Polymer research is often motivated by the complex demands of applications. Especially the combination of different functions in one-material-systems is challenging. Apart from the structural function, the degradability, stimuli-sensitivity, biofunctionality or the controlled delivery of substances is required.
Multifunctional materials often feature hybrid structures (e.g. (nano)composites, blends, fibrillar or multilayer constructs) which are further enhanced by the possibility of a hierarchical organization of the structural constituents at various length scales (molecular, nano-, micro-). The latter point encompasses also the molecular control of polymer and composite architectures (dendritic/hyperbranched macromolecules, unimolecular micelles, statistic vs. directed colloidal aggregation, etc.).
Polymer-based materials offer a broad and flexible platform to provide, receive and respond to endogenous signals like chemical, biological and/or physical stimuli. The processes at the biointerface comprise the interaction between cells and the implant surface, contacts between cells and between molecules inside the cells. Cell instructive polymers should modulate cell adherence, migration, nidation, proliferation, cell morphology and function as well as immune response and the healing process. All these aspects are the topic of this interdisciplinary symposium.