Casper van der Wel

 

Casper van der Wel obtained his double Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Chemistry at Utrecht University. During his master Nanomaterials, he did research projects in plasma physics (Utrecht University) and microfluidics (Philips Research). Apart from this, he was active as financial manager and fundraiser of several student organizations including the national student orchestra and ‘Rheingold on the Rhine’. In September 2013, he started as a PhD candidate in soft matter physics and biophysics at Leiden University with Daniela Kraft and Doris Heinrich.

 

Lipid membrane-mediated interactions

 

 

Lipid membranes are one of the main building blocks of the human cell. Many proteins that are part of the processes in the living cell are attached to these membranes. The membrane shape influences the protein function, and the proteins influence the membrane shape. To study the resulting interactions between membrane proteins, we developed an enlarged model consisting of real lipid membranes and plastic (colloidal) spheres that deform the membranes. With this model system, we measured an attractive force that is mediated by the membrane. We believe that this new membrane-mediated force is one of the organizing forces behind the protein arrangement in the living cell. See our recent publication for more information.

 

Particle tracking

 

Particle tracking is an analysis technique in which objects are followed in video images. Especially in colloidal research and super microscopy techniques, this automated method is an important tool to extract quantitative information from measurement data. The method is able to localize objects with a precision that is 10 to 100 times better than the size of a single pixel in the image. We have extended this technique to be able to track overlapping objects with high precision. This enables us to automatically track videos of objects that are attracted to each other. The computer code is publicly available on the open source repository Github. See here for more information.

 

 

Colloidal synthesis

 

 

We are studying a chemical compound (trimethoxysilyl propyl methacrylate) that – given the right circumstances – spontaneously forms billions of droplets of exactly 0.0015 mm in diameter. As the material of these droplets is in between glass and plastic, many existing coatings can be applied to these colloidal spheres. This makes this material an easy building block for fabricating more complicated microstructures.

 

Pubications

 

Casper van der Wel, Afshin Vahid, Anđela Šarić, Timon Idema, Doris Heinrich, Daniela J. Kraft: Lipid membrane-mediated attraction between curvature inducing objects. Sci. Rep. 6, 32825 (2016). DOI: 10.1038/srep32825

 

Casper van der Wel, Daniela J. Kraft: Automated tracking of colloidal clusters with sub-pixel accuracy and precision. arXiv 1607.08819

 

Vera Meester, Ruben W. Verweij, Casper van der Wel, Daniela J. Kraft: Colloidal Recycling: Reconfiguration of Random Aggregates into Patchy Particles. ACS Nano 10(4), 4322-4329 (2016). DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b07901

 

A. Mohan, C. M. van der Wel, R.E.I. Schropp, J. K. Rath: Probing periodic oscillations in a silane dusty plasma in a very high-frequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition process.s Canadian Journal of Physics 92(7/8), 744-748 (2014). DOI: 10.1139/cjp-2013-0611

 

C. M. van der Wel, R. J. Kortschot, I. A. Bakelaar, B. H. Erné, B. W. M. Kuipers: Note: Rapid offset reduction of impedance bridges taking into account instrumental damping and phase shifting. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 84, 036109 (2013). DOI: 10.1063/1.4795554

 

Casper van der Wel obtained his double Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Chemistry at Utrecht University. During his master Nanomaterials, he did research projects in plasma physics (Utrecht University) and microfluidics (Philips Research). Apart from this, he was active as financial manager and fundraiser of several student organizations including the national student orchestra and ‘Rheingold on the Rhine’. In September 2013, he started as a PhD candidate in soft matter physics and biophysics at Leiden University with Daniela Kraft and Doris Heinrich.