Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich Group

Mechanics of Active Biomaterials

Portrait Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich

Our Research Mission

Our group is mainly interested in the following questions

  • How does mechanical stress modify mechanical parameters of biological material, and how is this exploited for biological function?
  • How does mechanical stress impact on the growth of cells and tissues?

Current research foci in my lab are

  1. Measurement of the mechanical properties of the actin cell cortex of live cells
  2. The influence of cell mechanics on mitotic rounding and cell division in cancer cells
  3. The effect of mechanical tension on the binding dynamics of actin-associated proteins
  4. Study of mechanical stresses in tissue development

We combine experimental and theoretical work.

Our method set includes

  • Atomic force microscopy and optical tweezer
  • Cell culture and basic related biochemical methods
  • Optical microscopy
  • Continuum mechanics and concepts of viscoelasticity
  • Theory of dynamical systems and Mathematical modelling

Selected Publications

Hosseini K, Frenzel A, Fischer-Friedrich E
EMT changes actin cortex rheology in a cell-cycle dependent manner
bioRxiv 10.1101/2020.12.15.422849 (2020)

Hosseini K, Sbosny L, Poser I, Fischer-Friedrich E
Binding dynamics of α-actinin-4 in dependence of actin cortex tension
Biophysical Journal 119, p. 1091-1107 (2020)
Download the matlab image analysis script used in this publication (ZIP archive, 64 KB)

Hosseini K, Taubenberger A, Werner C, Fischer-Friedrich E
EMT-induced cell mechanical changes enhance mitotic rounding strength
Advanced Science 7, 2001276 (2020)

Mokbel M, Hosseini K, Aland S, Fischer-Friedrich E
The Poisson ratio of the cellular actin cortex is frequency-dependent
Biophysical Journal, 118, p. 1968–1976 (2020)

Jawerth L, Fischer-Friedrich E, Saha S, Wang J, Franzmann T, Zhang X, Sachweh J, Ruer M, Ijavi M, Saha S, Mahamid J, Hyman AA, Jülicher F
Protein condensates as aging Maxwell fluids
Science 370, p. 1317-1323 (2020)

Jawerth L, Ijavi M, Ruer M, Saha S, Hyman A, Jülicher F, Fischer-Friedrich E
Salt-dependent rheology and surface tension of protein condensates using optical tweezers
PRL 121: 258101 (2018)

Fischer-Friedrich E
Active prestress leads to an apparent stiffening of cells through geometrical effects
Biophys. J. 114, 419–424 (2018)

Group Members

Name Position
Dr. Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich Group Leader
Annika Frenzel Technician
Kamran Hosseini Predoc
Karla Yanín Guerra Santillán Predoc
Mirco Bonati Predoc
Valentin Mathias Ruffine Predoc

Group Image