Active model biopolymer networks in vitro and in vivo

Active matter is defined as a soft material internally driven by mechanical non-equilibrium processes. The cytoskeleton of cells is an example of this state of matter. This project will study simple three-component in vitro model systems made from cytoskeletal filaments, motor proteins and physiological crosslinkers. Particle microrheology as well as a new approach using fluorescent single-walled carbon nanotubes will be used to analyze the interplay between viscoelastic properties and non-equilibrium stress fluctuations. The latter method will also be employed in cells to map intracellular dynamics.