Bio-inspired Engineering of Complex Fluids: Interfaces, Shapes, and Interactions


Monday, September 26, 2022 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm


ESB 1001


Assistant Professor Eujin Um


Living matter, from plants and animal cells, comprises complex materials with various phases and interfaces. A close look at how these interfaces arise and form certain shapes with functions will not only deepen our understanding of nature but also inspire the design and engineering of materials for novel applications. In this talk, I will first introduce hydrodynamic synchronization which can be observed in swimming organisms, and explain how hydrodynamically interacting fluid-fluid interfaces can act as coupled oscillators leading to the discovery of a synchronized droplet generation. Second, I will present methods to fabricate nature-inspired shapes of microstructure to provide multifunctionality to the material, such as wrinkles on curved surfaces and multi-compartment microfibers, by exploiting oil-water interfaces. Lastly, I will investigate biological cells as soft matter to study the dependence of their motility on the geometry of cells and confinements as in complex tissue environments. The ultimate research goal is to understand the physicochemical roles of complex fluids in determining the shapes and motility of living organisms and apply the knowledge to emerging technologies by building experimental model systems.


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