Talented postdoc Fabian Sobotta received Walter-Benjamin stipendium

July 26, 2023

Last week Sobotta was awarded a a prestigious personal fellowship to work on forefront polymer science at TU/e the coming years.

Fabian Sobotta, postdoc at the Self-organizing Soft Matter group, received the Walter-Benjamin stipendium. This is an individual fellowship for postdoctoral researchers provided by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to conduct an own research project at a host institution. The long-term goal of Fabian’s project is to constitute a novel paradigm in the design of the next-generation of polymeric nanomaterials and stimulate new developments in the fields of precision drug, delivery, biomaterials and cellular mimics. The program will run for 2 years and entails a budget of  80,000 euro.

His awarded project, entitled “From Monomer to Nanostructure in One Step: Switchable Polymerization-Induced Electrostatic Self-assembly (PIESA) as Artificial Reaction-Assembly Network”, is focused on the formation of nanostructures based on the electrostatic attraction of oppositely charged polymer chains, so-called complex coacervates. Coacervates have gained increasing attention in a wide range of research fields, as multi-responsive, adaptive materials. A novel approach to spatially and temporally couple polymerization and self-assembly processes will be developed to tailor the structure and properties of the forming coacervate nanoparticles in situ. The objective of the project is to explore and open up new opportunities in the design of soft matter nanomaterials as well as gaining insights in the underlying principles of the hierarchical assembly of macromolecules.

A first proof-of-concept study has been recently published the Self-Organizing Soft Mater group:

Li, C.; Magana, J. R.; Sobotta, F.; Wang, J.; Stuart, M. A. C.; van Ravensteijn, B. G. P.; Voets, I. K., "Switchable Electrostatically Templated Polymerization", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, 61, e202206780. DOI: 10.1002/anie.202206780

Bianca Moonen-Tossaint
(Departmental Communication Advisor)