About us

The research group of Silke Henkes focusses on the physics of active materials, that is how a collection of independently moving or forcing agents work together collectively. We specialize in a bottom-up approach with detailed numerical models of activity and interactions giving rise to such states as active liquids and glasses and active elastic solids. Of particular focus is the biophysics of epithelial tissues, where cells – squishy, crawling and contractile agents – produce two dimensional sheets that are essential to developmental biology and the healthy functioning of organs. In particular, we have recently used particle-based and vertex models to develop quantitative models of in-vitro epithelial sheets and the mammalian cornea.