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Motile Active Matter: Nanomachines, Microswimmers, and Swarms

Winter School

February 25 - March 1, 2019 in Jülich, Germany

About SPP 1726

DFG Priority Programme
“Micro­swimmers – From Single Particle Motion to Collective Behaviour” (SPP 1726)

The German Research Foundation DFG is the major funding agency for basic sciences in Germany. The purpose of Priority Programmes is to advance knowledge in an emerging field of research through collaborative-network support over several locations. Priority Programmes are characterized by their

  • enhanced quality of research through the use of new methods and forms of collaboration in emerging fields,
  • added value through interdisciplinary cooperation, and
  • networking.

The SPP 1726 “Microswimmers” focuses on the locomotion and transport of biological, artificial, and model microswimmers.

The locomotion of biological microorganisms facilitates the search for food, orientation toward light, the spreading of offspring, and the formation of colonies, and, thus is an essential aspect of life. Evolution has achieved the necessary propulsion mechanisms that exploit the viscous drag of the surrounding medium on the microscale.

An understanding of these mechanisms opens an avenue for the control of biological systems or the design of artificial swimmers. For the latter, the development of swimming strategies that are even more efficient than those of biological microorganisms seems possible. Improved knowledge and control of microswimmers will have a major impact on various fields ranging from life and material science to environmental science.

The “Microswimmers’’ Priority Programme connects physicists, chemists, biologists, and material scientists throughout German academic research laboratories. This combined expertise in experiment, theory, and simulation is used to investigate the behaviour of microscopic swimmers. Overall, the three major objectives of the program are

  • understanding biological microswimmers,
  • designing and understanding artificial microswimmers, and
  • elucidation of the cooperative behavior and “swarming” of microswimmer ensembles.

Find out more about Research Activities and Projects

Additional Information


Page Picture – Swarming of spheroidal microswimmers (Courtesy: K Qi, R. G. Winkler, G. Gompper; inspired by Andy Warhol)



M. Kleinen
G. Vliegenthart
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH,
Institute of Complex Systems (ICS)
Phone: +49 2461 / 61-3142/-6131
Email: spp-microswimmers@fz-juelich.de

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