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Bachelor thesis at the Institute of Physics awarded the Sustainability Prize

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Department of Physics at the University of Bayreuth, 22 November 2021

Mrs. Sarah Spreng was awarded third place in the University of Bayreuth's Sustainability Prize for her Bachelor's thesis. The thesis entitled "Untersuchung der Adhäsion zwischen Mikroplastikpartikeln und Zellen mithilfe der Mikrofluidik" ("Investigation of adhesion between microplastic particles and cells using microfluidics") was written as part of the Bayreuth Collaborative Research Centre on "Microplastics" (SFB 1357). It was carried out in the research group of Professor Dr. Holger Kress (Biological Physics) and supervised by him together with his doctoral student, Mr. Simon Wieland.

Mrs. Spreng's bachelor thesis aimed to quantify the adhesion between microplastic particles and cells. The work showed that microplastic particles adhere significantly more strongly to cells when they were stored for several weeks under environmental conditions in salt or fresh waters than when they are "brand new". These results provide an important building block to better understand the interactions of microplastic particles on organisms. In the relatively young field of microplastics research, it is now well known that microplastics are present in almost all areas of the world and that they are ingested by animals and humans. However, little is known about what happens to microplastic particles in the body and what potential health risks result from them. Mrs. Spreng's work is an important building block for a fundamental understanding of this issue.

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Contact: 

Prof. Dr. Holger Kress
Biologoical Physics
Universität Bayreuth
Phone: +49 (0)921 55-2505
E-mail: holger.kress@uni-bayreuth.de

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