I am currently a PhD student at Delft university of technology in Idema group, researching membrane mediated interactions.
I studied Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich and focused on theoretical biophysics since my masters.
My current research interests include membrane physics, collective behavior in active systems and physics of emergence of life.
The plasma membrane and cytoskeleton of living cells are closely coupled dynamical systems. Internal cytoskeletal elements such as actin filaments and microtubules continually exert forces on the membrane, resulting in the formation of membrane protrusions. In this paper we investigate the interplay between the shape of a cell distorted by pushing and pulling forces generated by microtubules and the resulting rearrangement of the microtubule network. From analytical calculations, we find that two microtubules that deform the vesicle can both attract or repel each other, depending on their angular separations and the direction of the imposed forces. We also show how the existence of attractive interactions between multiple microtubules can be deduced analytically, and further explore general interactions through Monte Carlo simulations. Our results suggest that the commonly reported parallel structures of microtubules in both biological and artificial systems can be a natural consequence of membrane mediated interactions.
Order can spontaneously emerge from seemingly noisy interactions between biological agents, like a flock of birds changing their direction of flight in unison, without a leader or an external cue. We are interested in the generic conditions that lead to such emergent phenomena. To find these conditions, we use the framework of complex networks to characterize the state of agents and their mutual influence. We formulate a continuous state adaptive network model, from which we obtain the phase boundaries between swarming and disordered phases and characterize the order of the phase transition.