[ BM Friedrich, PKS Fellow ]

Our group has moved:
Biological systems path of the
Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden (cfaed)

We have openings for
post-doc and PhD positions

Mission of the Biological

Algorithms group

    We seek to theoretically understand biological solutions for motility control and self-organization in cells and tissues. A special emphasis is on principles that make biological function robust in the presence of strong fluctuations. 

    We combine dynamical systems theory, statistical physics, and image analysis to reverse-engineer physical mechanisms of robust feedback control. We want to understand emergent dynamics from simple rules. 

    We enjoy close collaborations with biologists with rapid iteration loops between quantitative theory and experiment.

    Motility control: At the cellular scale, we study how noisy sensory information controls motion. Our model system are flagellated microswimmers, where we study swimming, steering, and synchronization, e.g. in sperm navigation for the egg.

    Pattern control: At the tissue scale, we study elementary rules of self-organized pattern formation during self-repair and adaptation to fluctuating environments. In the past, we have studied self-organized scaling of developmental patterns. Current project address design principles and transport in 3-dimensional tissues such as the liver.


Our work draws inspiration from physics, information theory, and engineering; likewise, we seek to excite bio-inspired applications of biological information processing in these fields.

Selected publications

Jan F. Jikeli*, Luis Alvarez*, Benjamin M. Friedrich*, Laurence G. Wilson*, Rene Pascal, Remy Colin, Magdalena Pichlo, Andreas Rennhack, Christoph Brenker & U. Benjamin Kaupp: Sperm navigation along helical paths in
3D chemoattractant landscapes, Nature Communications 6, 2015
 *=equal contribution (pdf, invited talk at "Omnipresent Cilium Conference": video)

S Werner, T Stückemann, M Beiran Amigo, JC Rink, F Jülicher, BM Friedrich: Scaling and regeneration of self-organized patterns, Phys. Rev. Lett.  114, 2015 - selected as "Editor's suggestion" (pdf)

R Ma, GS Klindt, I.-H. Riedel-Kruse, F Jülicher, BM Friedrich: Active phase and amplitude fluctuations of flagellar beating. Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 2014 (pdf)

VF Geyer, F Jülicher, J Howard, BMF: Cell body rocking is a dominant mechanism of flagellar synchronization in a swimming alga. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 110, 2013 (pdf)

BMF, F Jülicher: Flagellar synchronization independent of hydrodynamic interactions. Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 2012. (Editor's suggestion, Selected for a Viewpoint in Physics)

BMF, E Fischer-Friedrich, NS Gov, SA Safran: Sarcomeric pattern formation by actin cluster coalescence. PLoS Comp Biol 8(6), 2012.  (Download simulation code here)

BMF, I H Riedel-Kruse, J Howard, F Jülicher: High-precision tracking of sperm swimming fine structure provides strong test of resistive force theory. J. exp. Biol. 213, 2010.

BMF, F Jülicher: Steering chiral swimmers along noisy helical paths. Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 2009.

BMF, F Jülicher: Chemotaxis of sperm cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 104, 2007.


Popular article on flagellar synchronization [German]

Popular article on flagellar swimming and steering [German]

Youtube video of synchronizing metronomes