Adolphe Merkle Institute

Chemin des Verdiers 4
1700 Fribourg

Mission and Vision

The Adolphe Merkle Institute is an interdisciplinary center of competence in soft nano- and materials science. AMI strives to be a leader in fundamental and application-oriented interdisciplinary research on soft nanoscience. We educate the next generation of scientists, stimulate innovation, foster industrial competitiveness, and improve the quality of life

The Adolphe Merkle Institute stands for:

  • Excellence
    Become an internationally leading research center by providing competitive employment conditions for outstanding scientists and students.
  • Interdisciplinarity
    Create new knowledge and understanding at the overlap between chemistry, physics and biology with a focus on soft nanomaterials.
  • Relevance
    Lead highly relevant basic and application-oriented research to create fundamental understanding and promote scientific developments.
  • Innovation
    Develop technologies in collaboration with academic and industrial partners in the spirit of open innovation and mutual benefit

We conduct strategically oriented and programmatically focused scholarly research and develop new technologies. We study and apply nano-based and nano-structured materials. We focus on a soft nanotechnology approach that is based on bottom-up principles and self-assembly nanostrategies.

Kompetenzen und Schwerpunkte

There is an urgent need to establish realistic and well accepted in vitro alternatives also in regard to reduce, refine and replace (3R) animal experimentation. A human epithelial airway and alveolar tissue model has been established by culturing epithelial cells, macrophages and dendritic cells in a so called "triple cell co-culture model". It has been shown that model mimics the lung tissue barrier in terms of its functional relevance in vivo and that the cell-cell interactions in this multicellular system allow a predictive in vitro screening compared to simple mono-cultures

The human lung is the main portal of entry for aerosolized nanomaterials, therefore the fundamental understanding of the interaction of those particles with lung cells is of great interest In the field of human health, animal testing is still the most prevalent model used for risk assessment, study of diseases and new drug development.

5 Professors
0 Scientists / PhD students / Postdocs
0 Technicians

Cross-sectional areas



Prof. Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser

+41 26 300 95 02

Prof. Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser

Prof. Alke Fink

+41 26 300 95 01

Prof. Alke Fink


Prof. Dr. Christoph Weder

+41 26 300 94 65

Prof. Dr. Christoph Weder