In the framework of our internal project ‘munimux’ (short for Munich mucins), we currently aim at further optimizing and scaling-up the purification process of porcine gastric mucins. Our goal is to produce enough of those mucins to provide the scientific community with a sufficient amount of high quality mucin for research purposes – at a reasonable cost. In the long run, we would also like to push the development of novel mucin-based products for biomedical applications, e.g., mouth sprays, contact lens coatings or tribosupplements for osteoarthritis therapy. Potential partners from industry that are interested in working with us on this goal are welcome to get in touch with us.


Mucin research is one key focus of Prof. Lieleg’s lab. During his postdoc time at Harvard and MIT, he got in contact with mucin research in the lab of Prof. Katharina Ribbeck. We optimize the purification processes of mucin in terms of mucin quality and yield, and we study study the molecular principles governing the adsorption behavior of mucins to surfaces as well as protein penetration into mucin gels. Furthermore, we develop mucin-based materials and coatings as well as mucin-based lubricants.

Purification Ultracentrifugation, size exclusion chromatography, cross-flow diafiltration
Rheology Determining gelation kinetics and viscoelastic behavior;
Dynamic buffer exchange of hydrogels during measurements;
Linear and non-linear viscoelasticity
Tribology Rotational and oscillatory tribology, i.e. stationary and migrating contact geometries;
Different sample geometries (cylinders, planar samples) and counter materials;
Lubricant volume in the range of ~1 mL/measurement
Profilometry Analysis of surface topographies via metrological ISO parameters
Microfluidics Molecular penetration experiments into hydrogels
QCM-D Molecule adsorption to surfaces
Molecule-molecule binding
Microrheology Hydrogel permeability and micro-architecture
Cell culture Biocompatibility/cell viability (live/dead staining, WST)

mucin collaborations

Several past projects critically profited from combining our mucin expertise which that of other labs. For example, the following publications were only possible as a joint effort between or group and others.


publication title collaboration with
Alpha-Synuclein penetrates mucin hydrogels despite its mucoadhesive properties, Biomacromolecules (2019) Claessens lab (University Twente)

Covalent mucin coatings form stable anti-biofouling layers on a broad range of medical polymer materials, Advanced Materials Interfaces (2020)

Sieber lab (TUM Chemistry)
Modulating mucin hydration and lubrication by deglycosilation and polyethylene glycol binding, Advanced Materials Interfaces (2015)
Ribbeck lab (MIT), Johnson & Johnson
Enzymatically active biomimetic micro-propellers for the penetration of mucin gels, Science Advances (2015)
Fischer lab (MPI Stuttgart)
A selective mucin/methylcellulose hybrid Gel with tailored properties, Macromolecular Bioscience (2016)
Bein lab (LMU), Huster lab (Uni Leipzig)
Cationic astringents alter the tribological and rheological properties of human saliva and salivary mucin solutions, Biotribology (2016)
Hofmann lab (TUM WZW)
Quantification of cartilage wear morphologies in unidirectional sliding experiments: influence of different macromolecular lubricants, Biotribology (2017)
Schmidt lab (UConn Health)
Mucin-inspired lubrication on hydrophobic surfaces, Biomacromolecules (2017)
Crouzier lab (KTH)
Mucin coatings prevent tissue damage at the cornea-contact lens-interface, Advanced Materials Interfaces (2017)
Hugel lab (Uni Freiburg)
Macromolecular coating enables tunable selectivity in a porous PDMS matrix, Macromolecular Bioscience (2017)
Boekhoven lab (TUM Chemistry)
Reversible condensation of mucins into nanoparticles, Langmuir (2018)
Crouzier lab (KTH)
Transient binding promotes molecule penetration into mucin hydrogels by enhancing molecular partitioning, Biomaterials Science (2018)
Gerland lab (TUM Physics)