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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2020-09-01 - 2022-06-30

Since the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) there is an imminent need to control its spread particularly by developing an efficient vaccination. Different to most vaccines-developments under study we propose the production of S-layercoronavirus spike protein-fusion proteins for the use as immunogenic composition for intranasal and oral vaccination. The scientific basis for such protein materials has been developed decades agi in our department and had been explored intensively - however not with the COVID - related protein functionalization. Our goal in this strategic partnership with AVALON GloboCare is to develop an immunization strategy which not necessarily leads to a complete protection against COVID-19 infection, where the immunological know-how and competence is in the competence field of AVALON and at BOKU, the manufacturing of the respective immunogen will be performed. In this collaboration, we want to induce sufficient immunization (immune stimulation) preventing the development of a severe disease pattern which frequently is accompanied by organ damaging processes. The final treatment vaccine will be explored to the laboratory level at BOKU , the industrial and commercial part is in the hand of AVALON GloboCare.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2020-09-01 - 2021-09-30

New types of photovoltaic technologies ("Emerging" PV technologies) make it possible to produce ultra-thin, flexible and portable solar cells that open up new areas of application (from building to medical technology). The inorganic/organic advanced materials used for this purpose, such as certain polymers, perovskites, quantum dots, etc., have great potential to increase the energy efficiency of solar cells, but as critical raw materials ('CRMs') they involve a high risk and uncertainties. Therefore, the SolarCircle project will review and categorise usable advanced materials and assess their application and dissemination potential. Furthermore, a basis for the evaluation of potential release and disposal scenarios of emerging PV technologies with special consideration of recycling and sustainability aspects will be established. The aim of SolarCircle is to develop a basis for decisions for R&D, authorities and end users in terms of a sustainable development of emerging PV technologies. In a stakeholder workshop this concept will be discussed with the help of a concrete example in order to obtain a congruent and validated concept ("Descision supporting tool") for future PV technology related research and applications.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2016-10-01 - 2021-09-30

Archaea are one of the oldest life-forms existing on Earth. These unicellular organisms are often adapted to extreme habitats. Since the cell envelope of many archaea consists only of a very thin layer of fat (lipid membrane), into which an outermost crystalline protein layer is anchored, the question arises how Nature can accomplish this high resistance to extreme environmental conditions. The present project will study the reassembly of cell envelopes of archaea using previously isolated biological components, i.e., lipids and proteins. It aims to clarify the question how the self-organization of etherlipids and surface layer proteins proceeds in detail and which anchoring strategies are available for the formation of an artificial cell membrane. In addition, the question is addressed which properties of the biomolecules themselves and their assembly into macroscopic cell envelopes cause this amazing resistance to the extreme habitat conditions. Hence, selected archaea strains will be bred in the bioreactor and subsequently the basic building blocks will be isolated from the biomass. In addition, the surface layer proteins can also be genetically produced by host cells. This is a new approach, which has previously not attempted by another research group. By the application of Nature’s construction principle, the cell envelope structure of archaea will be reconstructed layer by layer. Each step will be tracked and analyzed using modern microscopial and surfaces-sensitive techniques. The results of this project will provide valuable insights into the isolation and in particular the self-assembly of cell envelope components. This knowledge can be applied to produce surface coatings with very specific properties. Further application are biomimetic membrane systems for studying the cell walls of archaea. The latter may also serve as model systems into which membrane-active peptides and membrane proteins can be incorporated and systematically investigated.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations