SFB 1032: Nanoagents for Spatiotemporal Control of Molecular and Cellular Reactions

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Joint CeNS-Colloquium with the SFB1032

Dr. Timo Betz, M√ľnster University

09.12.2016 at 15:30 

Title: Learning from fluctuations: The mechanics of active and passive cellular assemblies

Location: Kleiner Physik-Hörsaal (N020), Altbau Physik, Fakultät für Physik

Hosts: Prof. Chase Broedersz (B12), Prof. Jan Lipfert

see CeNS-colloquiums-website


From a physics perspective living cells are impressive systems. They operate extremely reliably under nonlinear and non-equilibrium conditions, all embedded in a highly fluctuating background that is agitated by thermal Brownian motion. To understand the physical principles used by cells to perform their function, we use optical tweezers as well as high sensitive motion detectors to study both the mechanical properties of cells and the passive (thermal) and active (ATP dependent) fluctuations of cellular systems. This leads to new insights into the non-equilibrium physics used by living cells to maintain their organization even in a highly noisy environment. Combining the experimental data with non-equilibrium Langevin models we are able to extract molecular parameters such as forces and timescales from mesoscopic observables.