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Markus B. Linder

Current position at VTT

Research professor

Research background and current research topics

In our work on biomimetic materials we take inspiration from biology for solutions related to materials science and engineering related problems. There are several examples of phenomena found in biology that we can take inspiration form, such as tough and strong materials, superhydrophobic surfaces, adhesion, lubrication and processes by which materials components organize themselves into structures.

In many cases we take a molecular approach and try to link macroscopic effects to the structure and functions of molecules or other nanoscale components. For this, essential tools come from molecular biology, especially engineering of proteins by recombinant DNA techniques. Other building blocks that we work with are for example nanofibrillated cellulose and graphene.

The production and use of recombinant proteins for nanomaterials is a major challenge that we are pursuing. In this effort we have found a group of proteins called hydrophobins very useful. Hydrophobins are adhesive proteins that are found in filamentous fungi and show very useful self-assembling properties. The large expertise at VTT related to protein production is a crucial support to these activities.

Surface biotechnology with its methods such as AFM, electron microscopy, Langmuir trough, surface energy measurements, and colloidal techniques are an essential part of our research on biomimetics. 

Current major research projects at VTT

Nanofibrillated cellulose
Protein coatings for bioelectronics and sensors
Nanocomposite materials
Bioinspired lubrication


PhD 1997
MSc 1993

Work history

Research professor 2009

Positions of trust and professional assignments

Member of the Editorial Board of "Applied and Environmental Microbiology" (AEM)
Societas biochemica, biophysica et microbiologica Fenniae, Treasurer
Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences in Finland
European Cost action TD0906: Biological adhesives: from biology to biomimetics
European Cost action TD1003: Bio-inspired nanotechnologies: from concepts to applications
ESF- Network on “Mapping the detailed composition (epitope exposure) of surface-adsorbed protein layers on biomaterials and nanoparticles – an alternative approach to biocompatibility and nanotoxicity”
Runar Backstrom –foundation

Selected publications

Self-Assembly of Cellulose Nanofibrils by Genetically Engineered Fusion Proteins (2011)  Varjonen, S, Laaksonen, P., Paananen, A., Valo, H., Hähl, H.; Laaksonen, T.,  and Linder, M.B. Soft Matter, DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01114B

Laaksonen, P., Kainlauri, M., Laaksonen, T., Shchepetov, A. Jiang, H., Ahopelto, J., and Linder, M.B. (2010) Interfacial Engineering by Proteins - Exfoliation and Functionalization of Graphene by Hydrophobins, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 49, 4946 –4949

Wang., Z., Lienemann, M., Qiao, M, Linder, M.B., (2010) Mechanisms of protein adhesion on surface films of hydrophobin, Langmuir, 26 (11) 8491-8496.

Valo, H.K., Laaksonen, P.H. Peltonen, L.J., Linder, M.B., Hirvonen, J.T and Laaksonen, T. J. (2010) Multifunctional Hydrophobin: Toward Functional Coatings for Drug Nanoparticles, ACS Nano, 4(3) 1750-1758

Joensuu J.J, Conley, A.J., Lienemann, M., Brandle, J.E,. Linder, M.B., and Menassa, R. (2010) Hydrophobin fusions for high-level transient protein expression and purification in Nicotiana benthamiana. Plant Physiology. 152, (2), 622-633

Linder MB. (2009) Hydrophobins: Proteins that self assemble at interfaces, Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science, 14 (2009) 356–363

Laaksonen, P., Kivioja, J., Paananen, A., Kainlauri, M., Kontturi, K., Ahopelto, J. Linder, M.B, (2009) Selective Nanopatterning Using Citrate Stabilized Au Nanoparticles using an Amphiphilic Fusion Protein, Langmuir, 25(9), 5182-5192

Kostiainen, M.A., Szilvay, G.R, Lehtinen, J., Smith, D., Linder, M.B., Urtti, A., Ikkala, O. (2007) Precisely Defined Protein–Polymer Conjugates: Construction of Synthetic DNA Binding Domains on Proteins by Using Multivalent Dendrons, ACS Nano, 1, 103-113

Kurppa, K., Jiang, H., Szilvay, G.R., Nasibulin, A.G., Kauppinen, E.I, Linder, M.B. (2007) Controlled hybrid nanostructures via protein mediated non-covalent functionalization of carbon nanotubes, Angewandte Chem, International ed, 46, 6446-6449

Szilvay, G.R., Paananen, A., Laurikainen, K., Vuorimaa, E., Lemmetyinen, H., Peltonen, J. and Linder, M.B. (2007) Self-Assembled Hydrophobin Protein Films at the Air–Water Interface: Structural Analysis and Molecular Engineering. Biochemistry. 46, 2345-2354

Markus Linder's s publications in VTT Publications Register

Additional information

Markus Linder
Research Professor
+358 20 722 5136

Additional information

Markus Linder
Research Professor
+358 20 722 5136

See also