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Physics of Living Matter Seminar:

Non-equilibrium molecular assemblies in cutting & reshaping cells

Andela Saric

Department of Physics & Astronomy

University College London

06 May 2021 11:00
Remote access

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Identifying the principles that govern the emergence of organisation in non-equilibrium systems remains a central challenge of modern soft matter physics. In a living cell, non-equilibrium conditions are necessary for functionality and are maintained by chemical gradients and mechanical forces. These conditions drive the reversible assembly of molecules into large-scaled functional structures that produce mechanical work involved in cell trafficking, motility, division, and healing.
Today I will present our recent research on physical modelling of molecular self-assemblies driven far from thermodynamic equilibrium. I will discuss the example of active elastic filaments (ESCRT-III) that dynamically shift their geometries and mechanical properties to reshape and cut cell membranes. I will present quantitative comparisons of our simulation results to cell reshaping processes across evolution. I will finish with our recent efforts in computationally evolving assemblies to perform a desired function.


Dr. Dmitry Fedosov
Phone: +49 2461 61-2972
Fax: +49 2461 61-3180