Universiteit Leiden

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Biological, Soft and Complex Systems

We study the physics of a broad range of biological and soft materials

We study biological molecules, such as DNA, histones, proteins, and lipids, which are part of the cytoskeleton and membranes, which in turn form complete cells. We aim to understand how these parts are regulated to carry out essential life processes: sensing of the environment, active movement, metabolism of food and reproduction.

We study passive and active colloidal assemblies to understand the fundamental principles of self-assembly and rational design of smart materials. We also study mechanical metamaterials, aiming to understand and control how properties and functionalities emerge in complexly structured soft materials.

Finally, we extend a complex systems approach toward understanding the structure and dynamics of large networks, with an emphasis on socio-economic systems such as financial markets.

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