Title: Taming Active Matter: from dancing defects to autonomous shells

Speaker: Amin Doostmohammadi, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenaghen, Denmark


The spontaneous emergence of collective flows is a generic property of active fluids and often leads to chaotic flow patterns characterized by swirls, jets, and topological disclinations in their orientation field. I will first discuss two examples of these collective features helping us understand biological processes: -1. To explain the tortoise & hare story in bacterial competition: how motility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria leads to a slower invasion of bacteria colonies, which are individually faster, and -2. How self-propelled defects lead to finding an unanticipated mechanism for cell death. I will then discuss various strategies to tame, otherwise chaotic, active flows, showing how hydrodynamic screening of active flows can act as a robust way of controlling and guiding active particles into dynamically ordered coherent structures. I will also explain how combining hydrodynamics with topological constraints can lead to further control of exotic morphologies of active shells.

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