Bizan Nicolas Balzer

Bizan Nicolas Balzer
University of Freiburg | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg · Department of Physical Chemistry

PhD

About

33
Publications
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444
Citations

Publications

Publications (33)
Article
Full-text available
A wealth of chemical bonds and polymers have been studied with single-molecule force spectroscopy, usually by applying a force perpendicular to the anchoring surface. However, the direction-dependence of the bond strength lacks fundamental understanding. Here we establish stereographic force spectroscopy to study the single-bond strength for variou...
Article
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint disease affecting millions of patients worldwide. During OA onset and progression, the articular cartilage is destroyed, but the underlying complex mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we uncover changes in the thickness of collagen fibers and their composition at the onset of OA. For articular cartilage explants from kne...
Article
Full-text available
Multivalent interactions play a leading role in biological processes such as the inhibition of inflammation or virus internalization. The multivalent interactions show enhanced strength and better selectivity compared to monovalent interactions, but they are much less understood due to their complexity. Here, we detect molecular interactions in the...
Article
Full-text available
Front Cover: A block copolymer containing UV‐addressable benzophenone moieties within the hydrophobic block is synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). The block copolymer is utilized in a self‐assembly non‐solvent induced phase separation process to obtain an integral asymmetric membrane, which can be stabilized upon UV‐ irradi...
Article
Highly repellent surfaces offer many interesting applications as oil-repellent textiles and self-cleaning coatings, making these surfaces highly sought-after. Engineering these repellent surfaces requires the combination of a low surface energy material with special surface geometries with multiple levels of hierarchy in roughness. Yet, the current...
Article
Functional amphiphilic block copolymers (BCPs) are versatile, smart, and promising materials that are often used as soft templates in nanoscience. BCPs generally feature the capability of microphase-separation leading to various interesting morphologies at the nanometer length scale. Materials derived from BCPs can be converted into porous structur...
Article
Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is a molecular chaperone that assists protein folding in an Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent way. Hsp90 has been reported to interact with Alzheimeŕs disease associated amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides and to suppress toxic oligomer- and fibril formation. However, the mechanism remains largely unclear. Here we use a combi...
Article
Full-text available
The development of multifunctional biomaterials as both tissue regeneration and drug delivery devices is currently a major focus in biomedical research. Tannic Acid (TA), a naturally occurring plant polyphenol, displays unique medicinal abilities as an antioxidant, an antibiotic, and as an anticancer agent. TA has applications in biomaterials actin...
Article
Full-text available
In this work, a block copolymer (BCP) consisting of poly((butyl methacrylate-co-benzophenone methacrylate-co-methyl methacrylate)-block-(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)) (P(BMA-co-BPMA-co-MMA)-b-P(HEMA)) was prepared by a two-step atom-transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) procedure. The obtained molecular weight of the BCP was 55100 g mol–1 featurin...
Article
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has become a powerful tool for the characterization of materials at the nanoscale. Nevertheless, its application to hierarchical biological tissue like cartilage is still limited. One reason is that such samples are usually millimeters in size, while the AFM delivers much more localized information. Here a combination...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Clinical trials for osteoarthritis (OA), the leading cause of global disability, are unable to pinpoint the early, potentially reversible disease with clinical technology. Hence, disease-modifying drug candidates cannot be tested early in the disease. To overcome this obstacle, we asked whether early OA-pathology detection is possible wit...
Article
Atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based single molecule force spectroscopy is an ideal tool for investigating the interactions between a single polymer and surfaces. For a true single molecule experiment, covalent attachment of the probe molecule is essential because only then can hundreds of force-extension traces with one and the same single molecule...
Article
In the human body, mucin glycoproteins efficiently reduce friction between tissues and thereby protect the mucosa from mechanical damage. Mucin lubricity is closely related to their molecular structure: it has been demonstrated previously that the hydrophobic termini of mucins critically contribute to their lubricity. If and how intrinsic sources o...
Preprint
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease and the leading cause of global disability. Clinical trials to date have been unable to pinpoint early and potentially reversible disease states with current clinical technology and hence disease-modifying OA drug candidates cannot be tested early in the disease. To overcome this obstacle, we corr...
