Christian Schmelzer


Dr. rer. nat. Christian Schmelzer, Head of Business Unit "Biological and Macromolecular Materials"

Areas of research


  • Development of biomimetic materials for medical applications and tissue engineering
  • Microstructural and molecular characterization of biological materials and biomaterials
  • Solving elusive questions concerning the formation, function and long-term changes of extracellular fiber proteins
  • Matrix-degrading proteases and matrikines


Academic/professional resume


Since 01/2024

Deputy Director of Fraunhofer IMWS

Since 08/2018

Head of the Business Unit "Biological and Macromolecular Materials", Fraunhofer IMWS

01/2018 - 07/2018

Deputy Head of the Business Unit "Biological and Macromolecular Materials", Fraunhofer IMWS

Since 07/2017

Head of the Attract group "SkinNext", Fraunhofer IMWS

01/2014 - 06/2016

Research associate, team leader of the "Elastin Research Group" at the Faculty of Natural Sciences I (Biosciences), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

02/2013 - 12/2013

Postdoc research period at the Department of Biology, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa (Israel), area of research: immunopeptidomics

Since 2009

Lecturer at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

06/2007 - 02/2013

Postdoctoral research fellow, team leader of the "Elastin Research Group", Institute of Pharmacy, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

04/2003 - 04/2007

PhD studies, topic "Mass spectrometric characterization of protein hydrolysates" at the Institute of Pharmacy, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Disputation 2007

04/2002 - 07/2002

Research period at the Institute of Experimental Physics, University of Gdańsk (Poland)

10/1998 - 03/2003

Study of Applied Physics and Information Processing at the University of Applied Sciences Merseburg





IQ Innovation Prize of the City of Halle for developing an innovative solution to process natural elastin into wound dressing materials, jointly with Marco Götze and Tobias Hedtke


Hugo Junkers Prize of the State of Saxony-Anhalt, second place in the "Most innovative projects of applied research" category for developing an innovative solution to process natural elastin into wound dressing materials, jointly with Marco Götze and Tobias Hedtke

2011 - 2016

Galenus Support Award, Galenus Foundation


Research Award 2007 of Bayer Bitterfeld GmbH


Scholarship of the Graduate Scholarship Program of Saxony-Anhalt


Best Diploma Thesis of the Year 2003 awarded by the Department of Computer Science and Applied Sciences of the University of Applied Sciences Merseburg (FH)


SOCRATES / ERASMUS scholarship for stay at the Institute of Experimental Physics of the University of Gdańsk, Poland




Book chapters:

C.E.H. Schmelzer: “Chapter 1: Assembly and Properties of Elastic Fibers” in “Elastic Fiber Matrices: Biomimetic Approaches to Regeneration and Repair”, edited by A. Ramamurthi and C. Kothapalli, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016, ISBN 9781498721905


Peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals:

[46] C.E.H. Schmelzer, A. Heinz, H. Troilo, M.P. Lockhart-Cairns, T.A. Jowitt, M. Marchand, L. Bidault, T. Hedtke, A. Barret, M.J. Sherratt, S. Germain, D.J.S. Hulmes, C. Baldock, L. Muller:
LOXL2-mediated cross-linking of tropoelastin, Faseb Journal, in press, 2019

[45] M.S. Niepel, B.K. Ekambaram, C.E.H. Schmelzer, T. Groth:
Polyelectrolyte Multilayers of Poly (L-lysine) and Hyaluronic Acid on Nanostructured Surfaces Affect Stem Cell Response, Nanoscale, in press, 2018

[44] C. Kawecki, O. Bocquet; C.E.H. Schmelzer; A. Heinz; C. Ihling; A. Wahart; B. Romier; A. Bennasroune; S. Blaise; C. Terryn; K.J. Linton; L. Martiny; L. Duca; P. Maurice:
Identification of CD36 as a new interaction partner of membrane NEU1: potential implication in the pro-atherogenic effects of the elastin receptor complex, Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 2018, doi: 10.1007/s00018-018-2978-6

[43] J. Reichenwallner, M.-T. Oehmichen, C.E.H. Schmelzer, T. Hauenschild, A. Kerth, D. Hinderberger:
Exploring the pH-induced Functional Phase Space of Human Serum Albumin by EPR Spectroscopy, Magnetochemistry, 2018, 4, 47; doi:10.3390/magnetochemistry4040047

