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Living Matter Group

Young Investigators Group Dr. Jens Elgeti

Research

"Life is not in equilibrium" - this simple statement shows a gap in our physical understanding of the world. Living matter such as motile bacterial colonies, developing embryos or growing plants, does not fulfill the criterion of equilibrium as it is out of equilibrium. Particularly for living matter, this drive out of equilibrium stems from the material itself: Cells move and pull, they grow and divide, leading to novel "living" terms in the classical description.


While living matter takes many forms, our group focuses on two particular forms of activity: Microswimmers, where molecular processes generate forces driving the swimmer, and growth, where matter is not conserved, but generated by the material itself.

VicSnap

Microswimmers

Self propulsion breaks equilibrium by locally generating forces, driving the swimmer.
Important is that the drive is coupled to the particle, and not an external field. More: Microswimmers …

growthnot

Tissue Growth

While other forms of growing materials exist (like bacterial colonies or possibly
polymers during polymerization) the prime example of what we have in
mind are biological tissues. More: Tissue Growth …

Schematic of motility alignment mechanism

Motile Growing Tissues

Interestingly, cells can do both: they not only grow, but they also actively migrate. More: Motile Growing Tissues …

Cilia - Still

Research Videos

"A picture is worth a thousand words”, and a video is 24 pictures per second. An advantage of particle based simulations is relative easy visualization in movies, that help to understand the underlying process. More: Research Videos …


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