Nanocapsules for
targeting immune cells

Katharina Landfester / Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz

September 9, 2021, 3 - 4 pm CEST

Online live talk



Our vision is to construct multipotent drug-loaded nanocapsules of high homogeneity in size and surface functionality, which find their target cells in the desired organs and release the drug in a controlled manner in the cytoplasm of these cells. For the delivery of bioactive compounds to a specific cell, it is not only vital to improve the stability of the therapeutic agent during passage through the blood stream, but also to extend the circulation time in the body.

Making smart nanoparticles is inevitably linked to a deep understanding of the overall physico-chemical principle of their formation. By means of the miniemulsion process, we design custom-made nanoparticles and nanocapsules for biomedical applications. This is facilitated by the enormous versatility of the miniemulsion process that has been developed and conceptually understood by our group. Moreover, the accumulation of understanding the formation process has led to successful and precise control of important nanoparticle parameters such as size, shape, morphology, surface functionalization and modification, degradation, release kinetics. This degree of control is unique and allows us to tune specific properties tailored to particular applications; the successful up-scaling of process is of technical relevance. Furthermore, the encapsulation and release of a great variety of payloads, ranging from hydrophobic to hydrophilic substances has been successfully achieved in a highly controlled manner and with an unmatched high encapsulation efficiency.

For biomedical application, many interactions to biological matter have to be considered and tuned: the interaction with blood components (proteins etc.) has to be controlled to limit aggregation processes. Furthermore, the interaction to cell membranes and uptake in blood cells like macrophages has to be minimized. Only then the drug can reach the target cells.

Katharina Landfester

Katharina Landfester received her doctoral degree in 1995. After a postdoctoral stay at the Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA), she worked at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam (Germany) leading the miniemulsion group. From 2003 to 2008, she was full professor at the University of Ulm. She joined the Max Planck Society in 2008 as one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research. She was awarded the Reimund Stadler prize of the German Chemical Society and the prize of the Dr. Hermann Schnell Foundation, followed by the Bruno Werdelmann Lecturer in 2012 and the Bayer Lecturer in 2014. Her research focuses on creating functional colloids for new material and biomaterial applications. She has published more than 600 papers in international journals, 30 reviews and holds more than 50 patents.