About us


The Small Biosystems Lab is located in the Department of Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Barcelona. It was created in 2005 by Dr Felix Ritort and is currently a global benchmark in combining theory and experiments to research the thermodynamics and non-equilibrium behaviour of small systems using single-molecule methods. His research has pioneered the use of single-molecule methods in Spain and his research group is a world-renowned member of the Catalan Research Network (AGAUR) and Spanish National Network of Biomedical Research Centres (CIBER). His research has been funded by several Catalan, Spanish, European and international agencies.


Learn more about our work in the “Research” section of this website.


The lab led by Dr Felix Ritort belongs to one of the most prestigious universities in Spain, well known for its contributions to research and technology transfer, and surrounded by the stimulating environment of the Catalan Bioregion, which features a wealth of leading researchers and institutes at the forefront of research in the life sciences. As of 2015, the University of Barcelona is the top Spanish university, ranked 116th on the CWUR World University Rankings, with 301 consolidated research groups and 663 active research projects.


A global benchmark in combining theory and experiments to investigate the thermodynamics and non-equilibrium behaviour of small systems


The main goal of the Small Biosystems Lab is to combine advanced experimental techniques and theoretical knowledge to address questions related to energy processes on a nano-scale. Our main research lines are single-molecule biophysics and non-equilibrium physics. Our scientific interests are quite varied, ranging from revealing the molecular pathways of drugs and nucleic-acid binding proteins to the mechanical properties of biopolymers and cells, and even more fundamental physical questions about the role of energy and information in biological systems.


The group is made up of 10-15 researchers, including students, postdocs and collaborators with very different backgrounds, ranging from physics to chemistry or biology, and expertise in molecular synthesis, developing scientific instruments, data analysis and theoretical modelling. The group has made research contributions that have been published in the most prestigious scientific journals.