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Research profile

The Biological Soft Matter group is an experimental research group centered around the soft matter physics of living matter. Our overall aim is to understand the physical mechanisms that govern the self-organization and (active) mechanics of cells and tissues. Our main strategy is to reconstitute synthetic cell models by biochemical reconstitution as well as synthetic tissue models based on cells grown in physiologically relevant extracellular matrices. We perform quantitative experiments based on quantitative light and electron microscopy, single-molecule force spectroscopy, optical microrheology, and macroscopic rheometry. We develop predictive models together with theoretical collaborators and apply physical insights to questions in cell and developmental biology together with biologists.


  • QC Physics
  • cell mechanics
  • cytoskeleton
  • active soft matter
  • extracellular matrix
  • rheology
  • mechanobiology
  • tissue mechanics

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Research Output

Charge-dependent interactions of monomeric and filamentous actin with lipid bilayers

Schroer, C. F. E., Baldauf, L., van Buren, L., Wassenaar, T. A., Melo, M. N., Koenderink, G. H. & Marrink, S. J., 2020, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117, 11, p. 5861-5872

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    25 Downloads (Pure)

    Connectivity and plasticity determine collagen network fracture

    Burla, F., Dussi, S., Martinez-Torres, C., Tauber, J., van der Gucht, J. & Koenderink, G. H., 2020, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117, 15, p. 8326-8334

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Hyaluronan biopolymers release water upon pH-induced gelation

    van Dam, E. P., Giubertoni, G., Burla, F., Koenderink, G. H. & Bakker, H. J., 2020, In : Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. 22, 16, p. 8667-8671

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

  • In vitro reconstitution of dynamic co-organization of microtubules and actin filaments in emulsion droplets

    Vendel, K. J. A., Alkemade, C., Andrea, N., Koenderink, G. H. & Dogterom, M., 2020, Cytoskeleton Dynamics : Methods and Protocols. Maiato, H. (ed.). Springer, p. 53-75 23 p. (Methods in Molecular Biology; vol. 2101).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

  • Mechanisms of Motor-Independent Membrane Remodeling Driven by Dynamic Microtubules

    Rodríguez-García, R., Volkov, V. A., Chen, C. Y., Katrukha, E. A., Olieric, N., Aher, A., Grigoriev, I., Koenderink, G., Dogterom, M. & More Authors, 2020, In : Current Biology. 30, 6, p. 972-987.e12 29 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

  • 4 Citations (Scopus)


    STEM images of filamentous proteins for mass mapping

    Martinez Torres, C. E. (Creator), Burla, F. (Creator), Alkemade, C. (Creator) & Koenderink, G. H. (Creator), TU Delft - 4TU Centre for research data, 2019