Northwestern Events Calendar


ESAM Seminar: Eric Dufresne, Ph.D., Growing Droplets in Cells and Gels

When: Monday, January 6, 2020
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Central

Where: Technological Institute, M416, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Cristian Pennington   (847) 491-3645

Group: Physics and Astronomy Complex Systems Seminars

Category: Academic


In order to function effectively, living cells must compartmentalize myriad chemical reactions.In the classic view, distinct functional volumes are separated by thin oily-barriers called membranes.Recently, the spontaneous sorting of cellular components into membranelessliquid-like domains has been appreciated as an alternate route to compartmentalization.I will review the essential physical concepts thought to underlie these biological phenomena, and outline some fundamental questions in soft matter physics that they inspire.In particular, I will focus on the coupling of phase separation to elastic stresses in polymer networks.Using a series of experiments spanning living cells and synthetic materials, I will demonstrate that bulk mechanical stresses dramatically impact every stage in the life of a droplet, from nucleation and growth to ripening and dissolution. Not only does this work address fundamental questions in soft condensed matter physics, but it also has exciting implications for cell physiology and the self-assembly of synthetic materials.

Eric Dufresne, Ph.D.Department of Materials, ETH Zurich

Host: Petia Vlahovska & Michelle Driscoll

Keywords: Physics, Astronomy, Complex Systems

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