Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg


Self organisation of biological systems

Gallery (3 pictures)


Amoebae are single-cell organisms whose cells do not show a fixed shape and that are characterized by a high motility. That is the reason why they are well-suited to study the physics of the inner organization of cells. We are concentrating our research on the slime mould Physarum polycephalum. This slime mould forms a huge cell (a so-called plasmodium) that can grow up to one square meter. This cell forms vein-networks in which the cytoplasm is transported peristalticly. This network bears great resemblance to our bloodstream.

We research the architecture of the vein-networks that the slime mould forms. The special topology and geometry of these networks already define properties that benefit the formation of some biological functions. The research of the formed vein-networks plays an important role because it gives an insight into the internal hierarchical organization of this cell and also into the organisation of the vein-networks.

Due to the fact that the slime mould Physarum polycephalum is a multinuclear cell, it is possible to generate smaller cells. With the help of these micro-plasmodia we analyse the reorganization of these cells and how these cells move.

In particular, we do research on the following issues:

Letzte Änderung: 10.12.2012 - Contact Person: PD Dr. rer. nat. habil. Marcus Hauser