Institute of Biophysics
Vrazov trg 2
1000 Ljubljana

telephone: (386) 1 543 7600
Fax: (386) 1 543 7601

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24.09.2018 6:01


We study physical principles behind processes relevant for cell physiology. In particular, our research is focused on mechanical properties of cellular membranes and cells. The topics of our research include:

Theoretical and experimental biophysics of lipid membranes and membrane tethers (thin membrane nanotubes) 

Selected bibliography

Mally M.,B. Božič,S. Vrhovec Hartman, U. Klančnik, M. Mur, S. Svetina and J. Derganc. 2017. "Controlled shaping of lipid vesicles in a microfluidic diffusion chamber." RCS Advances 7: 36506-36515.

Derganc J., A. Čopič. 2016. "Membrane bending by protein crowding is affected by protein lateral confinement." Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Biomembranes 1858: 1152-1159.

Derganc J., B. Antonny, A. Čopič. 2013. "Membrane bending: the power of protein imbalance." Trends Biochem. Sci. 38:576-584.

Derganc J., B. Bozic and R. Romih. 2011. "Shapes of Discoid Intracellular Compartments with Small Relative Volumes." PLoS ONE 6(11):e26824.


Coalescence of membrane nanotubes (tethers) pulled from a giant synthetic lipid vesicle aspirated into a micropipette by use of optical tweezers:


Theoretical analysis of membrane bending by crowding of proteins on membrane surface:





Selected bibliography

Osterman, N., J. Derganc, D. Svenšek. 2016. "Formation of vortices in long microcavities at low Reynolds number." Microfluidics and Nanofluidics 20: 1-10.

Vrhovec S., M. Mally, B. Kavčič, J. Derganc. 2011. "A microfluidic diffusion chamber for reversible environmental changes around flaccid lipid vesicles." Lab Chip. 11:4200-4206. abstract PDF



We have developed a microfluidic diffusion chamber, which allows for a rapid and controlled exchange of chemical environment around delicate biological samples solely by means of diffusion:



Blood cells in the diffusion chamber subjected to osmotic stress:



Cell biophysics

Analysis of structural rearrangements in CHO cells after modifications of individual cytoskeletal elements and plasma membrane:

Pulling membrane tethers from white blood cells:


Available research equipment:

  • System for analyzing optical microscopic images

      Inverted microscope Nikon Diaphot 200, EPI. More

  • System for microscopy TIRF ("total internal reflection fluorescence")

      Invert confocal microscope Nikon Eclipse TE-2000-E, EPI, confocal imaging. More

  • System for biophysical characterization of substrate-attached cells

      Optical Tweezers Aresis Tweez. More

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Vrazov trg 2, 1104 Ljubljana, Slovenija -- telefon: +386 1 543 7700, faks: +386 1 543 7701 -- e-pošta:

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