Dr. Marie-Eve Aubin-Tam

Research Theme(s): Single-molecule biophysics, Synthetic biology and Cell biology

Research Interests: Synthetic biological materials: from artificial cell membranes to biomimetic minerals and living materials

Living materials and biomineralized composites: We use microorganisms to fabricate bio-based and/or living materials. Most living organisms use elements in their environment to fabricate composite materials. Due to their intricate and hierarchical structure, bio-inspired composite materials present improved material properties when compared with their pure inorganic counterparts. We are interested in mimicking nature’s strategy in order to achieve improved mechanical properties for our biologically manufactured materials. Furthermore, we are also interested in the design and development of living materials, which can have various functionalities such as sense-and-respond, self-repair, energy production, … 

Mechanical processes at the cell membrane: We design, develop and use biophysical assays to track dynamical cellular processes occurring at the cell membrane. We study artificial cell membranes as well as living (algal and bacterial) cells. Our interest is in the study of individual biomolecules, cells and membranes under external physical/chemical stimuli. This, in the hope of understanding the molecular mechanisms driving biological processes.


Marie-Eve Aubin-Tam obtained a Bachelor in Engineering Physics from Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, and a Diplome d’Ingenieur from Ecole Polytechnique de Paris (“X”). In 2008, she received a Ph.D. in biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), on the topic of proteins-nanoparticles interactions. She stayed at MIT for a postdoctoral position in single-molecule biophysics, where she studied ClpXP with optical tweezers. Since 2012, she leads a research group within the Bionanoscience department of TU Delft.


For further information regarding current research and available projects, visit Aubin-Tam lab.


  • Nanotechnology (lecturer and coordinator), TU Delft, 2nd year BSc Nanobiology program, 2 ECTS
  • Optical Tweezers Research Practicum (coordinator), TU Delft, 2nd year BSc Applied Physics program



Current Projects

Projects for Master and Bachelor students:

- living materials fabrication and 3D printing

- study of asymmetric lipid bilayers with optical tweezers

- flagellar locomotion studied with optical tweezers


Highlight Publications

- Balasubramanian S, Yu K, Meyer AS, Karana E, Aubin-Tam ME*, Bioprinting of regenerative photosynthetic living materials, Advanced Functional Materials, 2011162,  2021

- Liang K, Spiesz EM, Schmieden DT, Xu AW, Meyer AS, Aubin-Tam ME. Bioproduced polymers self-assemble with graphene oxide into nanocomposite films with enhanced mechanical performance, ACS Nano, 14, 11, 14731–14739, 2020 

- Dols-Perez A, Marin V, Amador GJ, Kieffer R, Tam D, Aubin-Tam ME. Artificial cell membranes interfaced with optical tweezers: a versatile microfluidics platform for nanomanipulation and mechanical characterisation, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 11, 33620-33627, 2019

- Lindhoud S, Carvalho V, Pronk JW, Aubin-Tam ME. SMA-SH: Modified styrene-maleic acid copolymer for functionalization of lipid nanodiscs, Biomacromolecules, 17, 1516-1522, 2016 

- Quaranta G, Aubin-Tam ME, Tam D. Hydrodynamics versus intracellular coupling in the synchronization of eukaryotic flagella, Physical Review Letters, 115, 238101, 2015

- Aubin-Tam ME, Olivares AO, Sauer RT, Baker TA, Lang MJ. Single-molecule protein unfolding and translocation by an ATP-fueled proteolytic machine, Cell, 145, 257-267, 2011

- Aubin-Tam ME, Hwang W, Hamad-Schifferli K. Site-directed nanoparticle labeling of cytochrome c, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 106, 4095-4100, 2009


Associate Professor

Marie-Eve Aubin-Tam

Management Assistant

Heleen Sakkee