Dense active matter
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.