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Boundary-bulk patterning in three-dimensional confluent cellular collectives

Organoids are in vitro cellular collectives from which brain-like, or gut-like, or kidney-like structures emerge. To make quantitative predictions regarding the morphology and rheology of a cellular collective in its initial stages of development, we …

Formation of Helices with Controllable Chirality in Gel-Fiber Composites

While microscale helices with specified chirality are pervasive in biological systems, driving purely synthetic materials to self-organize into such useful structures remains a significant challenge. Through theory and simulations, we model the …

Understanding the origin of softness in structurally tailored and engineered macromolecular (STEM) gels: A DPD study

Structurally tailored and engineered macromolecular (STEM) gels are polymer networks containing a primary network (the “STEM-0” gel) and side chains that are anchored to this network (forming the “STEM-1” gel). The ability to vary the features of the …

Structurally Tailored and Engineered Macromolecular (STEM) Gels as Soft Elastomers and Hard/Soft Interfaces

Structurally tailored and engineered macromolecular (STEM) gels are polymer networks containing latent initiator sites available for postsynthesis modifications. The STEM gels presented here were synthesized by reversible addition–fragmentation chain …

Fibers on the Surface of Thermo-responsive Gels Induce 3D Shape Changes

Using computational modeling, we pattern the outer layers of thin, thermo-responsive gels with elastic fibers and thereby design stable structures that could not be achieved with the fibers in the interior of the network. To perform these studies, we …

Tailoring the Mechanical Properties of Nanoparticle Networks that Encompass Biomimetic Catch Bonds

Biological “catch” bonds display the distinctive attribute that the bond lifetime can increase under an applied force. Insertion of biomimetic catch bonds into hybrid materials could lead to composites that exhibit remarkable mechanical properties. …

Effects of Morphology on the Mechanical Properties of Heterogeneous Polymer-grafted Nanoparticle Networks

Using computational modeling, we examine how varying the arrangement of binary mixtures of polymer grafted nanoparticles (PGNs) in a network affects the mechanical properties of the composite. The free ends of the grafted chains on the PGNs contain …

Using Torsion for Controllable Reconfiguration of Binary Nanoparticle Networks

Mechanical deformation can potentially provide an effective means of controlling the nanoscale morphology in hybrid materials. The challenge, however, is establishing optimal couplings of the deformation and mechano-responsive components in the …

Shape-shifting Droplet Networks

We consider a three-dimensional network of aqueous droplets joined by single lipid bilayers to form a cohesive, tissuelike material. The droplets in these networks can be programed to have distinct osmolarities so that osmotic gradients generate …

On the Modeling of Endocytosis in Yeast

The cell membrane deforms during endocytosis to surround extracellular material and draw it into the cell. Results of experiments on endocytosis in yeast show general agreement that 1) actin polymerizes into a network of filaments exerting active …