25/06/2021 – J. Palacci – Active matter for self assembly

Séminaire IUSTI – 25 juin 2021 – 11h amphi

Active matter for self assembly

Jérémie Palacci – UC San Diego, ÉU

Biological systems show remarkable and robust self-assembly: bacteria form colonies, cells reshape and muscle fibers collectively contract… Those phenomena stem from the non-equilibrium nature of living matter, a prototypical example of active matter in which self-driven units convert an energy source into useful motion and work. Inspired by the success of the biological world, we will show how we can build and control man-made materials powered from within.
As a first example, we will discuss the effect of an active bacterial bath on the aggregation of attractive microbeads. We will notably show that we can control the morphology of the aggregates, possibly programming the mechanical response of a soft material.
In a second part, we will show how active particles self-assemble or can be assembled into autonomous and programmable metamachines. Because active particles can differentiate to provide multiple functions, machines are readily reconfigurable, merged and annealed, allowing for more sophisticated machinery. Our work shows the potential of active matter for self-assembly and the development of dynamical and reconfigurable materials.