Burgundy tulip

What is PlaMatSu?

Plant-Inspired Materials and Surfaces (PlaMatSu) created new functional polymeric materials and surfaces inspired by structure formation and function-property relationships of plant cuticles.

PlaMatSu was an Innovative Training Network (ITN) that ran from October 2016 until September 2020, funded by the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. It allowed nine PhD students to work at four leading European universities in the field of bio-inspired materials: University of Strathclyde (UK), University of Fribourg (Switzerland), University of Freiburg (Germany) and University of Cambridge (UK). This academic network of excellence was strengthened by the industrial partners BASF SE (Germany), fischerwerke GmbH & Co. KG (Germany), Dr. Tillwich GmbH Werner Stehr (Germany), E.G.O. (Germany), L'Oréal (France) as well as by the communication partners VDI - The Association of German Engineers and Wikimedia CH.

  • Plants Have Superpowers! PlaMatSu Exhibition Launches 5 September 2020!
    Plants Have Superpowers! PlaMatSu Exhibition Launches 5 September 2020! (more...)
  • PlaMatSu ESRs in the City of Light for their Away Weekend, Paris, July 2019
  • PlaMatSu ESR Livia Bast at #ACSOrlando
    PlaMatSu ESR Livia Bast at #ACSOrlando (more...)
    ESR Livia Bast spoke at American Chemical Society, Orlando (Spring 2019)
  • PlaMatSu ESR Johannes Bergmann at #ScienceSlam2019
    PlaMatSu ESR Johannes Bergmann at #ScienceSlam2019 (more...)
    ESR Johannes Bergmann presentedat Science Slam 2019 in Fribourg
  • Structural Colours in Bacteria Colonies
    Structural Colours in Bacteria Colonies (more...)
    A video created by Wim van Egmond in collaboration with PlaMatSu ESRs Benjamin Droguet and Gea van de Kerkhof, in collaboration with Prof. Silvia Vignoliniand Dr Colin Ingham

PlaMatSu brought together distinguished plant biologists, polymer chemists and soft matter physicists to study the development, structure and properties of multifunctional plant cuticles on a fundamental level and to create novel materials and surfaces based on the working principles of cuticles. This external layer of bio-polymers and wax protects leaves and flowers and serves many functions for the plant. It can, for example, use its pores to adjust water permeability and thus regulate water evaporation, the absorption of carbon dioxide, and the release of oxygen. Moreover, its complex surface structure is responsible for a number of other functions at the micrometer and sub-micrometer level, such as self-cleaning, the formation of structural color and the regulation of insect-adhesion. Understanding the formation of these surfaces lead to the development of functional materials such as structurally colored surfaces, surfaces with tailored wetting properties for lubrication, materials that can repel insects or membranes that can control moisture permeability.

Innovative training networks are part of the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and provide students with the opportunity to pursue their academic training within an international multidisciplinary framework along with temporary industrial internships. The aim is to boost scientific excellence and business innovation, and enhances researchers’ career prospects through developing their skills in entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. PlaMatSu´s doctoral candidates profited from a network of interdisciplinary laboratories (chemistry, physics, biology and materials science), competence centers for bio-inspired research at the participating universities, such as the Swiss NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials. Moreover, the PhD students followed practical training courses in technology transfer, management, scientific soft skills, and communication to complement their qualifications in research and development.

PlaMatSu ITN

Plant-Inspired Materials and Surfaces (PlaMatSu) is an Innovative Training Network (ITN), funded by the European Commission's Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions....