Biological Tissues Are Weird Materials

Dr. Lisa Manning (hosted by Anders Carlsson), Department of Physics, Syracuse University, N.Y.
May 7, 2018 at 4:00 pm
206 Crow
Event Description 

Are you a solid or a fluid? Important biological processes, from
embryonic development to wound healing to cancer development are
strongly impacted by these “material properties” of a tissue.  This
is an interesting physics problem, as many tissues are composed of
tightly packed cells that interact strongly and generate surprising
collective behaviors.  For example, we have discovered that such tissues
exhibit a second order critical phase transition that is in a different
universality class from molecular or atomic glass transitions. We have
also found that due to the topological nature of interactions between
cells, two standard equilibrium definitions of surface tension do not
give the same answer, even in an equilibrium system! I will discuss how
these interesting problems are opening up new areas in physics and soft
matter, as well as how the results can be immediately applied to
generate useful predictions and drive new hypotheses in biology.

 

Coffee:  3:45 pm, 241 Compton