blank LMU Munich Faculty for Chemistry and Pharmacy

Master Thesis

Master Thesis or Internship: "New micellar, amine-containing Block copolymers via living-radical polymerization"

Planned start:from 1st of April 2019


The Merkel lab is based in the Department of Pharmacy at LMU and focuses on novel non-viral and targeted nanosized siRNA delivery systems. Recent studies have demonstrated that polymeric vectors for gene/siRNA delivery have many advantages regarding safety, immunogenicity, mutagenicity and other concerns. In this project, new micellar block copolymers for siRNA delivery should be developed.


This thesis focuses on the synthesis of micellar block copolymers containing amine-functionalities, as these groups can interact with negatively charged molecules such as DNA or RNA. Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) is used as an hydrophilic polymer to decrease cytotoxicity and to prolong circulation. Hydrophobic poly(caprolactone) (PCL) is combined with the PEG-block to obtain amphiphilic properties and to enhance cellular uptake. After functionalization, living-radical polymerization methods should be used to introduce amine-functionalities to the polymers. The obtained polymer has to be characterized by various analytic methods (NMR, GPC, ESI-MS, DLS, TEM, etc.).


• first experience in polymer chemistry or organic synthesis

• knowledge in drug delivery would be an advantage

• ability to work independently

• good knowledge in German or English

If interested, please contact