[42] C.U. Schräder, A. Heinz, P. Majovsky, B. Karaman, W. Sippl, C.E.H. Schmelzer:
Elastin is heterogeneously cross-linked, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2018, 293(39) 15107–15119

[41] B. Romier, C. Ivaldi, H. Sartelet, H. Sartelet, A. Heinz, C.E.H. Schmelzer, R. Garnotel, A. Guillot, J. Jonquet, E. Bertin, J.-L. Guéant, J.-M. Alberto, J.-P. Bronowicki, J. Amoyel, T. Hocine, L. Duca, P. Maurice, A. Bennasroune, L. Martiny, L. Debelle, V. Durlach, S. Blaise:
Production of Elastin-Derived Peptides Contributes to the Development of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis, Diabetes Journal, 2018, 67, 1604-1615

[40] R. Joshi, A. Heinz, Q. Fan, S. Guo, B. Monia, C.E.H. Schmelzer, A.S. Weiss, M. Batie, H. Parameswaran, B.M. Varisco:
Role for Cela1 in Postnatal Lung Remodeling and Alpha-1 Antitrypsin–Deficient Emphysema, Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol, 2018, 59, 167–178

[39] A.C. Mora Huertas, C.E.H. Schmelzer, C. Luise, W. Sippl, M. Pietzsch, W. Hoehenwarter, A. Heinz:
Degradation of tropoelastin and skin elastin by neprilysin, Biochimie, 2018, 146, 73-78

[38] E.N. Tessema, T. Gebre-Mariam, C.E.H Schmelzer, R.H.H. Neubert:
Isolation and Structural Characterization of Glucosylceramides from Ethiopian Plants by LC/APCI-MS/MS, J. Pharm. Biomed. Anal., 2017, 141, 241–249

[37] A.C. Mora Huertas, C.E.H. Schmelzer, W. Hoehenwarter, F. Heyroth, A. Heinz:
Molecular-level insights into aging processes of skin elastin, Biochimie, 2016, 128-129, 163-173

[36] C.E.H. Schmelzer, M. Nagel, S. Dziomba, Y. Merkher, S.S. Sivan, A. Heinz:
Prolyl hydroxylation in elastin is not random, BBA - General Subjects, 2016, 1860, 2169-2177

[35] A. Heinz, A.C. Mora Huertas, C.U. Schräder, R. Pankau, A. Gosch, C.E.H. Schmelzer:
Elastins From Patients with Williams–Beuren Syndrome and Healthy Individuals Differ on the Molecular Level, American Journal of Medical Genetics, 2016, 170, 1832-1842

[34] L. Gorisse, C. Pietrement, V. Vuiblet, C.E.H. Schmelzer, M. Köhler, L. Duca, L. Debelle, P. Fornes, S. Jaisson, P. Gillery:
Protein carbamylation is a hallmark of aging, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016, 113, 1191-1196

[33] E. Andresen, S. Kappel, H.-J. Stärk, U. Riegger, J. Borovec, J. Mattusch, A. Heinz, C.E.H. Schmelzer, Š. Matoušková, B. Dickinson, H. Küpper:
Cadmium toxicity investigated at the physiological and biophysical levels under environmentally relevant conditions using the aquatic model plant Ceratophyllum demersum, New Phytologist, 2016, 210, 1244-1258

[32] C.U. Schräder, A. Heinz, P. Majovsky, C.E.H. Schmelzer:
Fingerprinting Desmosine-Containing Elastin Peptides, Journal of the American Society of Mass Spectrometry, 2015, 26, 762-773

[31] J. Matysiak, J. Hajduk, L. Pietrzak, C.E.H. Schmelzer, Z.J. Kokot:
Shotgun proteome analysis of honeybee venom using targeted enrichment strategies, Toxicon, 2014, 90, 255-264

[30] A. Heinz, C.U. Schräder, S. Baud, F.W. Keeley, S.M. Mithieux, A.S. Weiss, R.H.H. Neubert, C.E.H. Schmelzer:
Molecular-level characterization of elastin-like constructs and human aortic elastin, Matrix Biology, 2014, 38, 12-21

[29] D. Bourdetsky, C.E.H. Schmelzer, A. Admon:
The contribution of the DRiPome to the HLA peptidome, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2014, 04/2014; 111(16)

