Bedeutung von Makromolekülen im Kampf gegen das Coronavirus: Mit Polymeren gegen die Pandemie

Translated title of the contribution: Polymers are omnipresent: also in the global fight against the coronavirus

J. Kohler, A. Thoma, S. Braun, A. Pich, A. Herrmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Polymers play versatile roles in the pandemic. They range from personal protective equipment with goggles and visors made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polycarbonate (PC), to mouth-nose coverings with inner layers of fine, melt-blown polypropylene fleece, and finally to swabs made of polystyrene and nylon or viscose that are used in diagnostics. BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna's mRNA vaccines, which were the first to be approved as corona vaccines in Europe, are based on sequence-defined polyanions, which can easily and rapidly be produced and adapted to occurring virus mutations. Consequently, there will be no quick end to the pandemic without the use of polymers.Polymers are not only indispensable in this pandemic in personal protective equipment, diagnostics and ultimately in therapy. The research in antiviral materials that was spurred during the COVID-19 pandemic may position us well for future pandemics. Self-sterilizing masks are already commercially available and, because they are reusable, have the advantage of requiring far fewer masks to be procured than is the case with disposable masks. This could avoid future mask shortages. Antiviral surface coatings, which can be activated by external stimuli such as sunlight, can help to reduce the viral load on frequently touched surfaces and help to prevent virus transmission. In addition, peptide-polymer conjugates offer the opportunity to further optimize mRNA vaccines. Because these conjugates can be tailored to target immune cells, they reduce the risk of allergic reactions and side effects, which in turn could result in greater acceptance in the population and increase the willingness to get vaccinated.
Translated title of the contributionPolymers are omnipresent: also in the global fight against the coronavirus
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)393-405
Number of pages13
JournalChemie in Unserer Zeit
Issue number6
Early online date16 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Polymere
  • Pandemie
  • COVID-19
  • antiviral
  • mRNA-Vakzine
  • HIV

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