• Figure 2: Membrane deformations induced by actin assembly. A membrane bilayer (pink) constituting an initially spherical liposome is deformed through the growth of a branched actin network (blue marks the colour of the end of actin filaments) at its surface. Spikes (inward) and tubes (outward) are formed during this process. Note that compared to the cell geometry, the geometry here is inside out, as the ingredients of the cytoskeleton are outside the liposome. Bar 5 μm. Copyright: Cécile Sykes, CNRS
    How Active Biopolymer Networks Shape the Cell Membrane
    Experiments on active deformations of a cell membrane by an actin assembly may inspire new materials and approaches. Cécile Sykes from the Laboratoire de Physique de l‘Ecole Normale Supérieure reports on results raising... (Read more)
  • Figure 1: Simulated state diagram illustrating various membrane structures for different Peclet numbers (Pe) characterizing particle propulsion strength and volume fractions (ϕ) of active particles. The three main regimes are tethering (red symbols), fluctuating (blue symbols) and bola/prolate (brown symbols) vesicle shapes. Each dot containing a grid pattern indicates the position of the nearest snapshot within the shape diagram. Simulations mimic a nearly tensionless flaccid vesicle. Copyright: authors
    From Soft Active Systems to Synthetic Cells
    Scientists from the ETH Zurich and Forschungszentrum Jülich highlight their recent collaborative study on a novel active system of self-propelled particles (SPPs) enclosed in a lipid vesicle, which exhibits dramatic shape changes resembling... (Read more)





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SoftComp Members during the Annual Meeting 2009 in Venedig. Copyright:

 SoftComp Partners

All partners of SoftComp share a common goal: to obtain a detailed understanding of the physical mechanisms and properties of complex, multi-component soft matter composites in oder to to provide a fundamental basis for an intelligent engineering of materials and their processing. Currently, 39 groups from 35 institutions in 12 European countries build the consortium.

 Methods & Instruments

The joint use of methods and instruments plays a major role in achieving integration between the SoftComp partners. Three research platforms assemble the different technical and scientific abilities present in the network: Synthesis, Experimental Techniques, and Theoretical and Numerical Methods.

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