Dr. Fania Geiger, Project Leader
In this project we develop a new type of implant for glaucoma patients. These patients suffer in most cases from an elevated intraocular eye pressure causing damage to the eye´s optic nerve. Without treatment, this will finally result in blindness, a major problem in our aging society. The core of our implant is made of a hyluaronic acid hydrogel. This hydrogel serves as a valve draining the intraocular fluid and therefore regulating the intraocular pressure. We work on the hydrogel composition so in future individual intraocular pressures can be adjusted and restenosis prevented. This project is carried out in collaboration with the group of Heike Böhm (https://www.mpimf-heidelberg.mpg.de/14057357/spatzboehm) and the Pharmpur GmbH in Königsbrunn (https://pharmpur.de )
Organisms use biomineralization to create complex and fascinating structures such as nacre, sea urchin spicules or coccoliths. To understand general principles of biomineralization, we started to have a look into the process using microfluidic droplets. This allows us to control the experimental conditions very well and carry out several experiments with high numbers of repetitions in parallel. To further understand biomineralization processes in organisms generating complex morphologies made of biominerals, we also use the microfluidic droplets as tool to mimick compartments. Nature is taking advantage of compartments such as vesicles to regulate the reaction conditions and to create the fascinating structures. We try to understand and mimick these processes with the microfluidic droplets as artificial compartment. This project is carried out in a collaboration with Dirk Rothenstein (University of Stuttgart, http://www.uni-stuttgart.de/imw/mc/forschung/materials_development/Bioinspired_Materials_Systems/).