Modeling Biosynthetic Active Matter
Professor Michael Shelley, Courant Institute (NYU) and Flatiron Institute (Simons Foundation)
New active materials are being synthesized that use cellular constituents such as biopolymers and motor-proteins, as well as synthetic components such as depletants or drugs that modify polymerization. These self-driven fluids will stretch, roil, or contract, depending upon the polymers and motor-proteins involved, and could be used to drive microscale transport processes. These systems also teach us about complex biological processes such as cell division. I'll discuss how we model these materials as multi-scale complex fluids driven by internal stresses generated by motor-protein activity, how they behave dynamically, and a bit on what they may teach us about biology.