Microswimmer Lecture Series


    1. Scope
    2. Time and Place
    3. Lectures and Speakers
      1. Confirmed speakers 2018
      2. Confirmed speakers 2019
    4. Learning Material
    5. Contact and Registration
Eine mikroskopische Aufnahme zeigt Spermien und Partikel. © Veronika Magdanz & Dagmar Voigt Eine mikroskopische Aufnahme zeigt Spermien und Partikel. © Veronika Magdanz & Dagmar Voigt

Mikroschwimmer sind Mikroobjekte, die sich aktiv im Mikromaßstab fortbewegen können. Hier: Spermien mit Eisenoxidpartikeln.

Eine mikroskopische Aufnahme zeigt Spermien und Partikel.

Mikroschwimmer sind Mikroobjekte, die sich aktiv im Mikromaßstab fortbewegen können. Hier: Spermien mit Eisenoxidpartikeln. © Veronika Magdanz & Dagmar Voigt


The lecture series "Microswimmers" combines disciplines of life sciences, and as such four of our five School of Sciences' faculties: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics. "Microswimmers" brings together theory and application issues, focussing on providing an excellent teaching base on this present topic.

This lecture series comprises 14 lectures from international speakers plus 14 reading seminars (Hauptseminare) which take place one week before each lecture and are held in a journal club style. This lecture is planned to run in the course of a full year (September 2018 - Juli 2019). Participating students are asked to read the provided articles (see Learning Material) and present an article in one of the reading seminars during the course of the lecture series.


Physics of Motion on the Microscale
Artifical microwimmers
Biological microswimmers

We thank ZUK and cfaed for supporting the "Microswimmers" lecture series.

Time and Place

Lecture Series: Starting from 26 September
Reading Sessions: Starting from 19 September
Wednesdays 4.40 pm
HSZ/E03 // TU Dresden

Credit points and rigorosum replacement available for lectures and preparation sessions

Lectures and Speakers

Confirmed speakers 2018

26.09. Tom Montenegro-Johnson, Birmingham

Low Reynolds-number hydrodynamics

Dr. Tom Montenegro-Johnson is currently a lecturer in Mathematical Biology at the University of Birmingham. He studied math at John’s college in Cambridge and submitted his PhD on “Microscopic Swimming in Biological Fluids” at the end of 2012. As a Postdoc, he joined Prof. Eric Lauga’s group in DAMTP at the University of Cambridge, before being awarded a Research Fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 for the project "Foundations of Biomedical Microrobots". In August 2016, Tom returned to the University of Birmingham as lecturer. His research focus is on low Reynolds number biofluiddynamics and artificial microscale propulsion.”​

For more information, see Tom Montenegro-Johnson's website

17.10. Mihail Popescu, Stuttgart

Physics of phoresis

Dr. Mihail N. Popescu is a senior scientist in the department Micro, Nano, and Molecular Systems of Prof. P. Fisher at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart.
He received his BSc/MSc in Physics from the Faculty of Physics of the University of Bucharest (Romania), and his Ph.D. (in Physics) from Emory University (Atlanta, USA). After his PhD, he has been working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (Stuttgart, Germany) in the department "Theory of Inhomogeneous Condensed Matter" led by Prof. Dietrich in Stuttgart. He continued his career as a research fellow and senior research fellow at the Ian Wark Research Institute, UniSA (Adelaide, Australia). In 2014 he returned to the MPI-IS in Stuttgart as a senior research scientist. He has been working on problems related to precursor film dynamics in wetting phenomena, diffusion equations for interacting particles systems, and processes related to thin film hydrodynamics and interactions between interfaces.

His current research interests focus on the theory of self-phoretic motion of chemically active colloids under confinement by boundaries or fields.

In the lecture series, he will provide a basic introduction into the physics of self-phoresis of chemically active colloids, from motion in unbounded fluids to aspects related to motion near boundaries.

web page: https://www.is.mpg.de/dietrich/research/active_matter

For more information, see Mihail Popescu's website

29.10. Mike Cates, Cambridge (at MPI PKS)

Location at MPI-PKS!

