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Carsten Werner Group

Biofunctional polymer materials

Portrait Carsten Werner

Biologically inspired polymer materials can shift the boundaries between living and man-made systems. We work to recapitulate fundamental biological functions such as recognition, assembly, and adaptation in polymer-based, bioconjugated surfaces and engineered matrices.

Charge and structure at bio-interfaces: New tools and methods are developed and implemented to analyze and control ionic charge, molecular transport, supramolecular structure and bioadhesion at solid/liquid interfaces.

Hemocompatible interfaces: Blood-material interactions are systematically explored through whole blood incubation studies that enable the development of anticoagulant coatings containing various types of natural and synthetic inhibitor molecules.

Matrix engineering: Decellularized or reconstituted biopolymer matrices and modular, biofunctional hydrogels are designed to create cell-instructive microenvironments and morphogenetic matrices for regenerative therapies.

Carsten Werner Research: Figure 1
Figure 1: Heparin-starPEG gel platform decoupled gradation of physical and biomolecular signals
Carsten Werner Research: Figure 2
Figure 2: (A) Tube like structures formed by endothelial cells grown on biohybrid gels (B) Embryonic kidney of the mouse cultivated in a new developed organ culture system (C) Human hematopoetic stem cell growing within fibronectin-coated microcavities

Future Projects and Goals

We aim at developing bio-responsive polymer systems to enable in vivo tissue engineering schemes.


Since 2008
Professor for Biofunctional Polymer Materials, TUD CRTD, and Director of the Institute of Biofunctional Polymer Materials, Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden

Adjunct Professor, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto

since 2000
Head of Department Biomaterials, Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden/Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials

Group Leader, Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden

Dr.rer.nat., TU Dresden

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Selected Publications

Limasale Y, Atallah P, Werner C, Freudenberg U, Zimmermann R
Tuning the local availability of VEGF within glycosaminoglycan-based hydrogels to modulate vascular endothelial cell morphogenesis
Adv. Funct. Mater. 30, 2000068 (2020)

Müller E, Freudenberg U, Pompe T, Werner C
Solvent-assisted micromolding of biohybrid hydrogels to maintain human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells ex vivo
Adv. Mater. 29, 1703489 (2017)

Weber H, Tsurkan M, Magno V, Freudenberg U, Werner C
Heparin-based hydrogels induce human renal tubulogenesis in vitro
Acta Biomaterialia 57:59–69 (2017)

Prewitz M, Seib FP, v Bonin M, Friedrichs J, Stißel A, Niehage C, Müller K, Anastassiadis K, Waskow C, Hoflack B, Bornhäuser M, Werner C.
Tightly anchored tissue-mimetic matrices as instructive stem cell microenvironments
Nature Methods, Doi:10.1030/NMETH.2523 (2013)

Sebinger D, Ofenbauer A, Gruber P, Malik S, Werner C.
ECM modulated early kidney development in embryonic organ culture
Biomaterials, 34:6670–82 (2013)


Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden e.V. (IPF)
Hohe Straße 6
01069 Dresden, Germany