Immuno Materials

Building immunity from the bottom-up

Our labs

We work in an interdisciplinary environment between multiple institutes in Germany and the UK

Research interests

We develop synthetic cell technologies and novel biomaterials to tackle pressing problems in immunology and immunotherapy

For industry

We offer a porfolio of experimental expertise and infrastructure in the area of synthetic immunology for partners in industry.

Success stories

Although we focus on exploring fundamentally new concepts, some of our developments have already made an impact


Our work is published in journals with a broad readership and in journals with a more specialized readership


We are a dynamic and interdisciplinary team with diverse backgrounds

Research projects

Our research projects combine synthetic cell models, tumoroid culture, primary T-cells, advanced light and electron microscopy, microfluidics and functional T-cell analysis in immunotherapy. Through our "understand-by-design" philosophy, we aim to decode tumor immune evasion and boost T-cell therapy. Dive in and be part of the revolution!​

One of our central aims is to merge synthetic cells with organoids to install controllable microenvironments within 3D architectures. We specifically tailor our synthetic cells to recapitulate essential features from the tumor immune microenvironment.

Synthetic cells have been established as valuable research tools in many areas of biology. We want to take the concept a step furhter! Our team works towards constructing synthetic tissues with immunological properties to understand T-cell dysregulation in immunological diseases.

Cancer cells recieve pro-survival signals from their environment that makes them more resistant to immunotherapy. We apply our synthetic cell models to rebuild cancer stem cell niches. With this, we aim to understand the signaling mechanisms behind these resistance pathways.

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Selected publications

2022: Bottom-up assembly of viral replication cycles

Staufer O., Gantner G., Platzman I., Tanner K., Berger I., Spatz JP. Nature Communications 13(1), 6530

2022: Vesicle induced receptor sequestration: mechanisms behind extracellular vesicle-based protein signaling

Staufer O., Hernandez Bücher J., Fichtler J., Schröter M., Platzman I., Spatz JP. Advanced Science 9(13), 2200201

2021: Synthetic virions reveal fatty acid-coupled adaptive immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein

Staufer O., Gupta K., Hernandez J., Kohler F., Sigl C., Singh G., Vasileiou K., Macher M., Fabritz S., Dietz H., Cavalcanti-Adam EA., Schaffitzel C., Ruggieri A., Platzman I., Berger I. Spatz JP. Nature Commmunications 13, 868

2021: Bottom-up assembly of biomedical relevant fully synthetic extracellular

Staufer O., Dietrich F., Rimal R., Schröter M., Fabritz S., Böhm H., Singh S., Möller M., Platzman I., Spatz JP. Science Advance 7(36), eabg6666

2020: Free fatty acid binding pocket in the locked structure of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein

Toelzer C., Gupta K., Yadav S., Borucu U., Garzoni F., Staufer O., Capin J., Spatz JP., Fritzgerald D., Berger I. and Schaffitzel C. Science 370 (6517)

2020: Microfluidic production and characterization of biofunctionalized giant unilamellar vesicles for targeted cargo delivery

Staufer O., Antona S., Zhang D., Csatari J., Schröter M., Janiesh JW., Fabritz S., Berger I., Platzman I. and Spatz JP. Biomaterials 264, 120203

Our team

Oskar Staufer, Ph.D.

Emmy Noether Research Group Leader


Anna Burgstaller, M.Sc.

PhD student


Nils Piernitzki, M.Sc.

PhD student

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Angela Rutz

Technical assistant

MicrosoftTeams-image (2)

Camilla Collina, M.Sc.

PhD student

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Sara Madureira, M.Sc.

PhD student

MicrosoftTeams-image (3)

Alpcan Önür, M.Sc.

PhD student

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Erick Lopez



Ivaylo Balabanov


Funding and partners


INM - Leibniz Institute for New Materials, Campus D2 2 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany



+49 (0)681-9300-0