[28] B. Bochicchio, A. Laurita, A. Heinz, C.E.H. Schmelzer, A. Pepe:
Investigating the role of (2S,4R)-4-hydroxyproline in elastin model peptides, Biomacromolecules, 2013, 14, 4278-4288

[27] S. Blaise, B. Romier, C. Kawecki, M. Ghirardi, F. Rabenoelina, S. Baud, L. Duca, P. Maurice, A. Heinz, C.E.H. Schmelzer, M. Tarpin, L. Martiny, C. Garbar, M. Dauchez, L. Debelle, V. Durlach:
Elastin-derived peptides, new regulators of insulin resistance development in mice, Diabetes, 2013, 62, 3807-3816

[26] A. Heinz, C.K.H. Ruttkies, G. Jahreis, C.U. Schräder, K. Wichapong, W. Sippl, F.W. Keeley, R.H.H. Neubert, C.E.H. Schmelzer:
In vitro cross-linking of elastin peptides and molecular characterization of the resultant biomaterials, BBA - General Subjects, 2013, 1830, 2994-3004

[25] C.E.H. Schmelzer, M.C. Jung, J. Wohlrab, R.H.H. Neubert, A. Heinz:
Does human leukocyte elastase degrade intact skin elastin?, FEBS Journal, 2012, 279, 4191-4200

[24] S.S. Sivan, B. Van El, Y. Merkher, C.E.H. Schmelzer, A.-M. Zuurmond, A. Heinz, E. Wachtel, P.-P. Varga, A. Lazary, M. Brayda-Bruno, A. Maroudas:
Longevity of elastin in human intervertebral disc as probed by the racemization of aspartic acid, BBA - General Subjects, 2012, 1820, 1671-1677

[23] S. Smesny, C.E.H. Schmelzer, A. Hinder, A. Köhler, C. Schneider, M. Rudzok, U. Schmidt, B. Milleit, C. Milleit, I. Nenadic, H. Sauer, R.H.H. Neubert, J. Fluhr:
Skin ceramide alterations in first-episode schizophrenia indicate abnormal sphingolipid metabolism, Schizophrenia Bulletin, 2013, 39, 933-941

[22] A. Heinz, M.C. Jung, G. Jahreis, A. Rusciani, L. Duca, L. Debelle, A.S. Weiss, R.H.H. Neubert, C.E.H. Schmelzer:
The action of neutrophil serine proteases on elastin and its precursor, Biochimie, 2012, 94, 192-202

[21] C. Sommer, T.C. Hertel, C.E.H. Schmelzer, M. Pietzsch:
Investigations on the activation of recombinant microbial pro-transglutaminase: in contrast to proteinase K, dispase removes the histidine-tag, Amino Acids, 2011, 2012, 42, 997-1006

[20] A.P. McGrath, S.M. Mithieux, C.A. Collyer, J.G. Bakhuis, M. van den Berg, A. Sein, A. Heinz, C. Schmelzer, A.S. Weiss, J.M. Guss:
Structure and Activity of Aspergillus nidulans Copper Amine Oxidase, Biochemistry, 2011, 50, 5718–5730

[19] A. Heinz, S. Taddese, W. Sippl, R.H.H. Neubert, C.E.H. Schmelzer:
Insights into the degradation of human elastin by matrilysin-1, Biochimie, 2011, 93, 2, 187-194

[18] A. Hinder, C.E.H. Schmelzer, A.V. Rawlings, R.H.H. Neubert:
Investigation of the molecular structure of the human stratum corneum ceramides [NP] and [EOS] by mass spectrometry, Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2011, 24, 3, 127-135

[17] J. Matysiak, C.E.H. Schmelzer, R.H.H. Neubert, Z.J. Kokot:
Characterization of honeybee venom by MALDI-TOF and nanoESI-QqTOF mass spectrometry, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 2011, 54, 2, 273-278

[16] A. Heinz, M.C. Jung, L. Duca, W. Sippl, S. Taddese, C. Ihling, A. Rusciani, G. Jahreis, A.S. Weiss, R.H.H. Neubert, C.E.H. Schmelzer:
Degradation of tropoelastin by matrix metalloproteinases: cleavage site specificities and release of matrikines, FEBS Journal, 2010, 277, 8, 1939-1956

