News from the Department

News from the Department

First electric nanomotor made from DNA material
A research team led by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has succeeded for the first time in producing a molecular electric motor using the DNA origami method. The tiny machine made of genetic material self-assembles and converts electrical energy into kinetic energy. The new nanomotors can be switched on and off, and the researchers can control the rotation speed and rotational direction. more
Press coverage (click to open)
Competing cells: Cleaning up after yourself brings benefits
When different cell types compete in a confined space, those which remove debris faster have a better chance to dominate their environment. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPI-DS) showed in their model that not only a higher net proliferation rate, but also the swift removal of dead cells provides a competitive advantage. They mixed two cell populations only differing in debris removal rate and showed that already after a few generations the population with the higher removal rate starts to dominate the confined space. more
A link between entropy production and topology
The Department Living Matter Physics from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPI-DS) revealed a link between the generation of entropy and the topological features of a system. In their study, recently published in Nature Communications, the scientists investigated the random motion of particles in vortex flows. They found that fluctuations in entropy production can be characterized based only on the number of windings around the vortex, but not on the shape or size of the trajectory. These findings could contribute to a better understanding of microscopic systems, such as micro-motors or particles moving in biological media. more
More efficient together

More efficient together

November 12, 2021
Mechanically coupled enzymes show an increase in their catalytic efficiency – this is the result from a study by the group of Ramin Golestanian and Jaime Agudo-Canalejo from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization. The researchers concluded that enzymes can benefit from cooperation and avoid the activation energy required for individual enzymes. This way, two enzymes can work hand-in-hand to achieve an overall faster turnover of a chemical reaction. The study was recently published in Physical Review Letters. more
Cellular filaments keeping the pace
A new model describes the coordination of beating cilia allowing to predict their functional behavior. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPIDS) analyzed the formation of metachronal waves in arrays of cilia and how external cues might influence them. The model allows to better understand the crucial role that cilia play in many biological processes and lays the foundation for its manipulation. This may ultimately improve the corresponding medical diagnostics and treatments, but also helps in the design of artificial systems used in microscale engineering. more
Topology in biology

Topology in biology

July 23, 2021
A phenomenon known from quantum systems could now make its way into biology: In a new study published in Physical Review X, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPI-DS) in Göttingen show that the notion of topological protection can also apply to biochemical networks. As these are typically very complex and yet remain very stable against changes, topology can help in the emergence of robust oscillations. The model which the scientists developed makes the topological toolbox, typically used only to describe quantum systems, now also available to biology. more
A Novel Tunable Force in Electrolyte Solutions
Solutions that conduct electricity, ‘electrolytes’, are ubiquitous not only in batteries and capacitors but also in biofluids including blood plasma; of great practical importance is thus to understand how electrolytes can be utilised to control living cells or other objects that are immersed in them. In a new study published in Physical Review Letters, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPIDS) in Göttingen, and the University of Oxford uncover how forces with unprecedented controllability can be transmitted in electrolyte solutions across large length scales. more
When magnetotactic microswimmers condense like cold atoms
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen show that under certain circumstances magnetic field sensing microswimmers can self-organize into a new phase whose theoretical description shares formal similarities with that of ultra-cold quantum gases. more
Microswimmers can learn from bubbles how to swim efficiently
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization show that the secret to optimal micro-swimming is out there in the nature. They prove that a microswimmer can increase its swimming efficiency by learning the swimming techniques from an unexpected mentor: an air bubble. more
Random Effects Key to Containing Epidemics
October 27, 2020
Press release of the American Institute of Physics on the publication "Stochastic effects on the dynamics of an epidemic due to population subdivision" by Philip Bittihn and Ramin Golestanian in Chaos. more
The order of life

The order of life

October 29, 2020
A new model that describes the organization of organisms could lead to a better understanding of biological processes more
How order emerges when matter comes alive
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen devise a new standard model to uncover how mixtures of living entities aggregate or separate from each other. more
The groove of the self-organized active nematic ribbon
Soft matter on new ways to self-organization more
Corona pandemic: Regional lockdowns could shorten the total duration of restrictions
July 29, 2020
To be successful strict local containment and low number of cross-regional infections are crucial more

When proteins work together, but travel alone
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization uncover new mechanisms that regulate protein function more
Attraction or Repulsion?

Attraction or Repulsion?

April 22, 2020
Interactions of chemically active particles can be as complex as human relationships more
Self-Propelling Particles May Hold Clue to Life
July 19, 2019 News coverage in Physics Buzz on the recent publication by Jaime Agudo-Canalejo and Ramin Golestanian in Physical Review Letters. more
How living matter self-organizes through chemical signals
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization show new mechanism of self-organization of living matter. more
Göttingen giants on whose shoulders we stand
Ramin Golestanian, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPIDS) offered a guided tour of Göttingen's City Cemetery. more
Material of the future

Material of the future

April 25, 2019
MPIDS Researcher receives two -year Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation more
In search of the "physical theory of life"
Ramin Golestanian, newly appointed Director at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization gives an interview to the renowned American Physical Society (APS) journal "Physics” more
From a molecule to a living system
Ramin Golestanian new Director at the MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization more
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