19/10/2022 – G. Facchini – Morphogenesis and mechanics of saddle-shaped bio-structures, from termite nests to sea-urchin spines

Séminaire exceptionnel IUSTI – 19 oct. 2022 – 14h salle ???

Morphogenesis and mechanics of saddle-shaped bio-structures, from termite nests to sea-urchin spines.

Giulio Facchini – Univ. Bruxelles, Belgique

I study 3D highly connected structures that remind of minimal surfaces and play biological functions in several organisms. In particular I am interested in the way some of these structures originate from self-organized accretion processes, that involve multiple agents and elementary interaction rules. Because these are additive processes, their comprehension may help in the design of synthetic processes capable of producing bio-inspired materials with optimal properties. More generally I try to understand how these biotic processes can produce complex topologies with lot of reconnections, while classical growth problem in physics often cannot produce loops. I will present a recent work I have done on the morphogenesis of termite nests including modeling and laboratory experiments. Finally I will describe a new study addressing the bio-mineralisation of porous skeletons in sea-urchin spines, and a model system for loops formation, issued from fluid mechanics.