Article
The response of switchable polymer blends and coatings to temperature variation is important for the development of high-performance materials. Although this has been well studied for bulk materials, a proper understanding at the molecular level, in particular for high stretching forces, is still lacking. Here we investigate the molecular details o...
Article
Poly(ε-caprolactone)(PCL)and bisphenol A based polybenzoxazine (PBA-a)blends and copolymers differing in the amount of PCL and bonding mode are reported aiming at studying the role of free PCL. Copolymers containing and lacking free PCL were used to understand the influence of PCLs bonding mode on morphology and mechanical properties. XRD and DSC s...
Article
With a prevalence of more than 10%, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (commonly known as dry eye syndrome) is one of the most frequent forms of ocular diseases; among contact lens wearers, this condition occurs even more often. Key components of the protective tear film are mucins, large glycoproteins that serve as molecular lubricants on many epithelial...
Article
When two surfaces slide past each other, energy is mainly dissipated by stick-slip events. Macroscopic stick-slip is usually explained by asperities that come in and out of contact. Here we probe stick-slip at the nanoscale at interfaces and polymer coated interfaces by pulling single polymers covalently attached to an AFM cantilever tip laterally...
Article
Several applications require strong non-covalent adhesion of polymers to substrates. Graft and branched polymers have proven superior to linear polymers, but the molecular mechanism is still unclear. Here, this question is addressed on the single molecule level with an atomic force microscopy (AFM) based method. It is determined how the presence of...
Article
Controlling structure and function to switch ionic transport through synthetic membranes is a major challenge in the fabrication of functional nanodevices. Here we describe the combination of mesoporous silica thin films as structural unit, functionalized with two different redox-responsive ferrocene-containing polymers, polyvinylferrocene (PVFc) a...
Article
The control of ionic transport through nanometersized pores is described by M. Gallei, A. Brunsen, and co‐workers. On page 1591, the charge of mesoporous silica membranes is controlled by the oxidation or reduction of redox‐responsive ferrocene‐containing polymers. Depending on the surface charge, mainly determined by the polymer oxidation state, p...
Article
The cohesion mechanisms of end-functionalized high molar mass polystyrene with very low polydispersity (PS, Mn = 1.26 × 106 g mol–1, PDI = 1.06) and polylysine (PLL, 150–130 × 103 g mol–1) on silicon (Si) supported thin PS films are investigated by desorbing single polymers covalently bound to an atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilever tip. The in...
Article
Der nunmehr sichtbare Dritte: Bei der Reibung einzelner Polymermolekule auf Festkorpern in flussiger Umgebung existiert neben den erwarteten Mechanismen wie Gleit- und Haftreibung ein dritter, nanoskopischer Reibungsmechanismus, der unabhangig von Normalkraft, Geschwindigkeit und adsorbierter Polymerlange ist. Basierend auf der Interpretation von M...
Article
There's the rub: Friction of single polymers on solid bodies in a liquid environment was investigated. Apart from expected mechanisms, such as slip and stick, a third nanoscale friction mechanism exists that is independent of normal force, velocity, and adsorbed polymer length. A model is proposed for this mechanism that is based on measurements wi...
Article
Polymer coatings are frequently utilized to control and modify substrate properties. The performance of the coatings is often determined by the first polymer layers between the substrate and the bulk polymer material, which are termed interphase. Standard methods have failed to completely characterize this interphase, because its properties change...
Article
Single-molecule detection and manipulation has had a large impact on our understanding of biological materials and processes already. Its application to surface and interface properties still bears a lot of potential. Together with traditional tribology, they will provide unique information on many fundamental properties such as friction, adhesion,...
Article
The force-induced desorption of single peptide chains from mixed OH/CH3-terminated self-assembled monolayers is studied in closely matched MD simulations and AFM experiments with the goal to gain microscopic understanding of the transition between peptide adsorption and adsorption resistance as the surface contact angle is varied. In both simulatio...
Article
The swelling behavior of polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEMs) of poly(sodium - 4 styrene sulfonate) (PSS) and poly(diallyl dimethyl ammonium chloride) (PDADMAC) prepared from aqueous solution of 0.1 M and 0.5 M NaCl are investigated by ellipsometry and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). The study shows that from 1 double-layer up to 4 double-layers from...
Article
A method based on atomic force microscopy is used to delineate the properties that determine single-molecule adhesion onto solid substrates in aqueous environment. Hydrophobicity as well as electrical properties of the substrate and the polymer are varied. In addition, the influence of the solvent composition, in particular the effect of ions, on t...

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