[15] S. Taddese, M.C. Jung, C. Ihling, A. Heinz, R.H.H. Neubert, C.E.H. Schmelzer:
MMP-12 catalytic domain recognizes and cleaves at multiple sites in human skin collagen type I and type III, BBA - Proteins and Proteomics, 2010, 1804, 4, 731-739

[14] S. Taddese, A.S. Weiss, G. Jahreis, R.H.H. Neubert, C.E.H. Schmelzer:
In vitro degradation of human tropoelastin by MMP-12 and the generation of matrikines from domain 24, Matrix Biol., 2009, 28, 2, 84-91

[13] N. Nass, R. Schöps, R. Ulbrich-Hofmann, A. Simm, L. Hohndorf, C.E.H. Schmelzer, K. Raith, R.H.H. Neubert, K. Eder:
Screening for nutritive peptides that modify cholesterol 7-α-hydroxylase expression, J. Agric. Food Chemistry, 2008, 56, 13, 4987-4994

[12] S. Taddese, A.S. Weiss, R.H.H. Neubert, C.E.H. Schmelzer:
Mapping of macrophage elastase cleavage sites in insoluble human skin elastin, Matrix Biol., 2008, 27, 5, 420-428

[11] S. Gerber, K. Kirchhof, J. Kressler, C.E.H. Schmelzer, C. Scholz, T.C. Hertel, M. Pietzsch:
Cloning, Expression, Purification and Characterization of a Designer Protein with Repetitive Sequences, Protein Expr. Purif., 2008, 59, 2, 203-215

[10] H. Farwanah, B. Pierstorff, C.E.H. Schmelzer, K. Raith, R.H.H. Neubert, T. Kolter, K. Sandhoff:
Separation and mass spectrometric characterization of covalently bound skin ceramides using LC/APCI-MS and Nano-ESI-MS, J. Chromatogr. B, 2007, 584, 1-2, 562-570

[9]   C.E.H. Schmelzer, R. Schöps, L. Reynell, R. Ulbrich-Hofmann, R.H.H. Neubert, K. Raith:
Peptic digestion of β-casein - Time course and fate of possible bioactive peptides, J. Chromatogr. A, 2007, 1166, 1-2, 108-115

[8]   A. Huenerbein, C.E.H. Schmelzer, R.H.H. Neubert:
Real-time monitoring of peptic and tryptic digestions of bovine β-casein using quartz crystal microbalance, Anal. Chim. Acta, 2007, 584, 1, 72-77

[7]   A. Jäckel, C.E.H. Schmelzer, S. Wartewig, R.H.H. Neubert:
Sublimation of antimycotic agents as proved by various analytical methods, Pharmazie, 2006, 61, 12, 1045-1047

[6]   K. Raith, C.E.H. Schmelzer, R.H.H. Neubert:
Towards a molecular characterization of pharmaceutical excipients: mass spectrometric investigation of ethoxylated surfactants, Int. J. Pharm., 2006, 319, 1-2, 1-12

[5]   M. Getie, C.E.H. Schmelzer, A. Weiss, R.H.H. Neubert:
Complementary mass spectrometric techniques to achieve complete sequence coverage of recombinant human tropoelastin, Rapid Comm. Mass Spectrom., 2005, 19, 20, 2989-2993

[4]   C.E.H. Schmelzer, M. Getie, R.H.H. Neubert:
Mass spectrometric characterization of human skin elastin peptides produced by proteolytic digestion with pepsin and thermitase, J. Chromatogr. A, 2005, 1083, 1-2, 120-126

[3]   M. Getie, C.E.H. Schmelzer, R.H.H. Neubert:
Characterization of peptides resulting from digestion of human skin elastin with elastase, Proteins, 2005, 61, 3, 649-657

[2]   C.E.H. Schmelzer, R. Schöps, R. Ulbrich-Hofmann, R.H.H. Neubert, and K. Raith:
Mass spectrometric characterization of peptides derived by peptic cleavage of bovine β-casein, J. Chromatogr. A, 2004, 1055, 1-2, 87-92

[1]   C.E.H. Schmelzer, W. Zwirbla, E. Rosenfeld, B.B.J. Linde:
Acoustic investigations of pseudo-stable structures in aqueous solutions of polyethylene glycols, J. Mol. Struct., 2004, 699, 1-3, 47-51