Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces

Research publications

You can find more research publications messages on the website of the Institute:

Research publications 2017

A stable shell for artificial cells

October 26, 2017

Scientists are developing cell-like lipid vesicles which can be populated with natural cell proteins [more]


Stiff fibres spun from slime

October 17, 2017

Under the influence of shear forces, nanoparticles from the secretion of velvet worms form polymer fibres that can be recycled in water [more]


Deceptive teeth

September 18, 2017

Although the dentition of the wedgefish appear designed to crush shellfish, it also eats stingrays [more]


A sweet vaccine against pneumonia

March 09, 2017

A triple sugar induces an immune response against Streptococcus pneumoniae [more]


Green chemistry from the mussel foot

March 01, 2017

The byssus threads of the common mussel are produced by a combination of self-assembly processes and biologically active steps [more]

Research publications 2016

Wood and the influence of water

October 05, 2016

A model describing the water absorption of wood could contribute to the development of new wood preservatives [more]


Marine microalgae: an address plaque for calcium

August 04, 2016

A biochemical mechanism controls which nanostructures are formed in calcite-forming microorganisms [more]


Fighting hospital germs with sugar

May 11, 2016

A synthetic sugar-based molecule activates the immune system and could serve as a vaccine against C. difficile bacteria [more]

Research publications 2015

The carbohydrate wind tunnel

September 30, 2015

A new method enables researchers to sequence complex sugar molecules for the first time [more]


Actuators that mimic ice plants

June 29, 2015

Materials modelled after plants may help robots to move more naturally



Nanostructures: customized carbon

April 14, 2015

A new synthesis method produces novel nanostructures from carbon [more]


Collagen: powerful workout with water

January 22, 2015

Collagen fibres not only passively support bone, tendons and ligaments, but also actively contract [more]

Research publications 2014

Exemplar crystallites in mussels

October 31, 2014

The growth of the giant Mediterranean fan mussel’s calcitic shell adheres to physical laws already familiar from processes used to optimise steel



Skin that can flex its muscles

July 21, 2014

A membrane curls fast and furiously when it comes into contact with a solvent vapour [more]


Sweet treatment for asthma

July 03, 2014

A simple molecule inhibits asthma-related inflammation at an early stage [more]


Bristling nanolayer

June 25, 2014

A new synthesis method enables the production of wafer-thin carbon layers for a wide range of applications [more]


The large wandering spider bites forever

June 12, 2014

The fangs of the venomous spider C. salei allow it to safely pierce the chitinous armour of prey insects [more]


The pirate in the microbe

May 27, 2014

Bacteria do not move entirely randomly as they scout the surface of host cells [more]


Nanotechnology in a glass sponge

February 24, 2014

The marine sponge Monorhaphis chuni (M. Chuni) forms a glass filament with a perfect periodic arrangement of nanopores employing a similar method that is used for fabrication of man-made mesoporous nanomaterials [more]

Research publications 2013

Biominerals point the way

October 30, 2013

The way bacteria create their magnetic navigational aids could be an inspiration for materials scientists [more]


A quick test for the Black Death

July 24, 2013

Sugar-based detection method enables easy and accurate identification of the Yersinia pestis bacterium [more]


Electronics comes to paper

May 08, 2013

Paper, being a light and foldable raw material, is a cost-efficient and simple means of generating electrically conducting structures [more]


Order in the chaos of a cell membrane

February 27, 2013

Crystalline areas form in model membranes based on a previously unknown mechanism [more]


The cradle of the nanoparticle

February 13, 2013

A new model facilitates predictions about how nanoparticles form and gives clues about how the process can be controlled [more]

Research publications 2012

Calcium carbonate templates for drug delivery

July 02, 2012

Microcontainers for medical substances can be produced in different sizes using calcium carbonate microspheres as templates [more]


A crowning success for crayfish

May 18, 2012

Australian freshwater crayfish have a tooth enamel very similar to humans [more]


An incisive design solution: the spider’s venomous fang

May 10, 2012

Among the factors that make spiders successful predators is the ingeniously composed and structured material of their fangs. [more]


Microlenses from a test tube

March 23, 2012

Max Planck researchers develop new method for the production of microlenses [more]


Anti-malaria drug synthesised with the help of oxygen and light

January 17, 2012

In future it should be possible to produce the best anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, more economically and in sufficient volumes for all patients [more]

Research publications 2011

Origami in seed capsules

June 15, 2011

The lids on the seed cases of an ice plant unfold when a honeycomb structure swells on the inside of them [more]


A sweet defence against lethal bacteria

May 30, 2011

Synthesising a potential vaccine candidate for an antibiotic-resistant pathogen causing infections in hospitalised patients [more]


