplinary team bringing together experts in the field of chemistry, biology, biotechnology and engineering.
Currently, we are working on cell attractive, thermoresponsive surfaces with high cell compatibility and short response times for application in cell sheet engineering. Therefore, an indepth characterisation of material surfaces in terms of hydrophilicity, roughness, thickness, softness and biocompatibiliy is essential in order to correlate cellular behaviour of mammalian cells cultured on such surfaces with the material properties of the substrate. Besides common cell culture and subsequent phenotypic or genotypic evaluation of the cell response, we also use AFM studies to measure and quantify attractive forces between cells and surfaces with respect to external parameters, such as exposure time and temperature.
In the long term our aim is to apply such surfaces, optimized for use in cell culture, for engineering of three dimensional tissue constructs and evaluate them as an alternative for conventional animal studies in tissue specific toxicity tests.