Research Topics

Our research subjects are polysaccharides and their derivatives, in particular

  • starch, amylose, amylopectin

  • cellulose

  • cyclodextrins

  • exopolysaccharides

  • fructans

  • dextrans

Starch and cellulose, the most important renewable resources, are modified for more than 150 years in many different ways in order to affect their properties and to open up new fields of application.

Cyclodextrins as cyclic α-1,4-glucans are appropriate starting substances to synthesize such derivatives. Because of their special ability to form guest-host-complexes, they are used as drug delivery systems, to functionalize textiles, to complex off-odours, but also for enantioselective chromatography or elektrophoresis.

All these substances exhibit a huge structural diversity in consideration of polysaccharide backbone, average degree of polymerisation (DP), polydispersity (Mw/Mn), in particular starch: content of amylose and amylopectin, sort of substituent (neutral, cationic, anionic, amphiphilic, ether, ester), degree of substitution (DS) and distribution along the polymer chain. Last-mentioned one can be considered at different structural levels: within the monomer, along the polymer chain, depending on different components such as amylose and amylopectin, within amorphous and crystalline regions, with regard to chain ends and branching points.

Cellulose sulfates with special substitution patterns are of interest to fight against maternal malaria. Aminoalkyl derivatives exhibit adequate properties to stabilize enzymes as well as to coat surfaces of biosensors or implants.