Statistical and Biological Physics

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Construction of a microfluidic setup for collective active transport on different network topologies

Systems out of thermal equilibrium form oneof the central bridges from physics to biology. As such, they exhibit a variety of intriguingfeatures like transitions to collective order and pattern formation. Despite their fascinating phenomena and their ubiquitous relevance, they still remain one of the biggest challenges in nowadays theoretical physics. In an attempt to grasp principles of emergent properties of nonequilibrium systems a continuous back and forth effort of theory and experiment is inevitable. In this spirit, we aim for a joint project for a master thesis carried out collaboratively by the Frey group (LMU, Munich) and the Bartolo group (ENS de Lyon,Lyon).

The goal of this master thesis is to build a microfluidic setup tailored to probe collective active transport on different network topologies. The setup will allow for an investigation how emerging phenomena are influenced by topological properties, as addressed by recent theoretical studies of the Frey group. The thesis will be split into two parts: The first part will be carried out in the Bartolo lab (Lyon, France) for approximately 6 months. Based on the lab’s excellent expertise on microfluidic devices, the goal of this first part will be to construct and install a microfluidic setup and to perform experiments addressing the above questions. The second part will be carried out in the Frey group (Munich). There, the goal will be to apply existing theoretical methods to the experimental findings. As the thesis is supervised collaboratively by the Frey and Bartolo group, it will offer a great embedding into the scientific community and deliver valuable insights into up-to-date research of nonequilibrium physics.

The thesis will have a main focus on experimental aspects but will also require an in-depth understanding of the theoretical framework. Therefore, we are currently seeking a master student with an excellent academic background and a high affinity for lab work. As the first half of the thesis will take place in Lyon, a high motivation to study abroad as well as very good language and communicational skills are indispensable.

You’ll learn/get:

  • up-to-date research project at the interface of experiment and theory
  • strong embedding into the scientific community
  • building your own experimental setup with supervision and expertise from two groups
  • experience of studying abroad


  • very high lab affinity
  • strong academic background and excellent grades
  • good communicational and language skills (English, French)
  • scientific programming experience and good IT background

If you’re interested please contact us by email:

For further information please also visit the groups' webpages: