Biological Algorithms Group

Our mission is to identify simple paradigms of robust motility control and pattern formation in complex biological systems. We reverse-engineer biological solutions of robust control in close collaboration with experimental biologists. We use tools from physics, information theory, and engineering; likewise, we seek to excite bio-inspired applications of biological information processing in these fields.

We focus on principles of biological information processing in two model systems:

  1. Motility control: We study how noisy sensory information controls biological motility and dynamic decision making, e.g. during sperm navigation to the egg.
  2. Pattern control: We study elementary rules of self-organized pattern formation during self-repair and adaptation, e.g. of load-balancing transport networks in the liver.

On top of that, we explore potential applications of biological control designs in advanced electronics applications in tight collaboration with the other paths of the cfaed.

We are currently searching for highly motivated and talented students to work at the interface of physics and biology with a twist towards computer science.

Group News

How flagellar oscillators respond to mechanical load: just accepted in Phys. Rev. Lett.

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

Klindt et al. "Load response of the Flagellar Beat" Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 2016, see also video footage and press release .

Engineering and Life Conference

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

We just returned from the very inspiring Engineering and Life conference where Marius and Jens presented their works on the Liver Network project. This VW-sponsored event was hosted in Hanover and featured a wide breadth of talks including Jens' presentation on the Geometry of Liver Transport Networks.

Haupt-Seminar: "Statistical Physics of Information: Information theory in Physics and Biology"

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

Next term, Meik and me will offer a reading seminar on the Statistical Physics of Information, and how to use these concepts in Biological Physics.

The preliminary program can be found here:
https://www.cfaed.tu-dresden.de/friedrich-group-teaching
(Wednesday, 11.10am, APB 2026).

BIONAV: Principles of Biological and Robotic Navigation

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

International workshop from 29.-31.08.2016 at MPI PKS: More info on the conference homepage

Marius Asal, welcome to our group!

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

Steffen Werner successfully defended his PhD thesis

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

Steffen, wearing his freshly earned PhD hat. Steffen proposed a new physical mechanism for self-scaling & self-regenerating patterns. Such patterns are found in biology, e.g. in flatworms that can regenerate from tiny amputation fragments (one of which is caringly held by Ruth in the back).

Justus Kromer, welcome to the group!

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

Jens Karschau, welcome to the group!

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

New Lecture in Summer Semester

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

Nonlinear Dynamics and Stochastic Processes with Applications

Reader: Benjamin Friedrich

Time: Every Tuesday 16.40 (6.DS )

Room: PHY/B214 (Häckelstrasse 3 on main campus)

Web: https://www.cfaed.tu-dresden.de/friedrich-group-teaching

 

Abstract

Nonlinear dynamical systems are studied in many fields of physics, engineering, electronics, and economics, including classical mechanics, biological physics and control theory. The theory of nonlinear dynamics provides a way of geometric thinking to identify dynamic steady states and oscillations in dynamical systems. It allows to assess the stability of these steady states and their behavior under change of control parameters, often without the need to solve dynamical equations explicitly.

This will be a first course in nonlinear dynamics, with a focus on geometric aspects and applications. Key theoretical concepts of dynamical systems theory will be introduced and illustrated by examples from physics, biology, and computer science. In a second part of the lecture, we will give an introduction to stochastic processes and study dynamics and robustness of nonlinear systems in the presence of noise.

 

Topics
Stability analysis, bifurcation theory, oscillators and synchronization, pattern formation, introduction to chaos, introduction to stochastic processes, Langevin and Fokker-Planck formalism, application to first passage time problems and Kramer’s escape rate theory.

 

Prerequisites

Ordinary Differential Equations, Multi-variate calculus

 

Literature

  • Strogatz: Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos, Westview, 2001 (gebraucht ab 20€)
  • Risken: The Fokker-Planck Equation, Springer, 1996
  • Stratonovich: Topics in the Theory of Random Noise, Martino, 2014
  • Ott: Chaos in Dynamical Systems, Cambridge University Press, 2002
  • VanKampen: Stochastic Processes in Physics and Chemistry, North-Holland, 2007