BoostLab5-1: BioMonitoring - Anchor peptide based monitoring of lightweight structures


Project duration

January 1, 2022 to March 31, 2024

Project partners

RWTH Aachen, SLA (Institute of Structural Mechnanics and Lightweight Design), LFB (Institute of Imaging and Computer Vision), ABBt (Chair of Biotechnology)

Project description

The Bio4Monitoring subproject is concerned with the development of a novel measurement system for structural health monitoring, SHM, of lightweight structures based on biobased coatings. This system is more cost-efficient, simpler and more flexible than existing systems and has great market potential. It will therefore subsequently be brought to series production readiness and marketed by a start-up to be founded.

The contribution of this project to the funding policy objectives is therefore the generation of an adequate substitute for value creation and employment via the creation of new bio-based products. The subproject is composed of three lines, which will be combined at the end to form an overall SHM system suitable for the market.

The three lines of development are: 1. Bio4Strain: development of a measurement method based on biobased fluorescent coating for in-situ strain measurement on lightweight structures, 2. PepCrack: development of a selectively adhesive fluorescent peptide coating for early detection of cracks in lightweight structures, 3. BioMeasure: development of the associated measurement and data processing system with the aim of automated measurement. The core technology of Bio4Monitoring is the development of customized coating systems based on fluorescent anchor peptides.

Anchor peptides are small molecules with sizes of 1 to 3 nm that form a high-density, more than 106 molecules per cm2, coating with various material surfaces, for example metals, alloys, and polymers, to form a cohesive bond. The bond can be adjusted in strength, specificity as well as reversibility. To make the bound anchor peptides visible, they are genetically fused to a fluorescent reporter molecule, for example the green fluorescent protein. This coating is applied by simple spraying.

Open positions

currently none