Date: Wednesday 27th of March, 13:30.
Location: INB3305 (Isaac Newton Building).
‘Autonomous mechanisms inspired by biology’
by Francis Woodhouse, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, UK.
Unlike the air around us, biological systems are not in equilibrium: cells consume chemical energy to keep growing and moving, forming a clear arrow of time. The recent creation of artificial versions of these self-organising ‘active’ materials suggests that these concepts can be harnessed to power new smart microfluidic devices and soft robotic systems fuelled by as simple a source as oxygen. After an introduction to the physics of natural and artificial active systems, we will see how endowing microfluidic and mechanical networks with activity can create autonomous transport systems and intricate self-actuating mechanisms.