Amphiphilic Polymers in Biological Sensing


Organisation profile

The research is focussed on utilizing self-organization principles to achieve goals within nanotechnology. The basic competence in the group is the ability to identify and synthesize (polymer) molecules that can solve a specific task. The group seeks suitable tasks through cross-disciplinary collaborations. As described in the discussion of self-organization below it is expected that each new task will require a unique solution.

At present the group is involved in projects on nanoparticle biosensors and on interfaces in composite materials:

  • In nanoparticle biosensors the goal is to achieve unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution in the study of cellular metabolism and utilize this resolution to gain insight in metabolism and processes at the cellular level. Functional nanoparticles are synthesized in microemulsions. The equilibrium nano-structured oil water microemulsion offers possibility for controlling the size, the surface-functionality and internal functionalities of the nanoparticles. Application of the nanoparticles as metabolite sensors are pursued in the FTP major project LiMeS.
  • In interfaces in composites materials the goal is to achieve understanding and control of the structures that determine the interfacial strength and the resulting influence of this strength on the macroscopic mechanical properties of the composite. Composite materials are used for a wide variety of application such as wind turbine blades and restorative dental materials.


Self-organization has been perfected by nature to form the building blocks of living organisms. The present abilities of artificial self-organizing systems are bleak compared to nature and thus there is room for much development. Self-organization is based on a clever combination of incompatibility and connections. In other word the systems have build in both driving forces to separate and structures to prevent separation. If these two tendencies - separation and connection - are balanced correctly interesting structures ensue. By definition self-organization is a cooperative process; many molecules must find their position in some structure without actively being placed in the position. Apparently the desired structures are most likely obtained when the driving force for the single molecule are not to strong. In an analogy with landscapes it is easier to find your way to the lowest point in a soft rolling hill landscape that in a ragged mountain chain. You are less likely to get stuck in the wrong valley where steep sides could make it hard to get back out. In physical systems it is the free energy landscape that governs the behaviour. Soft contour free energy maps are generally found close to phase transitions and self-organised systems in nature are often close to phase transitions, that is, close to condition where they are no longer stable. A consequence of the need to balance the different driving force carefully is that one cannot expect to build a large variety of things with the same building blocks. The building block need to be fine tuned to the task at hand,

The amphiphilic polymers in biological sensing group is headed by Kristoffer Almdal


Contact information

Ørsteds Plads
345 Ø
Kgs. Lyngby
  • Phone: (+45) 4525 5700
  • Fax: (+45) 4588 7762
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  • Journal of Polymer Science. Part B, Polymer Physics

    ISSNs: 0887-6266

    ISSNs (Electronic): 1099-0488

    John/Wiley & Sons, Inc. John/Wiley & Sons Ltd., United States

    BFI (2015): BFI-level 1, ISI indexed (2013): ISI indexed yes

    Central database


  • Journal of Applied Polymer Science

    ISSNs: 0021-8995, 00218995

    ISSNs (Electronic): 1097-4628

    John/Wiley & Sons, Inc. John/Wiley & Sons Ltd., United States

    BFI (2015): BFI-level 1, ISI indexed (2013): ISI indexed yes

    Central database


  • Langmuir

    ISSNs: 0743-7463, 07437463, 15205827

    ISSNs (Electronic): 1520-5827

    American Chemical Society, United States

    BFI (2015): BFI-level 2, ISI indexed (2013): ISI indexed yes

    Central database


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