Navigation Links
Brandeis wins $1 million Keck Foundation grant to research active matter
Date:1/7/2010

Waltham, MABrandeis University announced today a $1 million, three-year award from the W.M. Keck Foundation to help support experimental research into a new category of materials known as active matter. The project seeks to elucidate the behavior of active matter at length scales ranging from the microscopic to the macroscopic.

Unlike inert materials such as steel or plastic, active matter can move on its own, displaying properties previously observed only in living materials such as muscles and cells. The project will leverage the university's pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to research at the intersection of biology and physics. Last year, Brandeis joined an elite group of universities when it won a highly-competitive $7.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation to begin interdisciplinary research on active matter.

"Brandeis has been at the forefront of recent advances in materials science and biology, both in studying the properties of materials occurring in biological systems, and in understanding the role of material properties in the structure and function of cells and cellular components," said principal investigator Seth Fraden, an expert on colloidal liquid crystals and microfluidics.

Many biological systems display self-organized and distinctive dynamic states at the macroscalethink flocking birds, schooling fish, or swarming bacteria. Similarly, at the mesoscale, cellular motility, and at the microscale or sub-cellular level, cytoskeletal reorganization, represent distinctive dynamic states. All these systems are examples of active matter: they consume energy to generate movement, or stress, in space or time.

"In this project, we will exploit biology in order to make advances in active matter, which has become a frontier field in soft matter physics," said physicist Zvonimir Dogic, who uses optical microscopy to study self-assembly of biopolymers. "In return, our understanding of non-equilibrium phenomena and active materials will shed new light on a number of important biological structures that are not under direct genetic control, such as flagella beating."

Along with Dogic and Fraden, the research team includes biologist Daniela Nicastro, a leading authority on high-resolution electron tomography. The project uses two complimentary approaches towards studies of active matter. In a "top-down" approach the researchers will systematically deconstruct fully functioning biological organelles to determine the minimal set of components required for active behavior. In a complimentary "bottom-up" approach they will put well-defined isolated components together in a predefined structure and study how active behavior emerges from spontaneous interactions of the constituent molecules.

Historically, basic research on liquids, colloids, polymers and other soft materials has had spectacular consequences for technology, with liquid crystal displays being the prime example, said Fraden. "We believe that this research has great potential for technological development."


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Gardner
gardner@brandeis.edu
781-736-4204
Brandeis University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Corazonas Foods and Brandeis University partner to create cholesterol-reducing snacks
2. New research center at Brandeis to combine materials science and biology
3. Brandeis and Smart Balance team up to advance heart-healthy research
4. NIH grant will boost electron microscopy at Brandeis
5. Structure of 450 million year old protein reveals evolutions steps
6. First orchid fossil puts showy blooms at some 80 million years old
7. SyntheMed Completes $2.8 Million Equity Financing
8. Rutgers Genetics receives $7.8 million for autism research
9. Seattle Childrens Hospital leads $23.7 million NIH grant to study gene repair
10. UD leads $5.3-million research project on rice epigenetics
11. Rutgers high school outreach gets $3 million boost from NSF
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/30/2017)... , June 30, 2017 Today, American ... and supplier of face and eye tracking software, ... Product provider program. "Artificial intelligence ... way to monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels while ... being able to detect fatigue and prevent potential ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ... age and identity verification solutions, announced today they will ... 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... International Trade Center. Identity impacts the ... in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 ... its vendor landscape is marked by the presence of ... is however held by five major players - 3M ... these companies accounted for nearly 61% of the global ... leading companies in the global military biometrics market boast ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 18, 2017 , ... ... from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its Patent Applications 14/858,857 ... Trademark Office’s allowances of these patent applications further expand the protection of G-CON’s ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... July 17, 2017 , ... ... delivery device testing capabilities to encompass the full series of ISO 80369 standard ... of fittings for medical device and drug delivery systems. With this recent expansion, ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... July 17, 2017 , ... ... a wide range of overlapping clinical features. The advancement of targeted next-generation sequencing ... of NDD research and testing. , However, designing a custom panel for ...
(Date:7/16/2017)... ... July 16, 2017 , ... OHAUS Corporation, a ... launch of its new line of Rocking and Waving Shakers today. , Five ... (both analog and digital) for laboratory applications in a variety of environmental conditions. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: