By: Stephan Barcikowski

Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V., Germany
Particular GmbH, Germany

Nanomaterials provide an enormous potential for surface coatings, polymer composites coatings as well as new therapeutic methods and medical products. The basis of these new products is nanofunctionalization, which can be subdivided into three different effects. Basis of the functionalization is either a polymer or metallic material which gets additional strength or bioactivity by adding nanoscale components. These components can be nanomodified surfaces, bioactive nanocomposites, and nanoparticle bioconjugates. While surface modification is based on roughness and wettability effects, biochemical effects due to released metal ions are the main driver for nanocomposites. Laser-generated bioconjugated nanoparticles can be used as nanomarkers for drug targeting resulting in a biophysical effect.

Conventional methods for the generation of bio-nanoparticles are mainly based on chemical or vapour based processes resulting in a limitation of the material, agglomeration or bad chemical purity. Especially the latter restricts the use e.g. in biomedical applications. An alternative method is the laser-based generation of nanoparticles. This process results in nanoparticles of highest purity and long-term stability as well as in the possibility to make use of an enormous amount of different materials. Dispersions with highest purity can be produced which are applied for bioactive coatings or which can be embedded within polymers. The choice of the material is based on the functionality, e. g. proliferative or antiproliferative. For drug-targeting applications, even in-situ functionalization can be realized in order to further use them for bioconjugation with antibodies or DNA.

The activities of Stephan Barcikowski follow three paths: research (http://lzh.de), scale-up and application (http://particular.eu) as well as technology transfer and exchange on the conference on laser ablation and nanoparticle generation in liquids (http://angel-conference.org).