Living systems differ significantly from state-of-the-art man-made technology: they form by self-organization from raw materials, have the capability for self-reproduction and self-repair, and may decay again into raw materials. Although a complete understanding of life as a complex hierarchical system controlled by biomolecules is not in reach, state-of-the-art scientific methods and engineering approaches allow studying the workings of biological systems with sufficient detail as to make the fundamental operation principles available for biotechnology and materials science applications. Nature offers solutions that appear very attractive for future use in human technology. Such solutions may include ‘bio-inspired’ approaches to energy conversion and storage, enzyme-like chemical synthesis, and materials with special properties such as low-wear or super-lubrication.
Combining engineering approaches with scientific methods opens new routes to discovery in bioscience, while discoveries made may yield inventions that help meeting challenges in human technology. Building on excellent transdisciplinary expertise at TUM ranging from chemistry, biology, physics, medicine to engineering, the Focus Area Biomaterials will be dedicated to the analysis of the design principles of biological materials down to the molecular scale, to their abstraction, and translation into technology.
Focus Area Speakers
Prof. Hendrik Dietz
Prof. Wolfgang A. Wall