Laboratory for Fluid Physics, Pattern Formation and Biocomplexity (LFPB)

In the LFPB we focus on the physics of dynamics and self-organisation in nature with special attention to Bottom Up Synthetic Biology, Bio-engineering and Medical Physics, Physical Biodynamics, the Physics of Clouds and Atmospheres and of Turbulence. Current topics include synthetic engineering of bio-synthetic cilia, electrical turbulence and the soft mechanics of muscle contraction in the heart, cilia-based directed transport networks in the ventricles of the mammalian brain, and understanding fully developed turbulent flows (inertial/convective simple and complex fluids). Our work, while being fundamental science, also has direct implications for climate science and climate change, for mitigating the transmission of disease by respiratory aerosols, for understanding cilia-mediated transport in the ventricular system of the brain with potential implications for ciliopathies, for curing cardiac fibrillation that can lead to sudden cardiac death, and for restoring pumping power to a weakened human heart with an engineered heart muscle.  

The LFPB has established the Max Planck Turbulence Facility and the Max Planck Cloud Kite, which are part of the Max Planck University of Twente Center for Complex Fluid Dynamics. The Max Planck Turbulence Facility consists of a series of experimental systems and a pressurised gas facility that achieves the highest controlled and measurable turbulence levels on Earth.   For studies of the micro-physics of clouds, we have established a field laboratory at the Schneefernerhaus Environmental Research Station on the Zugspitze at 2650m, where we are also part of the Virtual Alpine Observatory. The Max Planck Cloud Kite is a tethered 250m³ helikite facility that allows to carry atmospheric measurement equipment up to 1.5km with a payload of up to 100kg. The Max Planck Cloud Kite has been employed successfully on scientific cruises in the Atlantic.  We run a  microscopy facility, a cell biology laboratory and share a class 1000 clean room with the other groups and ran the micro-fluidics facilty of MaxSynBio.

Research in LFPB is and will remain highly interdisciplinary, from fluid physics, statistical physics, physics of complex systems, and applied mathematics to environmental physics, synthetic biology and medicine. We link seamlessly with the other departments and research groups and are a member of the Max Planck School Matter to Life, the Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) and the Max Planck University of Twente Center for Complex Fluid Dynamics.

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