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A prerequisite for life is the ability to distinguish an individual, say a plant, an animal, just a single cell, from the rest of the world. Boundaries between interior and exterior must be established, and surfaces of this biological wall represent the interface where the individual interacts with the outside world. Evolution has chosen the biomembrane bilayer for that task.

Biomembranes consist of fat-like molecules (lipids) with embedded proteins. They are most specific to their tasks, direct transport into and out of cells, assist in recognition and signaling, and establish aggregation in larger entities such as tissues and straight organisms.

 Biomembranes themselves are very complex. Therefore, biomimetic model systems are developed to study basic properties and processes. Biology starts in the little one and extends to the big one!

It is therefore necessary to study the structure and dynamics of biomimetic systems with neutron waves and X-rays. The results tell what is going on in the nanocosm, and serve to conclude on properties in the macrocosm and to associate with the universe of life. The ultimate goal goes beyond understanding natural interfaces: the hope is to find tools for new technologies, tools that can be built from bottom-up design, sustainable and biocompatible, with virtually no resource constraints and low energy consumption.


Research areas

  • Biophysics
  • membrane biophysics
  • Biological membranes
  • biomimetic model layers
  • lipid bilayers
  • interfacial properties of biomembranes
  • Biophysical chemistry
  • Soft condensed matter and biopolymer physics
  • polymers and bilayers
  • small molecules and bilayers
  • Thin film
  • biomembranes
  • supported thin films
  • reflectometry
  • structure and dynamics in thin films
  • Functional nanomaterials
  • model membranes
  • biomimetic films
  • molecular switches
  • external control of functionality
  • Self-assembling systems
  • lipid-polymer complex systems
  • drug-membrane ineraction
  • Caractirisation and manipulation of nano structures
  • neutron scattering
  • X-ray scattering
  • dielectric spectroscopy
  • soft probe micromanipulation
  • calorimetry


Fingerprints are formed from scientific publications and create an index of weighted keyword concepts for each individual researcher.
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