Nanocarriers should cure grapevine trunk diseases
The funding initiative “Experiment!” of the Volkswagen Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung) supports research at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research about degradable nanocarriers for plant protection.
The Volkswagen Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung) has selected the interdisciplinary project “NanoProtect” of Dr. Frederik Wurm, head of the Functional Polymers research group at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, for its funding initiative ‚Experiment!‘. Wurm’s research is focussing on the design and development of degradable polymers and nanocarriers. “NanoProtect” is an innovative collaboration project together with biology partners to fight against plant diseases, which cannot be cured to date. The project is realized by an interdisciplinary consortium of three German institutes including the MPI for Polymer Research.
Medical drug delivery concept for plants
Nanocarrier-mediated drug delivery is already used for medical purposes such as cancer treatment, but not yet in plants. Wurm and his team aim to develop polymer nanocarriers to cure plant diseases, especially diseases in grapevine trunks. “Polymer nanocarriers allow us to tailor the release of drugs inside of the wine plant, only if the plant is infected, similar to a vaccination for us”, said scientist Frederik Wurm. A novel approach for a targeted delivery of drugs and biological control agents in crop such as grapevine and apple are currently developed and tested.
The VW Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung) has selected the “NanoProtect” project from more than 500 projects. The research consortium has received funding of 120.000 euros. The consortium comprises the research teams of Dr. Frederik Wurm in the department of Professor Katharina Landfester at the MPI for Polymer Research, of Dr. Jochen Fischer at the Institute for Biotechnology und Dug Research gGmbH (IBWF) in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and of Dr. Andreas Kortekamp, Head of the Institute for Phytomedicine, State Education and Research Center of Viticulture, Horticulture and Rural Development (DLR) in Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Germany.
About the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research
The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) ranks among the globally leading research centers in the field of polymer research since its foundation in 1984. The focus on soft materials and macromolecular materials has resulted in the worldwide unique position of the MPI-P and its research focus. Fundamental polymers research on both production and characterization as well as analysis of physical and chemical properties are conducted by scientific collaborators from all over the world. Presently over 500 people are working at the MPI-P, the vast majority of whom are engaged in scientific research.