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Biomimetic and Biomineralized Magnetic Nanoparticles for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMP-Project)


Project Coordination



The Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces is located in Potsdam (Germany) The institute was founded in 1992 and has rapidly grown so that about 300 persons are presently working within five departments. It is one of the 80 research institute of the Max Planck Society, Germany’s most successful research organisation and one of the most renown scientific society in the world. Biomimetic research is at the core of the Institute’s activity. Common goal is to learn from nature how to build hierarchical materials or active systems with new functionalities, with adaptive, self-healing or self-assembling properties, perfectly in agreement with the call’s theme.

The facilities that could advantageously used for the project include an inorganic chemistry lab for synthesizing nanoparticles under highly controlled conditions, and a biochemistry and molecular microbiology lab for the cultivation of magnetotactic bacteria and for the work with proteins. An integrated set of analytical techniques are also available including atomic, magnetic and force microscopy, electron microscopy including high-resolution cryo-SEM, and high-resolution synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction.

Besides the management of the project that will be done by Katarzyna Gerwatowska, the group will be scientifically involved in synthesizing the biomimetic nanoparticles and characterizing the physical and chemical properties of the produced MNPs. Dr. Damien Faivre and the molecular biomimetics and magnets biomineralization group at MPG has extensive experience in the synthesis and characterization of biological and (bio-)inorganic iron oxides. We have developed methods for using biological components in inorganic syntheses of reduced volumes where physiological conditions can be preserved and where pH, iron concentration, dissolved oxygen concentration, and temperature are precisely controlled.


-- the project team