Title of the talk: tba

For more information on the speaker, see Mike Cates' website

14.11. Ana Suncana Smith, Erlangen

Title of the talk: tba

For more information on the speaker, see Ana Suncana Smith's website

05.12. David Smith, Birmingham

Self-propulsion in viscous media

Professor Dave Smith is an applied mathematician who works across the interfaces of biomedical research and modelling. Following a PhD with Professors John Blake and Eamonn Gaffney, he undertook postdoctoral research on male fertility diagnostics in collaboration with Birmingham Women’s Hospital Centre for Human Reproductive Science. His main interests are very low Reynolds number biological fluid dynamics, and he has co-authored Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics articles on Mammalian Sperm Motility, and Left-Right Symmetry Breaking Flows in Embryogenesis; in addition he has worked with teams researching topics as diverse as steroid metabolome cancer diagnosis, the molecular and physical pathogenesis of lung disease, and synthetic biology techniques for flow and pathogen detection. He and his multidisciplinary research group develop and apply tools based on regularized singularity solutions, the finite element method, and model-based image analysis. He is currently Professor and Director of Research in the School of Mathematics at the University of Birmingham.

For more information, see David Smith's website

Dec. '18 Maria J. Esplandiu, Barcelona

Electrochemical sensing and control

For more information, see Maria J. Esplandiu's website

Confirmed speakers 2019

09.01. Tom Powers

Topic: Hydrodynamic synchronization

Thursday, 24.01. Erik Luijten, Northwestern University, USA

NB: Time:   4.30 pm
        Place: Chemistry builidng CHE 182

Professor Erik Luijten studied physics in The Netherlands, where he received his MSc from the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Utrecht University (with Prof. Henk van Beijeren) and his PhD (cum laude) from Delft University of Technology in 1997 (with Prof. Henk Blöte). He has worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research and the University of Mainz, Germany, with Prof. Kurt Binder and at the Institute for Physical Science and Technology of the University of Maryland, with Prof. Michael E. Fisher and Prof. Athanassios Panagiotopoulos. From 2001 to 2008 he was an assistant professor and later associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and (by courtesy) the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In January 2009 he joined Northwestern University, with appointments in Materials Science and Engineering and Applied Mathematics. As of September 2016, he is chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Professor Luijten's research interests encompass a wide range of topics, with an emphasis on collective behavior in complex fluids and soft condensed-matter systems. Recent work includes colloidal self-assembly, nanoparticles for gene delivery purposes, bacterial self-organization, and data analysis for gravitational-wave detectors. These topics are generally studied via large-scale computer simulations.

Professor Luijten received the 2003 IAPWS Helmholtz Award in recognition of “Fundamental and innovative contributions enhancing the state of the art of computer simulations of theoretical models that are directly relevant to the critical and phase behaviour of aqueous systems.” He also received an NSF CAREER Award (2004) and a Xerox Award for Faculty Research (2006). In 2013 he was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Monday, 25.02. Julia Yeomans, University of Oxford, UK

NB: Time: 4.30 pm
        Place: Chemistry Building CHE 182.

tba: Islam Khalil

Topic: Magnetic propulsion

12.04. Gijsje Koenderink

Topic: Molecular Motors as minimal models

24.04. Kirsty Wan

Topic: Flagellated Swimmers

08.05. Knut Drescher

Topic: Bacterial Swimming

tba: Sylvain Martel

Topic: Putting bacteria into applications

12.06. Susan Suarez

Topic: Collective Swimming of sperm

26.06. Janna Nawroth

Topic: Biomimetics on the microscale

Learning Material

10.10. Reading Seminar

Lecture references:

1) Moran, J. L. and Posner, J. D., Phoretic Self-Propulsion, Ann. Rev. Fluid Mech. 49, 511 (2016)
2) Golestanian, R., Liverpool, T. B., and Ajdari, A., Designing phoretic micro- and nano-swimmers, New J. Phys. 9, 126 (2007)
3) Popescu, M. N., Uspal, W. E., and Dietrich, S., Self-diffusiophoresis of chemically active coloids, Eur. Phys. J. Special Topics 225, 2189 (2016)
4) Anderson, J. L., Colloid transport by interfacial forces, Ann. Rev. Fluid Mech. 21, 61 (1989)
5) Poon, W.C.K., From Clarkia to Escherichia and Janus: the physics of natural and synthetic active colloids, arXiv:1306.4799 (2013)

Contact and Registration


Dr. Juliane Simmchen

Freigeist-Fellowship Group Leader
Physical Chemistry

More information:

PD Dr. Benjamin M. Friedrich

Research group leader "Biological Algorithms Group"
TU Dresden: Biological Systems Path of the Center for Advancing
Electronics Dresden (cfaed)

Dr. Veronika Magdanz
Open Topic Postdoc
Applied Zoology

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Nicole Gierig
Letzte Änderung: 18.01.2019