Prof. Dr. Lothar Elling
Dr. Lothar Elling is full Professor (since 2001) at the Institute for Biotechnology, RWTH Aachen University, and Head of the Laboratory for Biomaterials in the Helmholtz-Institute for Biomedical Engineering. He is member of the Directors Board of the Helmholtz-Institute for Biomedical Engineering and of the Forum “Life Sciences” Board at RWTH Aachen University.
His research focus lies in the area of glycobiotechnology/biocatalysis regarding the topics:
- Combinatorial biocatalysis: Synthesis of native and modified glycoconjugates by multi-step enzymatic synthesis and in situ regeneration of nucleotide sugars.
- Targeting of biomaterial surfaces: Glycoconjugates as biomolecular recognition structures on biomaterial surfaces.
- Targeting of glycoproteins and cells: Development of diagnostic platform technologies for the detection of disease-related glycosylation defects
The Glyco-BioInterface – Glycoconjugates for Biofunctionalization of Biomaterial Surfaces
The extra-cellular matrix (ECM) represents the biophysical and biochemical microenvironment coordinating the cellular response like adhesion, differentiation, proliferation or apoptosis in nature. The glycan poly-N-acteyllactosamine ([Gal(b1–4)GlcNAc]n, poly-LacNAc)] and galectins play an important role for the contact of cells to glycoproteins of the ECM.
Galectins are sugar binding proteins (lectins) specified for the recognition of LacNAc containing glycoproteins. Various functions of galectins are described; especially their role in cell adhesion. So, the binding of galectins to ECM-proteins could have an important impact on the development of novel bio-functionalized biomaterials.
Our on-going work focuses on the chemo-enzymatic synthesis of native and modified poly-LacNAc glycoconjugates, their binding characteristics to human galectins, and their use in a novel concept for the bio-functionalization of biomaterial surfaces.