Department of Cellular Biophysics

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Cellular Biophysics

The primary scientific goal of the department is to develop technologies, based on physics, chemistry and materials science, for unraveling fundamental problems in cellular science, as well as to construct life-like materials. In this context, the department aims for a fundamental understanding of (i) specific topics related to the pathophysiology of cells and cell cohorts by analyzing and manipulating cells on the nanoscale; (ii) how to bottom-up assemble synthetic cell functions and materials, (iii) the role of growth factors in cellular mechanobiology, and (iv) the role of polysaccharides, in particular hyaluronan, of the extracellular matrix in regulating cell fate. In particular, we shed light on scientific questions related to individual and collective cell migration, cellular interactions with the environment (cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion) in association with immune responses, wound healing, tissue morphogenesis and tumor development. All these projects benefit from the highly interdisciplinary nature of the department and the MPI of Medical Research, which provides expertise from various scientific directions.

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