Nanotubes: cellular membranes on supply

March 11, 2011

Osmotic forces play a role in nanotube formation in cells [more]

Research publications 2010

Turning over a new leaf

September 20, 2010

Researchers have transformed the skeleton of a leaf into iron carbide. The new technique enables the conversion of metal carbides into intricate microstructures in just one step [more]

Mussels - Material artists with grip

March 04, 2010

Iron atoms convey mussel fibres with a robust but stretchy covering [more]


Cell growth regulates genetic circuits

January 29, 2010

Max Planck researchers discover an explanation for different growth rates of genetically identically cells [more]


Where droplets gently touch a membrane

January 27, 2010

Max Planck researchers explain the shape of membrane vesicles containing two different fluids [more]

Research publications 2009

Making nanoparticles in artificial cells

June 26, 2009

Two processes can be used to control the size of nanoparticles, which could serve as tiny light sources [more]


A water splitter with a double role

March 09, 2009

Sunlight and a familiar plastic make it possible to produce hydrogen from water [more]


A crystal clear view of chalk formation

January 12, 2009

Chalk crystallizes differently from the way we once thought it did. This discovery will allow the development of new scale inhibitors and other materials, and has also consequences for climate change [more]

Research publications 2008

Tug of war in the cells

March 18, 2008

Max Planck scientists shed light on transport mechanism in cells [more]

Research publications 2007

Transporting gold across physical boundaries

November 22, 2007

Max Planck researchers create nanoparticles that move back and forth between water and oil [more]


Wild wheat shows its muscles

May 10, 2007

Cereal grains use their awns to "swim" into the soil [more]

Research publications 2006

Microcapsules like it Hot and Salty

November 23, 2006

Max Planck scientists in Potsdam are developing a new method using salt content and temperature to control the permeability of microcapsules [more]


Nearly Unbreakable

November 10, 2006

Max Planck Scientists discover a novel construction principle at the nanoscale which prevents bones from breaking at excessive force [more]


Floating and Spiky

November 03, 2006

A team of researchers has used computer simulations to explain how cells adhere so firmly to blood vessel walls [more]


Fusion in the Fast Lane

October 19, 2006

Max Planck scientists develop new methods for the controlled initiation of membrane fusion and its observation with high temporal resolution in the microsecond regime [more]


Microcapsules Open in Tumour Cells

August 23, 2006

Max Planck researchers channel microcapsules into tumour cells and release their contents using a laser impulse [more]


Order by Motion

July 24, 2006

Max Planck scientists have shown that molecular motors can induce orientational order in an isotropic liquid of filaments. [more]


Oscillating Pattern in Nanoparticle Crystallisation

June 30, 2006

Max Planck researchers in Potsdam demonstrate an oscillating pattern in nanoparticle crystallisation and self-organisation [more]


A Switch for Cell Adhesion

March 29, 2006

Max Planck scientists show that the adhesion of cell membranes strongly depends on the switching rates of adhesion molecules [more]

Research publications 2005

Why nanolayers buckle when microbeams bend

December 15, 2005

German-Austrian-French research team uses a hundred-nanometre wide x-ray beam to observe how nanolayers buckle in bent high-tech carbon fibres [more]


Shimmering Colours Which Change With Temperature

December 02, 2005

Max Planck researchers in Potsdam, Germany expand the tool kit of colloid particles and make new coloured finishes possible [more]


Marathon of Nano-Sprinters

November 14, 2005

Max Planck scientists show that the cooperation of a small number of molecular mo-tors yields cargo transport over large distances [more]


What Mutations Tell Us about Protein Folding

October 14, 2005

Max Planck scientists find a novel way to construct transition states for protein folding reactions [more]


How to Braid Nanoropes

October 14, 2005

Max Planck scientists identify essential control parameters for the assembly of filament bundles [more]


Mother-of-Pearl in Highest Resolution

October 05, 2005

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, and the German Federal Institute for Materals Research and Testing (BAM), have discovered small new details in the structure of mother-of-pearl [more]


Good connections are everything

July 12, 2005

Max Planck Scientists discover unusual dynamic properties of activity patterns on scale-free networks [more]


Motor Transport in Bio-Nano Systems

May 03, 2005

Max Planck researchers determine optimal parameters for biomimetic transport systems based on molecular motors [more]


Fusion under Tension

March 01, 2005

Max Planck scientists use new simulation methods to observe single events of membrane fusion with molecular resolution [more]


Open Microfluidic and Nanofluidic Systems

February 15, 2005

Max Planck scientists develop fundamentals for new microfluidic and nanofluidic devices [more]

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