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PhD student



Impact of plastic mircoparticles on living organisms

The impact of plastic on our health is generally hard to quantify. One question to answer is how far plastic particles can penetrate the body and therefore how they penetrate cells. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) in combination with fluorescence microscopy can be used to better understand the interaction between micro sized objects and lipid bilayers, functioning as model systems for microparticles interacting with lipid membranes.



Many epithelial tissues are exposed to tribological shear stress (blinking and swallowing of food) that require proper lubrication and wear protection. This is accomplished by several variants of mucus – a viscoelastic hydrogel that covers all wet epithelia in mammals. The key component of such mucus hydrogels are mucins, a class of high molecular weight glycoproteins that exhibit a highly complex molecular structure. My goal is to gain a thorough understanding of the extraordinary adhesion and lubrication properties of mucin using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)-based Single-molecule Force Spectroscopy (SMFS).


About me

Since 03/2022: PhD student in the Balzer/Hugel Lab

10/2018-12/2021: Master of Science in Chemistry, Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg

10/2015-10/2018: Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg





M. Marczynski, T. M. Lutz, R. Schlatterer, M. Henkel, B. N. Balzer & O. Lieleg*

Contamination with black carbon nanoparticles alters the selective permeability of mucin hydrogels: implications for molecular transport across mucosal barriers

ACS Appl. Nano Mater., 5, 11, 16955 (2022).

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