Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schwaneberg
The Schwaneberg group has its core competence in protein engineering. At RWTH we combine directed evolution methodologies and rational design to discover fundamental design principles of proteins. At the DWI we employ engineered proteins to integrate functionalities into polymers. For instance, the adhesion promoting peptide platform employs adhesion promoting peptides that bind as (dense) monolayer on all kind of surfaces, including polymers, metal alloys, ceramics, plant leaves, teeth etc., at ambient temperature by simple dip coating in water. Adhesion promoter decorated surfaces are advanced to biohybrid systems through subsequent orthogonal sortase reactions or chemical conjugations. Specificity, binding strength and interactive properties are tailored through novel/developed directed evolution methodologies. Application areas comprise for instance release systems for plant as well as medical health (conjugated to microgels), in microplastic management and as (anti-microbial) surface coatings (as bifunctional fusion peptides).