Universiteit Leiden

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Research programme

Biological and Soft Matter Physics

Research groups in the Biological & Soft Matter Programme unravel mechanisms in biological processes and develop novel bio-inspired soft materials.

Stefan Semrau

Groups in Biological & Soft Matter conduct experiments in a variety of fields which have in common that thermal fluctuations dominate the physics of the studied materials and processes. The research groups develop programmable soft metamaterials, study self-assembled systems, map the structure of proteins and DNA, investigate cellular regulation systems and study the differentiation of stem cells. Important techniques include single-molecule and confocal imaging, as well as Electron Paramagnetic Resonance.

We are united by our aim to fundamentally understand the mechanisms behind biological systems and soft materials. This knowledge ultimately might lead to the development of new medicines against e.g. cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, our insights are used to create novel soft materials, which could lead to the realization of self-assembling nano robots and new programmable materials that owe their properties to their structure. Along the way, our groups constantly improve various imaging techniques leading to unexpected discoveries.

Connection with other research

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