Biology is replete with examples of dynamic self-assembly, organization and movement that span subcellular, cellular, and multicellular length scales. In these examples, chemical, thermal and mechanical cues guide growth, organization and size and then eventually form and function. Most of the focus has been rightly until now on elucidating the biological and biochemical underpinnings of biophysical phenomena. It is becoming increasingly clear that elasticity and fluid flow constitute an important and integral part of how single cells, organelles, and multi-cellular organisms function, grow and interact. Dramatic advances in microscale engineering and microscopy have provided us with new, powerful tools to explore these interactions at varied and length and time scales: thus, opening new avenues to understand these biological “systems” and engineer synthetic “life-like” mimics.
Our focus is to combine experiments with analytical models, phenomenological mesoscale theories and multi-scale Brownian dynamics and atomistic simulations to understand the single cell motility, collective motility and response to light in flagellated and ciliated organisms such as bacteria and algae. We are also interested more generally in the role of mechanics in biophysical problems such as active memory and persistence if strain in active systems, statistical physics of active filaments and mechanics mediated synchronization in active ciliary beds and carpets.
BIOMECHANICS & BIOLOGICAL MECHANICS
Active elastohydrodynamics: Mechanics and memory mediated collective interactions.
Biorheology and biomechanics of Candida albicans Biofilms on Mucus.
MECHANOBIOLOGY AND PHOTOTAXIS IN CILIATES
How cilia beat: Phototaxis and motility in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Systems control and steering mechanics in ciliated organisms
Light-matter interactions and motility in Chlamydomonas
STATISTICAL PHYSICS OF ACTIVE SYSTEMS
Interfacial mechanics and thermodynamics in living multi-phase systems
Statistical mechanics of constrained active semi-flexible filaments in crowded environments
Multicellular motility and emergent patterned synchronization
PHYSICAL BIOLOGY AND MODELING
Multi-scale models for active multi-species fluids
Microorganism Locomotion in Complex Fluids
Fitness, motility and co-evolution in swarming bacterial systems
Application of singular perturbation theory to systems in biology