Coacervates and Soft Interfaces

Radboud University

Institute for Molecules and Materials

Dr. ir. Evan Spruijt

Associate professor

Physical Organic Chemistry

Postdocs & Visitors

Dr. Tiemei Lu

I am using multiphase coacervates, temperature-dependent coacervates and polymer capsules as models for artificial organelles or cells.

PhD students

Alain André

Using a multidisciplinary approach, I am studying protein-based artificial organelles.

Wojciech Lipiński

I study liquid-to-solid transition in model coacervate systems to better understand pathological protein aggregation.

Merlijn van Haren

I am investigating how coacervates can grow, replicate, and possibly function as the first generation of cells on Earth.

Iris Smokers

I am investigating replication of genetic information within coacervate protocells to explore their possible role in the origin of life.

Annemiek Slootbeek

I am researching self replicating and growing coacercates. I especially focus on the interactions and reactions with which these coacercates are formed and evolve.

Brent Visser

I am studying how model coacervate systems influence aggregation of proteins related to neurodegenerative disease.

Zainab Javed

I will work on coacervate-membrane interactions and study the exchange of materials, such as nucleic acids, between protocells.

MSc & BSc students

Marie Peeters

Robin van der Krieken

Luuk Verploegen

Past group members

Amy Yewdall (postdoc 2021-2023): now Senior Research Fellow at University of Canterbury
Manzar Abbas (postdoc 2019-2022): now assistant professor at Khalifa University
Jiahua Wang (postdoc 2019-2021): now at The Sixth Affiliated People’s Hospital Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Joep Joosten (postdoc September 2020-July 2021): now in K.M. Bonger’s group, Radboud University

Tiemei Lu (2018-2023): Now a postdoc within the lab

Thesis: New Routes to Coacervate-based Protocells


Karina Nakashima (2017-2021): Now a postdoc at University of Groningen in the group of Nathalie Katsonis

Thesis: Chemistry of active coacervate droplets: Liquid droplets as a minimal model of life

Riccardo Schiroli (February 2023 – October 2023)
Joska ter Steeg (October 2023 – November 2023)
Almuth Schmid (February 2023 – July 2023)
Viveca Beckers (April 2023 – June 2023)
Kas Rutten (April 2023 – June 2023)
Jaap van den Boogaard (September 2022 – January 2023)
Zhangfan Li (January 2022 – December 2022)
Emma Muller (March 2022 – December 2022)
Stijn Jue (September 2021 – September 2022)
Nienke Helmers (February – August 2022)
Jonathan Hoekstra (May – July 2022)
Nick Geertjens (October – January 2022)
Thomas Vijverberg (January – July 2021)
Irina Robu (November- July 2021)
Levy Charleston (February – September 2021 )
Jurre van den Oever (February – July 2021)
Christian Thömmes (February – July 2021)
Jesse Lentjes (November 2020 – July 2021)
Gina Boting (April – June 2021)
Brent Visser (November 2019 – July 2020)
Joep de Graaf (April – June 2020)
Irina Robu (February – July 2020, Honours Academy)
Merlijn van Haren (November 2018 – July 2019)
Tim Banning (November 2018 – July 2019)
Aman Urazov (April – June 2019)
Brent Visser (April – June 2019)
Davin Elian (April – June 2019)
Haibin Qian (November  2018 – February 2019)
Yorick van Aalst (May – July 2018)
Jean-Pierre Welters (May – July 2018)
Stijn Verhoeven (Apr – July 2018)
Jochem Baaij (May – August 2017)

Moreno Ascani (Technical University of Dortmund, Dortmund, 2023-2023)

Assistant prof. Mazdak Khajehpour (University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, 2023-2023)

Prof. Yaxun Fan (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 2019 – 2020)

Saurabh Mathur (2018)

Other groups in the department

Our Coacervates and Soft Interfaces group is part of the Department of Physical Organic Chemistry, which includes the Huck group, Korevaar group (Life-like materials) and Velema group (drug resistance).