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The Erlangen biophysics group studies the fundamental mechanical properties of cells, tissues, and complex soft matter. We strive to understand how cells respond to their mechanical environment, how they interact with their extracellular matrix and with neighboring cells, and what mechanisms they employ for transmigration, invasion, adhesion, contraction, and cell division. We also study the collective behavior of cells in engineered microtissue such as muscle or tumor organoids. Finally, we are interested in collective behavior in animals, in particular penguins. To address these questions, our laboratory collaborates with other research groups worldwide to develop new technologies that draw from various fields, including soft matter physics, molecular cell biology, biochemistry, engineering, and applied mathematics.

Category: Research, Press release

Chemotaxis enables cells to systematically approach distant targets that emit a diffusible guiding substance. However, the visual observation of an encounter between a cell and a target does not necessarily indicate the presence of a chemotactic approach mechanism, as even a blindly migrating cell c...

Category: Research, Press release

Rheologic models consisting of combinations of linear elements, such as and dashpots, are widely used in biophysics to describe the mechanical and, in particular, the viscoelastic behavior of proteins, cells, tissue, and soft matter. Even simple arrangements with few elements often suffice to recapi...

Category: Research, Press release

Cells in the lungs, the heart, and numerous other organs, are constantly exposed to dynamic forces and deformations. To mimic these dynamic mechanical loading conditions and to study the resulting cellular responses such as morphological changes or the activation of biochemical signaling pathways, c...