Dr. Christopher Synatschke

Christopher Synatschke studied chemistry at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, and pursued his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Axel H.E. Müller, with research stays at The University of New South Wales in Sydney and at The University of Tokyo. After completing his PhD with distinction (summa cum laude) in 2013, he then joined the group of Prof. Samuel Stupp at Northwestern University in Chicago as a Feodor-Lynen Postdoctoral Fellow. Upon returning to Germany in 2017, Christopher joined the group of Prof. Tanja Weil at MPI-P first as a postdoctoral fellow and was promoted to group leader in 2018. 

Research Interests

Nature assembles small building blocks into hierarchical structures over multiple length scales to obtain functional materials that are necessary for life. Our group takes inspiration from these processes and synthesizes small molecules such as peptides, often in combination with synthetic or bio-polymers, to mimic natural assembly processes and create bioactive materials. We aim to introduce chemical handles that provide us with control over the type of structure that is formed as well as the dynamics and timeframe of their assembly. Such handles can be light, pH, or redox responsive moieties. The materials that are prepared within our group span from anisotropic nanoparticles, over thin coatings, all the way to three-dimensional networks. Together with our collaboration partners, we test these materials for their performance as drug delivery vehicles or cellular scaffolds. 

Selected Publications

Sieste, S.; Mack, T.; Lump, E.; Hayn, M.; Schütz, D.; Röcker, A.; Meier, C.; Kirchhoff, F.; Knowles, T. P.J.; Ruggeri, F. S. et al.; Synatschke, C. V.; Münch, J.; Weil, T.: Supramolecular Peptide Nanofibrils with Optimized Sequences and Molecular Structures for Efficient Retroviral Transduction. Advanced Functional Materials 31 (17), 2009382 (2021)
Gačanin, J.; Synatschke, C. V.; Weil, T.: Biomedical Applications of DNA-Based Hydrogels. Advanced Functional Materials 30 (4), 1906253 (2020)
Schilling, C.; Mack, T.; Lickfett, S.; Sieste, S.; Ruggeri, F. S.; Šneideris, T.; Dutta, A.; Bereau, T.; Naraghi, R.; Sinske, D. et al.; Knowles, T. P. J.; Synatschke, C. V.; Weil, T.; Knöll, B.: Sequence-Optimized Peptide Nanofibers as Growth Stimulators for Regeneration of Peripheral Neurons. Advanced Functional Materials 29 (24), 1809112 (2019)
Gačanin, J.; Hedrich, J.; Sieste, S.; Glasser, G.; Lieberwirth, I.; Schilling, C.; Fischer, S.; Barth, H.; Knoell, B.; Synatschke, C. V. et al.; Weil, T.: Autonomous Ultrafast Self-Healing Hydrogels by pH-Responsive Functional Nanofiber Gelators as Cell Matrices. Advanced Materials 31 (2), 1805044 (2019)
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