Current research projects

High Tech Smart Material


Anisotropic Colloids

The synthesis of novel types of colloidal particles with anisotropic shapes and interactions plays a central role in our research. We continuously develop new approaches and modifications to be able to answer fundamental physics questions.


Self-assembly of Colloidal Particles

We aim at guiding and understanding the self-assembly of complex colloidal particles into designer structures and employ them for creating functional materials. We use state-of-the art confocal microscopy methods to image the kinetic assembly pathways and resulting structures in situ.


Quantitative particle tracking

We study the thermally induced random motion of colloidal particles with various anisotropic shapes by confocal microscopy. Particle tracking routines allow us to obtain full information about the position and orientation of the particles and extract quantitative information about the full diffusion coefficient matrix.


Biological Model Systems


Membrane-mediated interactions

Lipid membranes compartmentalize cells and obtain functionality by attached and inserted proteins. We use a colloidal model system to quantitatively study the interaction between objects that deform lipid membranes to unravel the forces behind protein organizations in cells.


Virus Assembly

Natural viruses spontaneously assemble from coat proteins and their genome. We aim at identifying the crucial features for the assembly of viruses by developing theoretical models and synthetic proteins in collaboration with Paul van der Schoot (TU Eindhoven) and Renko de Vries and Joris Sprakel (Wageningen University).


Past research projects


Spontaneously assembling Pickering Emulsions

We studied the conditions for the spontaneous emulsification of mixtures of colloids in water and particular oils into particle stabilized ("Pickering") droplets.