A diamond for science

Thanks to the great support of the Kalkhof-Roses, long-time patrons of the MPG, the MPI for Polymer Research in Mainz was able to inaugurate a new laboratory. In the new rooms of the Mainz Institute, a team headed by director Tanja Weil purposefully produces nanometer-sized diamond particles.

The task is to synthesize and functionalize these special nanodiamonds under high pressure and high temperature from carbon in the best possible way - with the aim of being able to use them in medicine for the diagnosis and therapy of cancer.

This work at the MPI for Polymer Research convinced Sibylle Kalkhof-Rose (born 1925) so much that she supported the research of Tanja Weil financially for almost two years. "The promotion of this excellent research is something wonderful and special. This also lives on in memory of my husband, who has always been strongly committed to science in Mainz, "said Sibylle Kalkhof-Rose. The chemist and entrepreneur Walter Kalkhof-Rose was a supporting member of the MPG from 1960 to 1988 and maintained a close friendship with Prof. Gerhard Wegner, emeritus founding director of the MPI for Polymer Research. Together, they worked hard to establish polymer research at the Max Planck Institute in Mainz in the 1980s.

Detailed interest in the research.

For Sibylle Kalkhof-Rose, too, science is a matter of the heart. She continues her husband's sponsoring membership since his death in 1988. The high commitment of the couple has already resulted in a big grant, which supports projects in the MPG and thus also the scientific work of the Mainz MPI. The new lab, dedicated to the couple in their honor, was inaugurated in January. Sibylle Kalkhof-Rose took part personally and was enthusiastically explained by Tanja Weil and group leader Manfred Wagner.

The scientific work in the Kalkhof-Rose laboratory remains exciting: The diamond particles are coated, for example, with a biopolymer, which carries a cancer drug. These drug-nanodiamond hybrids can then be introduced into tumor tissue to make it visible to the physician while simultaneously attacking the cancer cells.

An innovative therapeutic approach that the Mainz researchers will continue to advance in the coming years.

More about this event in Max Planck Journal 1/2018 (only German)

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