Synthetic Materials

Main content

Synthetic Collagen

Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals and the most prevalent constituent of the extracellular matrix. It provides for stability in disparate tissues and organs and plays crucial roles in the modulation of cellular activities.

We utilize functionalizable collagen model peptides (CMPs) to understand the factors that govern the conformational stability of collagen and to develop collagen-based functional materials for medicinal applications such as wound healing or drug delivery. Conformational and kinetic studies of differently functionalized CMPs provided insight into the importance of hydrogen bonding, steric and stereoelectronic effects for the supramolecular integrity of collagen. The studies also illuminated at which positions collagen can be functionalized without disturbing the stability and led to the development of pH-responsive collagen.

Currently we are building on this knowledge to control the self-assembly of synthetic CMPs into supramolecular structures that resemble the morphology of natural collagen and establish synthetic collagen for medicinal applications.

Selected publications

  1. C. Siebler, R. S. Erdmann, H. Wennemers, "Switchable Proline Derivatives: Tuning the Conformational Stability of the Collagen Triple Helix by pH Changes"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 10340–1034
  2. R. S. Erdmann, H. Wennemers, "Effect of Sterically Demanding Substituents on the Conformational Stability of the Collagen Triple Helix"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc.2012, 134, 17117–17124
  3. R. S. Erdmann, H. Wennemers, "Importance of Ring Puckering versus Interstrand Hydrogen Bonds for the Conformational Stability of Collagen"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 50, 6835–6838
  4. R. S. Erdmann, H. Wennemers, "Functionalizable Collagen Model Peptides"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 13957–13959

Organic Electronics

Precise control over the incorporation and ordering of functional building blocks into larger, organized systems is important for the development of new materials.

Our group uses oligoprolines as molecular scaffolds to create and control the morphology of nanostructured materials for the generation of ordered mesoscopic materials that could be applied in macroscopic organic electronic devices. We developed conjugates between oligoproline and π-conjugated systems that form hierarchical self-assemblies with morphologies that can be tuned by seemingly subtle modifications on the molecular level.

Building on the detailed understanding of the supramolecular organization of oligoproline–chromophore conjugates, we are currently designing novel molecular architectures for applications in molecular electronics.  

Selected publications

  1. U. Lewandowska, W. Zajaczkowski, W. Pisula, Y. Ma, C. Li, K. Müllen, H. Wennemers "Effect of Structural Modifications on the Self-Assembly of Oligoprolines Conjugated with Sterically Demanding Chromophores"
    Chem. Eur. J. 2016, 22, 3804–3809
  2. U. Lewandowska, W. Zajaczkowski, L. Chen, F. Bouillière, D. Wang, K. Koynov, W. Pisula, K. Müllen, H. Wennemers, "Hierarchical Supramolecular Assembly of Sterically Demanding π-Systems by Conjugation with Oligoprolines"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 12537–12541
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