Dr Markus Valtiner, group leader at the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung (MPIE) and his American colleague Professor Scott Shell from the University of Santa Barbara (California) have been awarded a valuable grant by the Materials World Network.
Valtiner and Shell will receive around half a million euros for a period of three years to allow them to improve the functions of proteins in such a way that they can be used in biosensors, drug manufacturing, tissue scaffolds, adhesives and bonding agents. The joint research project combines theory and experimentation. Markus Valtiner is responsible for the experimental side of the project and is investigating the bond between proteins and solid-liquid interfaces with an atomic force microscope. Scott Shell is examining the molecular structures using computer simulation. If the ambitious research project is successful, it could result in the development of a new generation of biocompatible, environmentally friendly and sustainable super-adhesives.
The members of the Materials World Network include the German Research Foundation, the US National Science Foundation and other European funding organisations. They are working together to promote cooperation in the field of materials research between Europe and the United States. As the projects that are receiving funding are in competition with national research programmes, only particularly outstanding projects with total funding of three million euros will receive support. This year, only 20 projects worldwide were awarded grants.