Head of Group

Dr. Falko Ziebert
Falko Ziebert
Group leader

Phone: +49 551 5176-187
Room: 1.87

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Dense active matter

Active systems, especially in the living realm, are often dense: examples are biological cells in monolayers and tissues, bacteria constituting biofilms, or extended clusters of active colloids. Can we understand why these dense ensembles often exhibit significantly different properties from what is expected of the individual constituents? 

The aim of the group is to understand the self-organization of dense active ensembles from the properties and the direct or effective interactions of the constituents. We currently study motile cells, cell organization in monolayers and tissue, active polymers, driven polymer fibers, as well as active colloidal systems. New features involve the 'activity' of the constituents, their sensing (e.g. of chemical or stiffness gradients), their softness and deformability, the ability to switch between different states (e.g. cells switching to resting states, fibers switching directions), and the role of hierarchical structures (e.g. through different species). To describe the novel phenomena we develop new theoretical and computational frameworks, for instance phase field models for deformable objects including diffusive fields, flow or elasticty, as well as particle-based and collision-based models.

 
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