A6: Flow patterns in actomyosin droplets – routes to self-propulsion

Lead PI: Andreas Janshoff
Collaborating PIs: Timo Betz, Sarah Köster, Tim Salditt, Melina Schuh, Claudia Steinem, Anne Wald
Overarching research question: How does self-propulsion depend on architecture and active force generation of a geometrically confined actomyosin network?

From a physical point of view, biological cells form geometrically confined compartments filled with active matter, i.e., a collection of filaments and motor proteins that can generate intracellular flow. The goal is to generate fluid droplets filled with actomyosin gels to study the generation of internal flow and eventually self-propulsion. Finally, we want to learn how actomyosin architecture, viscoelasticity, and contractility relate to the internal flow field and possible self-propulsion of the compartment in a fluid environment.

Core field: experimental biophysics

PhD training objectives: rheology (dynamic light scattering, diffusive wave spectroscopy, rheometry, video particle tracking, optical tweezers, acoustic force spectroscopy, AFM-based active microrheology); optical imaging; scanning probe techniques; data analysis (image processing, AI based detection).