HMC Physics Colloquium

Tuesdays at 16:30 in Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, Room B460

Wylie Ahmed

California State University, Fullerton

Active mechanics and the forces that keep our cells alive

Oct. 30, 2018

Living cells actively generate forces at the molecular scale that change their overall structure and mechanical properties. This nonequilibrium activity is essential for cellular function, and drives processes such as division, migration, and organization. In the first part of this talk, I will introduce how cells throughout the body (e.g. muscle, heart, tissue, and brain) must act as active mechanical systems to keep us alive.  In the second part, I will discuss recent advances that allow quantification of nonequilibrium activity in living cells and insight on the molecular-scale driving forces. Our approach leverages a close synergy between experiment, theory, and simulation to explore the basic physical principles driving biological processes and to inspire new advances in soft and active matter physics.