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Bio-soft matter physics

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Matej Kanduč

I am a research associate at the Department of Theoretical Physics of the Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana.
My research focuses on the theoretical description of biological and soft-matter systems using methods of computer simulations.



Video lecture highlight:
How droplets spread infections?

In my recent Institute colloquium I talked about a popular topic in the epidemic times, how infectious diseases are transmitted via droplets. How far these droplets can move, how rapidly and strongly they deposit on surfaces or are filtered out by facial masks is related to how far and how effective droplet-borne diseases can be transmitted. In the talk, we reviewed the physical principles that govern the fate of the droplets as well as the fate of the viruses encased inside them.

Recent research highlights


Tuning the Permeability of Dense Membranes

Permeability is one of the most fundamental transport properties in soft matter physics, material engineering, and nanofluidics. Here, we report how the permeability can be massively tuned, even minimized or maximized, by tailoring the potential energy landscape for the diffusing penetrants.

W.K. Kim, M. Kanduč, R. Roa, J. Dzubiella, PRL 122, 108001 (2019)


Aqueous Nanoclusters Govern Partitioning in Dense Polymer Membranes

The presence of water clusters and their interfacial effects in dense polymer networks is the crucial factor that governs the uptake and sorption of charged molecules.

M. Kanduč, W.K. Kim, R. Roa, J. Dzubiella, ACS Nano 13, 11224 (2019)


Biological systems under negative pressures

Plants pump water under negative pressures, which reach the values up -100 bar. So far, it has be unknown what is the limiting factor for this value. Using atomistic simulations, we showed that this is due to the lipid aggregates that are contained in the plant sap. These aggregates lead to the formation of cavities in the water column if the negative pressure is too strong. The limited suction power affects how plants can get water from drying soil, and with that, in how dry environments plants can grow.

Kanduč et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. (2020)


Line tension in water nanodroplets

Simulations of nanoscale water droplets of spherical and cylindrical morphologies on flat surfaces reveal that the line tension possesses an intrisic dependence on the contact angle.

M. Kanduč, L. Eixeres, S. Liese, R.R. Netz, PRE 98, 032804 (2018)